How to Reverse Heart Disease With Food

Salmon and Kale - Excellent choices for a heart-smart diet.
Salmon and Kale - Excellent choices for a heart-smart diet. | Source

Is Heart Disease Preventable?

Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. For the most part, if we take genetics out of the formula, heart disease is preventable. Now that is truly something for us to think about. We all know that our sedentary life style and our high fat diets are to blame for this.

But let's take a moment to educate ourselves about how heart disease can be prevented naturally by changing our diets. There are many ways that we can actually decrease our risk factors while leading a fuller and more robust life full of energy. We can literally eat ourselves into the prevention of heart disease.

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Kale - the New Superfood for the Heart

1. Kale has good omega fats and plenty of fiber. In fact, it about 120 mg of Omega-3 fats per cup. This is more than most plant-type foods have. Kale is also said to have supplies insoluble fiber for our systems, which is lacking in most Americans diets. Consuming kale can improve your cholesterol. Data studies conclude that drinking kale juice improves your lipid profile and helps to reduce the oxidative damage. The decreased oxidation of the LDL levels has important impact with regards the risk of heart disease. You should consider including kale in your diet 3 times a week. You consider including kale in soups, quiches, sautéed or in even a pesto sauce. It is delicious in a smoothie.

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Walnuts and Heart Health

2. Eating a small amount of walnuts daily to replace high-calorie sugary snacks not only helps your weight, but is good for your heart. Why does your heart love walnuts? They help you to lower bad cholesterol levels because they have naturally occurring Omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is anti-inflammatory in nature and prevents blood clots from forming. Research shows that persons who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a heart attack by almost fifty percent. It is recommended to eat a handful or 6 walnuts a day.

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Blueberries and Heart Disease

3. According to research, women aged 25 through 42 that consumed more than three servings of blueberries a week have a 32% lower risk of heart attack. Researchers agree that anthocyanins and flavonoids (antioxidants) lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. Experts recommend consuming 1-2 cups daily.

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What Are the Heart Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate?

4. Dark chocolate helps reduce atherosclerosis and blood clotting, blood flow smoother, decreases in heart attacks and cholesterol levels. Even though all this information about eating dark chocolate tempts us to over indulge in our favorite food, Researchers only recommend eating 1-2 squares a day. The dark chocolate needs to have a 70 percent or more cocoa content. Read your labels.

Is Red Wine Good for Your Heart?

5. Only five ounces of red wine per day is considered to be heart healthy. The alcohol combined with other substances in the wine produce antioxidants prevent heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and preventing artery damage.

The recent advice about consuming red wine might sound wonderful if you enjoy drinking it, doctors caution anyone to start drinking alcohol. That's because too much alcohol may be harmful for other health issues and alcoholics. If you may be one of these people, you are in luck, cranberry juice and tea, and grape juice are just as effective. In fact, for some unknown reason concord red grapes are found to have a higher concentration of antioxidants. Welches happens to sell a brand of concord grape juice.

Health Benefits of Turmeric for the Heart

6. High amounts of curcumin is found in turmeric. This substance accounts for the bright orange-yellow color and is the main ingredient. Curcumin is credited with many health benefits with the tumeric spice. A 2012 research study discovered that curcumin has the ability to prevent heart attacks among bypass patients. The study tracked the activities of 121 patients who had heart surgery between 2009 and 2011. For three days preceding the operation and for five days afterwards, fifty percent of the patients ingested curcumin pills, while the others took only sugar tablets. Unfortunately, 30 percent of the patients in the placebo group experienced a heart attacks compared with 13 percent of the curcumin group. While Curcumin is not yet recommended as a substitute for heart medication, the researchers concluded, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties lower the the chance of heart attack by as much as 65 percent.

Can you imagine the possibilities of preventing bypass surgery all together by incorporating curcumin in your diet?


How Much Tumeric Should I Take?

