Heart disease is common in every household and it is a serious illness that all of us needs to be cautious about. Many surveys say that we need to include heart healthy foods for a healthy heart and free from any heart disease. A well-balanced diet will be a proper precaution to prevent any heart disease.
How to improve heart health through food?
In case you are planning to keep your heart intact and free from any illness, there are several healthy heart foods that you can add in your daily diet.
We know that there are many other ways of improving the health of your heart by doing daily exercise, quitting smoking, avoiding stress in life and annual heart check-ups. However, having a good diet with heart-healthy foods is a complementary thing that has a long term effect on the health of your heart.
Only with a simple diet change and lifestyle, you can improve the functioning of your heart by paying close attention to what you eat. According to surveys, it is seen that around 6 million of people are suffering from heart disease across the world. It is also diagnosed that half of these people are estimated to have high risky heart disease and they may die in the next 5 years.
Therefore as per the suggestion of Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we need to consume foods good for heart which are no fat foods, less cholesterol or sodium foods. These foods can be problematic to your heart.
What are heart healthy foods?
Hence, to start with, you should have a good idea that which are the healthy foods to eat for the good condition of your heart.
Having the best heart healthy foods is the core thing to do. Well, let’s have the look at some of the heart healthy foods list that can give you a robust heart free from any illness.
Asparagus has a lot of folate content in it which is a good source to homocysteine, a type of amino acid to get piled up in your body. When you have an increased rate of homocysteine in your body, it raises the risk of heart related diseases such as stroke, coronary artery disease, etc.
2. Beans, Peas, and Lentils
When you intake more amount of beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas in your daily diet, this can keep your heart more healthy and prone to fewer diseases. These pulses and legumes have the capacity to lower the levels of lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. Also, these pulses have a high content of fiber, protein, and antioxidants that are good for the general health of your heart.
Berries are rich in antioxidants like polyphenols which are one of the healthy foods for your heart. The rich nutritional value in the berries like raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, etc include some of the main healthy nutrition like folate, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, low fat, etc.
Broccoli is one of the best healthy heart foods which you can include in your daily diet. Studies show that broccoli has lower cholesterol levels and therefore it is a good option to have daily in your diet to prevent heart disease.
5. Chia seeds and flaxseeds
Chia seeds and flaz seeds have no fats as well as they are rich in omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid. When you take foods rich in omega-3 acids helps to reduce the triglycerides levels, total cholesterol, LDL, build up fatty plaques in arteries, etc. Hence it is possible to reduce the risk of any heart ailments like heart attacks, thrombosis, arrhythmias and so on. Thus it is wise to take chia seeds and flax seeds as heart healthy foods in your food list.
6. Dark chocolate
According to many sources, having dark chocolate is good for a healthy heart. Apart from its good taste, this food can even protect your heart when consumed in a moderate quantity in your diet. Chocolates have good benefits to the heart and protect from atherosclerosis wherein the arteries are filled with the plaque which will increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Coffee is another one of the top heart healthy diet foods that reduce the risks of heart illness. Thus, regularly consuming coffee is a good idea to reduce the risk of getting heart attacks and stroke.
Fish is one of the major heart healthy diets foods you can consider for the health of your heart. Fish is high in omega-3s that will keep your heart strong and healthy.
Also, these are good sources of protein and low saturated fat. If you are someone who is more prone to heart disease due to any family history, then taking fish is a good option. By eating fish, the intake of omega-3s, there is a good chance of reducing the risk of abnormal heartbeats and also lowers the plaque growth in the heart arteries.
According to the observations of the American Heart Association (AHA), we need to eat a minimum of 3.5- one ounce of fatty fish at least 2 times a week. Some of the good choices of fatty fish include mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, etc.
9. Green Tea
Green tea is considered to be one of the best heart healthy foods as per the systematic survey conducted in 2011. Having green tea daily will help to reduce cholesterol in the body. High cholesterol will lead to riskier in getting different types of heart ailments like stroke and heart blocks etc. Studies also reveal that when you consume green tea on a regular basis, it can also lower high blood pressure in your body.
