Foods to Eat for a Healthy Heart
If you consider your body as a car, the heart is definitely the engine of it and food is the fuel!
Heart diseases are becoming so common these days that it scares the hell out of anyone! Our unhealthy food choices, inactivity, stress etc are increasing, so are heart problems.
The basic thing we can do is to choose what we are consuming wisely. Picking the right kind of foods can surly lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Let’s discuss some common foods to eat for a healthy heart and some necessary tips as well.
Foods to eat for a healthy heart:
1. Whole grain
Barley, Oats, brown rice, quinoa etc are great sources of fiber and nutrition which can be beneficial for heart health.
They are also filled with minerals, B Vitamins, antioxidants.
Grains products like white bread, muffins, refined flour are better to avoid.
2. Leafy greens
Leafy greens (kale, broccoli, spinach etc) are filled with antioxidants and carotenoids.
Its folic acid improves mental clarity. They Contain Vitamin A, C and K, Contains minerals like iron and calcium, great source of fiber and B Vitamins as well.
Leafy green veggies can never do any harm for you, and certainly can be beneficial for overall health including heart.
Salmon contains selenium, potassium and B vitamins. It is a great source of protein.
Salmon also contains Astaxanthin Antioxidant. It is good for heart health because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps in maintaining healthy weight or in weight loss.
Tuna is a very popular lean fish. It has low-calorie, low-fat and high protein.
So this is a perfect food for body builders, models and for those who are in the mission of losing weight like me!
It is filled with omega-3 and niacin. Niacin is an element which is super beneficial for heart health.
5. Green tea
Increase of cholesterol level, obesity and high blood pressure may cause heart attack and stroke.
Green tea helps in fighting obesity, high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol level, which can improve heart health.
Berries like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries etc are loaded with antioxidants which can be super brain protective.
Some studies show that antioxidants of blueberries can stimulate blood and oxygen flow in brain and increase concentration and improves memory. They can also reduce the risk of heart attack.
7. Almonds and Walnuts
Almond and walnut are heart friendly. But they are very high in calories and fat too. Eating them in moderation can be a better choice in that case.
Almond, walnut, peanut etc are packed with folate, which may improve memory and fight depression. They are great source of protein and fiber. Also contain healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
8. Extra virgin olive oil
It’s a power house of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil’s monounsaturated fat helps lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
A recent study has shown that olive oil can help improve our learning ability and protect our memory. It can also work as a protection from Alzheimer’s causing reasons.
9. Black and kidney beans
The magnesium, antioxidants and folate of these beans can lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
Beans also contain Vitamin C and K, fiber and silicon. Silicon is important for skin, hair and healthy bone.
Studies suggest that hot pepper or chilly burns calorie, burn fat and promotes the weight loss process.
Chili pepper is good for lowering the risks of blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. They are also rich in anti-inflammatory properties, minerals and vitamins.
Tofu is a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. They are filled with potassium, folate, niacin, magnesium etc. These elements are very heart friendly.
12. Garlic and Onion
Garlic contains Vitamins and Minerals including Vitamin B6 and C, iron, potassium, copper etc. Its compounds help to fight flu or common cold.
It is good for lowering blood pressure (hypertension). It can reduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering cholesterol level.
Onion has a great amount of vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, calcium and iron. It is a good source of dietary fiber.
Onion is low in sodium, calories and contains zero fat. Research shows that onion can reduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering blood pressure. Its antioxidants can fight diabetes, control blood sugar. Onions can be beneficial for bone health too.
We all know it’s a power house of good fat. These fats are monounsaturated fats. Thus, they are very heart healthy.
Avocado also contains vitamin C, E, K, B6 as well as riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, potassium etc. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and helpful antioxidants.
14. Citrus fruits
Vitamin C is one of the key components for a radiant skin. The most popular and easy sources for getting this Vitamin are Citrus fruits.
Grapefruits, lemon, lime, oranges etc are the most common citrus fruits. They can reduce the risk of heart disease including stroke.
15. Dark chocolate
According to a study, having dark chocolate can lower the risk of nonfatal heart disease, clotting, blood pressure and stroke.
The helpful antioxidants and properties of dark chocolate can be protective about diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Some Necessary tips:
- Controlling the portion size
Consuming extra calories than we need is a problem! Controlling portion size while eating out or anywhere is a key component of avoiding over eating. For example, order the smallest size of a burger or a cup of your favorite coffee eating at a restaurant. Thus, you can minimize the calorie absorption and keep track easily.
Exercise can be called as a “food for soul and wellness”. No one can regret a regular exercise routine. Exercise can produce BDNF, a protective hormone which can help brain cells. It is important to keep the active by doing your favorite form of workout on a regular basis to keep the heart healthy as well.
- Control sodium intake
Consuming high in sodium (salt) foods may increase the risks of cardiovascular disease like blood pressure. We should avoid using too much salt in our cooking and canned foods because they are usually very high in sodium.
- Choosing low-fat protein
Lean meat is very popular for its low calories and low saturated fat. The low saturated fat does not increase cardiovascular risk factors. It is also great for weight loss, muscle building and maintaining a healthy diet habit.
- Healthy weight
Unhealthy extra weights increase so many problems including heart disease. Maintain an ideal body weight is the key to stay healthy.
- Eat fruits and veggies more
Fruits and veggies are filled with good dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals etc. They can be helpful for overall health for anyone. Cherries, apples, pomegranate etc are great choices to have for a healthy heart.
I always believe and say that “healthy” is not an expensive term if we think and try to find a way to it. Choosing the right food, exercise, hydration etc are so much necessary, easier things to maintain a healthy balance in life.
So, what is your trick to keep the heart healthy? Let me know below.
Let “Fitness” be our goal and “Health” our main priority.
Thank you for reading.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jannat Hossain