Consuming the best heart-healthy foods to boost your heart health is one way to reduce your risks for cardiovascular diseases. Making the right food choices can dramatically lower your risk for strokes and heart attacks. Nutrient-rich foods that have minerals, protein, whole grains and other nutrients but are lower in calories may help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Ten Heart-Healthy Foods that protect your cardiovascular system!
Carrots – rich in beta carotene and fiber
Carrots are rich in carotenoids – fat-soluble compounds reducing a range of cancers, as well as decreasing risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Aim for 1/2 cup of carrots a day.
Add this Super Tasty Carrots Smoothie to your heart-healthy diet.
Black and green tea – rich in flavonoids
All types of antioxidant-rich tea (white, black, green) can help decrease LDL, but green tea, which is especially high in the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has given awesome results in reducing LDL levels – by about 2 percent.
You can read here about the 5 Proven Benefits of Green Tea.
Garlic – lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
There are some evidences that show garlic may help prevent heart disease. It may slow down atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries, and help lower blood pressure.
Salmon – rich in omega 3 fatty acids – reduces triglycerides and cholesterol
The American Heart Association suggests that two portions of oily fish like salmon a week, can lower your risk of heart disease and keep your heart strong. This fatty fish is a top pick among heart-healthy foods, because it has plentiful amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that omega-3 lowers the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), atherosclerosis (plaque buildup), and reduces triglyceride in the blood which can lead to heart disease.
Try this Healthy Nutritious Salmon Recipe for a healthy lunch.
Broccoli – rich in antioxidants and fiber
Together with other green vegetables like kale and spinach, broccoli have anti inflammatory and detoxifying effects. This powerful veggie is rich in sulforaphane, which stimulates production of enzymes that protect the blood vessels, and lowers the number of molecules that cause cell damage by up to 73 percent.
Try this Delicious Broccoli Pasta Recipe to satisfy your daily dose of broccoli.
Nuts – rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E
A handful of nuts every day can cut your risk of heart disease in 50 percent, because they contain hearty monounsaturated fats. When you consume monounsaturated fatty acids, you increase your good HDL cholesterol and cut your bad LDL cholesterol in the blood. Buy raw or roasted walnuts without the added salt. One portion of walnuts – about seven nuts – is always a good idea, but especially as an after-workout recovery treat.
For more walnut benefits, try This Walnut Recipe that naturally prevents breast cancer.
Onion – improves HDL cholesterol
Onions, along with green tea and broccoli, the richest sources of flavonoids, have proven to lower the risk of heart disease by 20% in one recent study that evaluated the dietary health of over 100,000 people. The Tufts University Vascular Laboratory at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston, found out that half a medium size raw onion a day is enough to dramatically raise HDL cholesterol.
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Soy foods – plant proteins
The American Heart Association recommends that consuming soy protein foods instead of foods high in animal fats, is beneficial to heart health. Eating soy products is a great way to raise your plant protein. A recent research shows that including more plant protein in your diet, instead of consuming carbohydrates, has many cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing blood pressure. Eating soy products is an excellent way to boost your fiber consumption as well. Fiber reduces cholesterol and lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Tomatoes – antioxidant lycopene
Tomatoes has plenty of the antioxidant lycopene that keeps blood vessels healthy and protects them from damage. Studies show that consuming tomatoes on a regular base, lower the risk of heart diseases by as much as 25%.They’re high in potassium as well, which is important in controlling blood pressure by minimizing the effects of sodium. Aim for about eight red cherry tomatoes a day or a glass of tomato juice.
Berries – great source of anthocyanin
Blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants and are a great source of anthocyanin, plant chemicals that prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries. These heart-healthy foods are also full of vitamin C, magnesium, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, calcium and fiber, all of which are beneficial for your heart. Consume 1 cup of fresh berries a day or half a cup frozen berries.
Did you know that Raspberries Kill Cancer Cells and Stop Tumor Growth? Start eating berries today!