Nuts are the best sources of food that are needed for a healthy heart. Almonds, cashew nuts, pista, etc are some of the nuts that are necessary for your heart’s health. These nuts are good sources of foods for a healthy heart that are full of protein, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, etc. that are very necessary to keep your heart healthy and strong.
If you are someone who likes to eat meat, then having organ meats like the liver has a high nutritional value that is a good option in your healthy heart. It contains folic acid, zinc, iron etc that increase hemoglobin in the blood which makes your blood strong and healthy and therefore, makes your heart also strong.
If you are preparing the list of heart healthy foods, oatmeal takes an important place. Oats has a high fiber content that protects the heart from the risk of different heart problems. When you take oats in a good amount daily or as much required per week, there is a good chance that your LDL levels, as well as total cholesterol, will be reduced without creating a health issue in your body.
13. Red Wine
One of the heart healthy foods to eat is red wine as these are filled with antioxidants. Hence, taking red wine in a limited quantity will not be a problem due to the health benefits of antioxidants present in red wine. However, it is suggested to drink red wine only in a moderate quantity. The new study proposes that red wine intake in the body will reduce blood clots as well as prevent any inflammation in the body, especially while doing angioplasty.
If you are looking for some of the healthy foods for your heart, another good food choice is spinach. Spinach has a good amount of magnesium that has several health benefits to protect your heart.
Tomatoes are another good food that can improve the functioning of your heart and keep it healthy. Tomatoes is one of the best heart healthy foods include healthy nutrition like fiber, potassium, folate, choline, etc, and all these nutrients help the heart to function well without any diseases. The potassium present in the tomatoes makes your bones and muscles healthy and prevents kidney stones. However, when you take more potassium in your body will also reduce sodium levels. This is one thing that you need to care about while having foods with more potassium levels.
As you know vegetables are a good source of food that has much nutritional value. According to AHA, you need to take 8 or more servings of vegetables per day. However, it is better to take vegetables which are of low fat and calories, a good amount of fibers, minerals, and vitamins. Having a good quantity of vegetables reduces the overweight tendencies in you as well as maintains the blood pressure. This, in turn, is helpful in maintaining a healthy heart. You can include vegetables as heart healthy breakfast foods or for your lunch or dinner.
With the growing number of heart diseases every day, we all need to take the necessary precautions to avoid any type of heart disease. Consider eating top heart healthy foods in your diet and keep your heart healthy and strong. In this way, you can protect your heart and keep heart healthy foods your daily routine. A healthy heart makes a healthy you!
If you are unsure about some of the healthy foods for the heart and their recipies, then here is a list of it which you can follow on a daily basis to maintain a healthy heart and prevent any heart disease to come in future also.
- Spaghetti with sardines and cherry tomatoes
- Beetroot hummus
- Vegetable salads
- Fish salads
- Raita with cucumber
Having a balanced diet for lunch to maintain a healthy heart is necessary on a regular basis. Here are some of the best lunch choices for a healthy heart:
- Cauliflower Rice Lunch Bowl
- Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas salad
- Spicy Salmon Black Bean Salad. ...
- Veg and Chicken Soup.
- Warm Beet and Farro Salad.
It is necessary to also consider heart healthy foods to avoid when you follow a healthy heart diet. You need to avoid foods that are made using oil and processed foods. For instance, having fried foods and junk foods are not at all good for your heart. Your heart stays strong when you take organic foods that are fresh and natural. If you still prefer to cook something in oil, you can choose oils like extra virgin olive oil, canola, peanut oil, etc.
These fried foods, alcohol, junk foods, etc. can lead to diseases like coroner artery diseases, stroke, etc. Some of the other risk factors of having these foods include diabetes, obesity, smoking, etc.
Also, you need to take care of those foods that are high in trans-fat and saturated fat are to be avoided if you are diagnosed with heart disease. Some of these fatty foods to be avoided are as below:
- Cakes and pastries
- Foods fried in oil
While buying any such foods, you need to read the nutrition label properly to check if it has a more saturated and trans fat content. According to the American Heart Association, we are not supposed to consume more saturated fat and trans fat on an everyday basis.
If you are a non-vegetarian, you need to also make sure that over meat consumption is not a good thing. One to two meals, it is better to go meatless. You do not have to totally eliminate the intake of red meat in your diet. You can eat red meat up to six ounces a day.