Do you know that heart diseases account for nearly 1/3rd deaths across the world? In India also the cardiovascular diseases are rising at an alarming rate. To keep yourself away from the risk of heart-related problems, all you need to do is bring some kind of food in your regular menu. Food gives us energy and builds our body inch by inch. Therefore, the selection of good food is important. In fact, certain foods can impact blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Here are a few examples of heart-healthy food types that should be in your grocery list from tomorrow:
You must have been served almonds in the morning that were soaked in water overnight especially before exams. Ancestors used to say that almonds sharpens the brains and helps in memorizing things. But do you know almonds also have other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that provide you a healthy heart? They are great sources of monounsaturated fats and fibers that help fighting heart diseases. They also have a powerful effect on cholesterol levels and helps you in losing weight too.
Many studies have revealed that berries can reduce the risk of heart diseases. Those fresh, juicy, and tasty strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are loaded with antioxidants that play a pivotal role in keeping your heart healthy. Anthocyanins – they are the primary antioxidant that is present in berries and they protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that in turn develops heart diseases. So, include berries in your breakfast or have them as snacks.
Fatty Fish & Fish Oils:
You may not like the smell of fishes or you may have never consumed fish in your life, but knowing the benefits of eating fish may change your mind. Fatty fishes like mackerel, tuna, salmon, and sardines are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids which is a prime ingredient behind a healthy heart. Those who consume fish regularly have lower cholesterol.
The fresh red tomatoes have lycopene – it is a natural pigment with powerful antioxidants. This helps in neutralizing the harmful free radicals, prevents oxidative damage, reduces inflammation, and finally promotes a healthy heart. Have more tomatoes in your salads or have it in juice form.
Green Leafy Veggies:
Nothing can be as healthy as the fresh and green spinach, kale, and collard greens. They are rich in minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. In particular, these green leafy veggies are rich in Vitamin K that helps in protecting your arteries. They also promote proper blood clotting. Green leafy veggies also reduce BP, arterial stiffness, and improves the functioning of cells lining the blood vessels.
Replacing your normal mustard oil or refined oil with olive oil will give you great health. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and the risk of heart ailments. It is also a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids that improves heart health. Use olive oil for your salads, stir-fries, and all kinds of cooking.
Whole grains generally include whole wheat, oats, brown rice, rye, quinoa, barley, and buckwheat. Compared to the refined grains, these whole grains have high fiber content that reduces bad cholesterol and thus the risk of heart diseases also decreases.
In India, garlic is very common in various food types. For centuries, garlic has been used as a natural remedy to treat a variety of ailments and now recently it has also been proved to have medical properties that help in keeping the heart safe. A compound named Allicin is found in garlic that is believed to have a multitude of therapeutic effects. Garlic improves BP and cholesterol and helps inhibit blood clot formation. But simply frying the pieces and using in food is not going to help you. Have it raw one or two cloves daily. You can also crush it and let it sit for a few minutes before using it for cooking. This process allows the formation of Allicin.
Green tea is like the revelation of the century – isn’t it? From aiding in weight loss to solving indigestion, from giving a glowing skin to now lowering risks of heart diseases – is there anything else that green tea cannot do?
Green tea is a rich source of polyphenols and catechins. Thus it helps in lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. They also help in reducing cell damage, inflammation, and protecting the overall heart health. So, replace your normal milk-sugar tea with green tea. Green tea is available in a variety of flavors like ginger, tulsi, lemon, chamomile, etc. Choose the one you like and stay hale and hearty. But once in two days you can enjoy your kind of milk and sugar tea but don’t forget to increase your intake of green tea on those cheat days.
Many people don’t like the taste of dark chocolates – because it is devoid of sweetness. It has more cocoa content that leads to a bitter taste. This high cocoa content makes it rich in antioxidants like flavonoids that boosts a healthy heart. Consumption of a bite of dark chocolate daily leads to lower risks of heart diseases. A study on a group of people who consumed dark chocolates 5 times a week had 57% less risk of heart diseases. So, pick up the dark chocolates with more than 70 % of cocoa content and keep your heart cheerful.