When it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, we hear a lot about what not to eat. But there are plenty of food items that can be part of our daily heart-healthy diet! Our diet includes, of course, heart-healthy foods such as nuts, fish, whole grains, olive oil, vegetables, and fruits, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself occasionally with a piece of dark chocolate, says Dr. Varun Gupta, MBBS MD, Medical Advisor at Nutrabooti. Simply, the most important part of healthy living is having the right diet plan. Nutritionists recommend eating specific types of food that can take care of the heart and decrease the risk of heart attacks.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are packed with nutrients that benefit your heart and vascular system. They are also rich in fibre, which helps to reduce the harmful types of cholesterol in our bodies and lower the risk of heart disease.
Salmon is a great source of protein, healthy fats, and various essential vitamins and minerals. It is one of the best sources of two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA which are known for reducing inflammation throughout the body, lowering blood pressure, and improving the function of endothelial cells.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelled, rye, etc which contains vitamins, minerals, and fibre that will help to keep your heart healthy and lower LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides.
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Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants and are packed with vitamins, and concentrated tomato products are high in lycopene, and help to protect your heart health.
Walnuts are a good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and help to maintain cardiovascular health. In your breakfast, sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top of a bowl of warm oatmeal along with a little honey or blueberries.
Beans are packed with fibre, folate, and phytates, which may help lower the risk of stroke, and they are good for heart health.
Avocado contains tons of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that work as antioxidants to protect your heart and other parts of your body.
8. Olive Oil
Olive oil is loaded with nutrients and helps to maintain heart health, most likely by lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol levels. Also, it is an essential component of a Mediterranean diet.
9. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is packed with good-for-you antioxidants that help to prevent heart disease and lower the risk of stroke.
Oats are loaded with fibre, which can lower cholesterol and protect your heart. Simply, oat foods have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, ameliorate blood glucose response, and extend satiety.
11. Soy and Soy Foods
Soy is a high-protein plant food that people can prepare and eat in a variety of ways. Soy foods have impressive cardiovascular effects, including lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol.
Seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and phytoestrogens to boost heart health. An individual can take them in ground or milled form to reap the greatest benefit.
Pomegranates are packed with numerous antioxidants, including heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins, which may help stave off the hardening of the arteries.
14. Garlic and Onions
Allium vegetables, which include garlic and onions, have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which in turn lowers the risk of artery hardening and helps in maintaining heart health. The sulphur compounds in these veggies have also been shown to open up blood flow and improve circulation.
Beets are one of the few vegetables that contain important bioactive pigments known as betalains, which provide the beets' red-violet colour. Betalains contain high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities, known to protect a variety of systems in the body, including cardiovascular health.
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