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11 Heart-Healthy Super foods

Updated on December 12, 2018
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Srikanth is passionate about helping people stay healthy. He believes that consuming nutritious food is the key to a long and healthy life.

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Are Your Best Weapons to Combat Heart Disease

A close look at your dinner plate could reveal a lot about the health of your heart. To keep your heart healthy, you need to consume foods rich in essential nutrients and avoid fatty and fried foods. Healthy diet and healthy lifestyle are powerful weapons to fight heart disease.

It Is Possible to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

Dr. Walter Willett is of the opinion that up to 70 percent of heart disease can be averted with the right regimen. He says that diet is more effective than drugs in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Upto 70 Percent of Heart Disease Can Be Averted With the Right Regimen

Source

Are you taking steps to keep your heart healthy?

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Healthy Diet and Healthy Lifestyle Are Powerful Weapons to Fight Heart Disease.

Source

What are Superfoods?

What are superfoods? Erin Hurst, clinical dietician at St. Joseph Health System in Mishawaka, says there is no clinical definition for superfoods. However, pop culture and social media tell you daily that superfoods are really very good for your health.

Superfoods Prevent Diseases

“You can find superfoods for anti-cancer, for heart health. You could find superfoods for babies,” explained Hurst. Typically, superfoods are foods that are packed with goodness.

Superfoods Are Rich in Essential Nutrients

“They are really nutrient dense. They are typically lower in calories but they provide more concentrated nutrition of vitamins, minerals and some things like flavonoids and phytochemicals.”

Here are six superfoods for better heart health.

Heart Healthy Superfoods

Orange

Orange contains hesperidin, a flavan-on glycoside that improves blood vessel function and lowers heart disease risk. Pectin, a soluble fiber in this citrus fruit, sops up cholesterol in food and blocks its absorption.

For a research study, 24 healthy men at risk for cardiovascular disease each consumed either 500 ml of orange juice daily, a "dummy" drink that contained the same calories as orange juice, or a dummy drink fortified with 292 milligrams of hesperidin.

A 500 ml glass of orange juice naturally contains 292 ml of hesperidin. Over the course of the study, every man drank every beverage for one month straight.

The researchers found that when the participants consumed the daily orange juice or the hesperidin-fortified drink, they had better endothelial function and lower diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number of a blood pressure reading) than when they drank the non-hesperidin beverage. Also, gene expression profiles (as related to cardiovascular disease development) were improved.

Potassium Reduces the Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease

Potassium prevents hypertension, which is one of the main causes of ischemic heart disease. Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding lectin. It causes scarring of heart tissues, which leads to congestive heart failure. It is very difficult to treat this disease with medicines. Pectin helps neutralize galectin-3.

Orange Prevents Hypertension

Source

Kale

Everyone seems to be talking about green smoothies, superfood shakes and vegetable juices nowadays. And no wonder; people are discovering all over the world that they help curb unhealthy cravings, boost their immunity and are even a fantastic meal replacement for busy folks on the go. Kale is one of the most common ingredients in these “green” superfood concoctions.

Essential Nutrients in Kale Make it a Heart-Healthy Superfood

Essential nutrients in kale like potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, and vitamin C make it a heart healthy food. Kale lowers harmful LDL cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Kale also contains potassium.

Kale Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

Source

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolates contains flavonoids, which protect the cardiovascular system. Oxidation can cause LDL cholesterol to form plaque on the artery walls.

Dark Chocolate Prevents Plaqe Build Up in the Arteries

Antioxidants in dark chocolate inhibit oxidation, thereby preventing plaque formation on the artery walls. Flavonoids lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation to the heart.

Dark Chocolate Is Loaded With Antioxidants

As a widely craved and consumed product rich in flavonoids, polyphenols and antioxidant activity, chocolate innately straddles the line between the foods consumers want to eat and the foods they feel they should eat.

Dark Chocolate Can Absolutely Be Part of a Heart-Healthy Diet

Source

Lentils

Lentils contain fiber, folate and magnesium, which work together to keep your heart robust and healthy. Folate reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Magnesium, an essential macro-mineral, is critical for heart health. Heart has the highest magnesium requirement of any organ, specifically the left ventricle. Even a little magnesium deficiency can lead to profound changes in how the heart, blood vessels, blood cells and other tissues function.

Lentils Prevent Heart Disease

Source

Almonds

Almonds are rich in healthy monounsaturated fat. Vitamin C and fiber in almonds keep your heart healthy. A research study indicates that people who eat nuts at least twice a week are less likely to gain weight than people who do not consume nuts.

Almonds Improve Your Heart Health

Source

Pomegranate

This delicious fruit is loaded with heart-protective agents. It contains antioxidants that protect endothelial cells against damage caused by free radicals. This heart healthy food reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Pomegranate Is a Heart-Healthy Fruit

Flax Seeds

Many nutritionists call this superfood a wonder seed. Flax seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other essential nutrients that promote heart health.

Source

Oats

Soluble fiber in oats removes bile acids from the body. These bile acids are made from cholesterol. This superfood keeps the arteries clear. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium, which are good for the heart. Research review by Andon, PhD, and James W. Anderson, MD confirms that lentils promote excellent heart health.

Walnuts

Walnuts contain plant protein. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Farro

Farro is a grain that tastes like a nuttier version of brown rice. This complex carb stabilizes cholesterol. Essential nutrients in farro like magnesium nourishes you thoroughly.

Pumpkin

Antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids in pumpkin seeds keep your heart healthy. Animal studies have indicated that pumpkin seed oil reduces high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels — two important risk factors for heart disease.

Magnesium is needed for strong bones, optimum immunity, healthy nerve and muscle function and to keep your heartbeat regular.

— Mary Jane Brown, PhD, RD (UK)

Summary

  • Up to 70 percent of heart disease can be averted with the right regimen.
  • Diet is more effective than drugs in reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Orange improves the functioning of blood vessels.
  • Kale lowers bad cholesterol levels.
  • Dark chocolate protects the cardiovascular system.
  • Pomegranate is a heart healthy superfood.

Are these heart-healthy superfoods part of your diet?

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I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.

— Joyce Meyer

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