The coronary arteries supply oxygen and blood to the human heart. When they become narrow, people get heart diseases or other complaints. There is a build-up of cholesterol, which creates plaques, deteriorating the health of the heart. So, food good for heart is essential for such patients to remain healthy, happy, and fit.
Food good for heart should not contain these
The LDL or bad cholesterol, found in some types of food, is unhealthy for your heart, and is common in saturated fats, butter, cheese, red meats, whole or 2% milk, etc. Processed food, canned soup, condiments (soy sauce, catsup, and dressing), snack food, and salty food increase blood pressure and triglycerides (blood fat). Inflammation is also possible if you do not choose food good for heart.
However, avoiding bad foods is not the only solution for heart patients. They should also heartily consume nourishing food. A diet comprising of such good food fights the symptoms, reduces risks, and also keeps the patients in a good frame of mind as they become strong and confident.
Fiber food good for heart
Whole grains with germ, endosperm, and bran are very nourishing. So, the consumption of high-fiber wheat, barley, oats, rye, brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa is essential. They are healthier than refined grains, wheat flour, or multigrain, and have high fiber content that reduces bad LDL. Experts advise heart patients to eat three servings of this type of food per day, and studies prove that whole grains reduce heart disease risk by 22%. These grains also reduce systolic BP by 6 mmHg and stroke risk by 25%.
Green food good for heart
Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens strengthen the heart, as they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Turnips, parsley, lettuce, broccoli, etc. have vitamin K that protects arteries by preventing blood clots.
These greens also have dietary nitrates that improve arterial cell functioning, and lower BP and stiffness in the blood vessels. Leafy greens reduce the risk of heart disease by 16%. One study showed that close to 30,000 women benefitted from this vegetable-rich diet.
Legume food good for heart
Beans have resistant starch, which lowers BP and inflammation. They resist digestion but get fermented by good gut bacteria. In a study, 16 people took pinto beans, and their blood triglycerides and LDL reduced considerably. Diet with high bean and legume content also lowered bad cholesterol levels in 26 other studies.
Seeds to add to your diet
Diet with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids is good for heart patients, as it reduces heart disease risk factors like high BP and inflammation. Seeds like chia, flax, and hemp are excellent sources of such nutrients. Hemp, with high arginine (amino acid), lowers inflammatory markers in the blood. In a study, patients who took 30 gm. of flax seeds per day for six months showed many heart health improvements. Their systolic and diastolic BP lowered by 10 mmHg and 7 mmHg, respectively.
Fruits and nuts – snack food good for heart
The food good for heart should have antioxidants, dietary fiber, and nutrients. The Edamame soybean is one such product with flavonoids. Even 50 gm. of this protein lowers LDL by 3%. The following fruits and nuts can also produce many heart benefits.
You can consume raw berries instead of jams, drinks, and snacks made from strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Their antioxidants lower systolic BP, LDL cholesterol, body mass index, and swelling. Avocado contains monounsaturated fats and potassium content that ensure a healthy heart. Even one avocado lowers LDL and reduces heart risk condition called metabolic syndrome. Walnuts have fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese, that reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and coronary disease risk. They lower bad LDL cholesterol by 16% and diastolic BP by 2 to 3 mmHg. Almonds have monounsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and calories. Just 43 gm. for six weeks lowers belly fat and LDL. They also increase HDL, thus clearing the arteries and stopping plaque build-up.
Omega-3 fatty acids for your heart
Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the human heart. They are rich in fish oil supplements as well as krill or algal oil. But fish foods are more savory, and they too can reduce coronary disease factors. Diastolic BP reduced in 325 subjects who ate salmon thrice a week for two months. Long-term fish consumption lowers total cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, blood fats, etc. A 100 gm reduction in weekly fish intake increased high BP, obesity, diabetes risks by 19%.
Garlic – herb for your heart
Garlic has a therapeutic compound called allicin, and it is beneficial if consumed raw. The chemicals in garlic inhibit platelet build-up and reduce stroke chances. You can reduce BP by consuming 600 to 1500 mg dose of garlic in 6 months. A review of 39 reports showed that garlic lowers total and bad LDL cholesterol levels by 17 mg/dL and 9 mg/dL.
Beverage for your heart – green tea
Green tea burns fat, lowers inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity. Its antioxidant-rich polyphenols and catechins also prevent cell damage. A high intake of green tea catechins significantly lowered LDL and total cholesterol, as per 20 different studies. An analysis of 1367 users showed a decrease in diastolic and systolic BP. Smaller studies related 3-month intake with lowered BP and blood fats.
Prevent oxidative damage with tomatoes
The food good for heart should have antioxidants that neutralize harmful free radicals. It should prevent oxidative damage and inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of heart and arterial damages. Luckily, tomatoes have these antioxidants in the form of a natural pigment called lycopene.
Low lycopene levels in the blood increase heart stroke chances, as per studies. Another study showed high HDL cholesterol levels in 50 obese women who consumed two raw tomatoes, four times a week. High HDL prevents heart disease by removing arterial plaque.
Tasty treat for your heart – dark chocolate
High-quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content is healthy. Its antioxidant-rich flavonoids boost the heart. Five chocolates per week lower coronary disease risk by 57%, and 2 per week yield a 32% decrease in risk.
Modern research relates good, nutritious diet and heart diseases. A well-balanced diet is nutritious and necessary. Consume the foods mentioned above for a healthy, young heart and incorporate a healthy exercise regime and an active lifestyle.