Type of Tumeric
Amount Needed Per Day
 
Cut Root
1.5 – 3 g
 
Dried Powdered Root
1 – 3 g
 
Standardized powder (curcumin)
400 – 600 mg 3 times
 
Tincture
15 – 30 drops, 4 times
 
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Heart Health Benefits of Strawberries

7. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study with about 27,000 women for 10 years measuring strawberry consumption and risk factors for heart disease. They revealed that women who ate more strawberries, two or more servings per week, when compared to those who ate none, were 14 percent less likely to have increased C-reactive protein levels which is a blood bio-marker measures inflammation in the body.

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Green Tea and Heart Disease

8. Decreasing your likelihood of heart disease may be as simple as drinking green tea. Research has found green tea to decrease your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. Many studies have looked seriously at the links between green tea and heart disease.

A study of 40,530 Japanese adults showed that participants consuming more than five cups of green tea a day had a 26% less likelihood of death from heart attack or stroke and an overall 16% lower risk than those drinking one cup of green tea a daily.

Another study in 2014 study followed 13 green tea drinkers and 5 black tea drinkers. The research concluded people drinking the most green tea lowered their risk of heart disease by 28% whereas the black tea had no effect on heart risk.

Why are Whole Grains Good for the Heart?

9. What are whole grains? Whole grains are any foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are also samples of whole grains. Most whole grains are good sources of dietary fiber. Fiber improves blood cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of heart disease. Fiber fills your stomach making you feel full, thus eating less calories which can also help the heart.

Studies have found that one cup of oatmeal or rice per day along with a heart healthy may lower the risk of heart disease by 15%.


Fresh fish caught out of Lake Okeechobee, Florida.
Fresh fish caught out of Lake Okeechobee, Florida. | Source

How Does Eating Fish Help Heart Disease?

10. We all know that eating red meat clogs your arteries. But fish like salmon, tuna, lake trout and anchovies have the omega-3 fats that help your heart maintain a steady rhythm. Omega-3 reduces inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the body breaks down the walls of blood vessels leading to heart disease.

In addition, omega-3 reduces triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, reduces blood clotting, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

Adults should eat a minimum of at two servings of omega-3-rich fish a week; the recommended serving size is 3.5 ounces or about the size of a deck of cards. Tilapia and catfish are not as heart healthy because they contain unhealthy fatty acids. Broiling or baking your fish is much healthier the deep-frying. Wild-caught fish is much better than farm raised fish. Be sure to check the labels or consult your local butcher.

A markerLake Okeechobee Florida -
Lake Okeechobee, Florida, USA
[get directions]

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Flaxseed Benefits for the Heart

11. Flaxseed has a very high content of omega-3 fats. Studies have found that incorporating flaxseed to your daily food intake may reduce heart disease by 46 percent and stop red blood cells from forming clots in the arteries. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day in cereal, salad or in a smoothie.

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Conclusion

To coin a phrase, "you are what you eat". The same seems to be true for keeping your heart healthy. All of this information may seem overwhelming, so I always suggest changing one food at a time. Because if you try to consume all of this healthy food at one time, you are setting yourself up for failure and many unwanted trips to the bathroom.

Many of the foods mentioned in this article may be blended into a smoothie to make a delicious drink. Just slowly add more healthy foods and enjoy.

Are all the foods discussed in this article part of your daily diet?

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Comments 6 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

Some of these I can do, others are a bit difficult to stomach personally. Good information.


Lipnancy profile image

Lipnancy 12 months ago from Hamburg, New York Author

I agree. And there are so many more to add.


Chriswillman90 profile image

Chriswillman90 11 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

There's a lot of useful information that I could use. I've had several family members that have struggled with heart disease and other heart conditions. It's never too late to eat healthier.


Lipnancy profile image

Lipnancy 11 months ago from Hamburg, New York Author

You are right. I am forever trying to change my eating habits.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 10 months ago from San Diego California

None of these foods are particularly onerous to eat. Some are actually fun. Great hub!


Lipnancy profile image

Lipnancy 10 months ago from Hamburg, New York Author

I know. And if you just change one food at a time, it eases your system back to good health.

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