One of the most widespread diseases nowadays is definitely heart disease. We must take care for our heart and we can do that by making some changes first. We need to start having a healthy diet, even though many people can’t stand it, because it tastes not so good. Still, there are numerous foods we can eat that are still very healthy and are excellent for your heart health.
The Basics of Heart Health
Our heart is actually the most important muscle in our body. We need it because it can pump 5 or 6 quarts of blood every minute and beat over 100,000 times a day. Its inside contains 4 hollow chambers, while on the outside it’s all from muscles.
Heart disease is a term which refers to various heart problems like plaque, heart attack and numerous other heart problems like:
- Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
- Some heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
- Blood vessel diseases, like for example coronary artery disease
These are some symptoms of heart disease:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain (angina)
- Weakness, pain, coldness or numbness in your legs or arms
- Pain in the throat, neck, upper abdomen, jaw or back
These things can make your heart very stressed:
Smoking: Nicotine can cause heart attack or atherosclerosis because it has the ability to constrict the blood vessels.
Poor diet: Heart diseases can appear because of eating too much cholesterol, fat, salt or sugar.
High blood pressure: Chronic blood pressure which is high thickens, hardens and narrows the blood vessels.
High cholesterol: High cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis and arterial plaque.
Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition that has the ability to increase the risk of heart disease.
Obesity: Excess of weight can cause various risk factors.
Physical inactivity: If you don’t exercise often, your heart muscle will weaken and numerous illnesses and diseases may appear.
Stress: Weak heart and blood vessels appear because of stress.
Poor immune function: Heart infections can also appear because of some viral infections.
Top 17 Heart Healthy Foods
Avocado is abundant in contains potassium, fiber, vitamin C, healthy fats and vitamin B. It’s very tasty and you can include it anywhere you want to. Another option is to use avocado oil.
Blueberries contain plenty of antioxidants. They also contain flavonoids and anthocyanins which can lower the blood pressure as well as dilate our blood vessels. Blueberries contain plenty of fiber.
Almonds are full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats, magnesium and vitamin E. They are all excellent for our heart. All nuts are good for our heart health. They are also excellent against diabetes and gallstones in women.
Dark chocolate is actually the tastiest food for our heart. It is abundant in flavanols, anti-inflammatories probably that fight inflammation, clotting and high blood pressure. It can also decrease the levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. Make sure you buy the one which contains cocoa more than 70% or at least 70%.
Papaya is a tropical fruit which is very tasty and contains plenty of vitamin A and C, folic acid, potassium and fiber. Potassium is very important as it can reduce any heart disease. Papaya can help us against poor digestion, diabetes, high blood glucose, cancer, slow wound healing and high blood pressure.
This type is healthier than ordinary potatoes. They are full of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.
Potassium is very important because it reduces chronic inflammation, helps us lose fat etc.
Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers contain the most vitamin C and A, but also capsaicin, which helps us have better blood flow and decrease our cholesterol. Capsaicin can also help us against clotting.
Red wine is really healthy for our health. It protects our blood vessels. If we drink it in small amounts regularly it can help us prevent stress, protect our whole cardiovascular system etc.
Oranges contain plenty of flavones. They are good because they increase the levels of good cholesterol in our body. Eat them or prepare fresh juice!
Salmon contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. They help us decrease the risk of atherosclerosis and arrhythmia, but they also decrease our triglyceride levels. Try to eat fatty fish 2 times a week.
Pomegranate is very healthy for our heart. It contains plenty of anthocyanins, soluble polyphenols and tannins.
Tomatoes are excellent for our heart since they contain plenty of vitamin C, lycopene, folate, beta-carotene, vitamin E, potassium and flavonoids. They are all extremely important because they can reduce the platelet aggregation, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and homocysteine.
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which decrease our cholesterol. It is extremely beneficial for our digestive tract. You can use it for breakfast or as an addition into your smoothies.
Extra-virgin olive oil can decrease heart attacks if you intake it every day. It contains plenty of monounsaturated fats that are excellent for our blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Red Grapes and Raisins
Red grapes also contain resveratrol like red wine and are excellent for our blood. You can eat them as raisins, too. They contain plenty of potassium, fiber and antioxidants.
This type of seed is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. You can also use chia seeds.
Green tea is abundant in catechins that can prevent ischemic heart diseases, atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy endothelial dysfunction, as well as congestive heart failure. They decrease the oxidative stress.
How to Prevent Heart Disease
You must take care of your heart every day. Make sure you intake healthy food, regulate the sizes of your portions, avoid unhealthy fats and sodium.
Intake plenty of quinoa, whole grains, teff, barley and amaranth. Avoid processed meats and alcohol; stop smoking. Be well hydrated, decrease the stress and exercise every day!