New Heart Healthy Tips
Since spring is right around the corner, we wanted to give you a few more heart-healthy tips to use throughout the rest of the year. In this post, we will look at foods that contribute to a healthy heart.
Studies have shown that fatty fishes like tuna, sardines, salmon, and mackerel are excellent heart-healthy protein sources. They are known to reduce plaque build-up in the arteries (atherosclerosis) and also lessen the risk and occurrence of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). Persons who are overweight may experience these issues, and as such, salmon and other fatty fishes are ideal sources of protein for them.
Tomatoes & Potatoes
Potatoes and tomatoes are ideal sources of potassium. By keeping the heart rhythm at a steady pace and lowering blood pressure, these potassium-rich foods help maintain a healthy heart. Potatoes are high in fiber and are not unhealthy unless deep-fried, etc. Both foods are excellent sources of lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is said to reduce LDL levels (bad cholesterol). LDL forms plaque build-up and blocks blood vessels, putting persons at risk for heart attack.
Avoid sweetened or flavored oats. Instead, opt for rolled or old-fashioned oats. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, a nutrient known for lowering cholesterol. Soluble fiber absorbs cholesterol within the gut. The fiber, along with the cholesterol, gets eliminated from the body to prevent absorption into the bloodstream. A study suggests that the antioxidants in oats, when combined with vitamin C, inhibits LDL oxidation. Consuming an adequate amount of oats may lower your risk of heart disease by lessening the LDL cholesterol in the body and preventing its oxidation.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables will give your heart an added dose of antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins with every bite you take. They are rich in carotenoids (pigments in plants), and they play an antioxidant role by combating compounds within the body that are potentially harmful. Some of these veggies include spinach, kale, and collard greens.
Avocado is known for its heart-healthy fats and rich potassium and antioxidant content. It’s filled with monounsaturated fat (a type of dietary fat that is liquid at room temperature and hardens when chilled). Avocados lower cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors.
A study undertaken in 2013 shows that women between ages 25 and 42 who ate more than three servings of strawberries and blueberries a week had a 32% lower risk of heart attack than those who ate less. Substances within the berries like anthocyanins (water-soluble pigments) and antioxidants flavonoids dilate blood vessels and decrease blood pressure.
These superfoods with many others, help to mitigate the primary causes of heart disease. These are atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. We encourage you to incorporate as many of these foods into your daily diet. In combination with exercise and medication, these foods will help you manage and prevent various heart diseases. Always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new diet to ensure these foods are right for you and do not interfere with your current management.
Gardner, A. (2017, February 13). 22 Heart-Healthy Foods to Start Eating ASAP. Health.com; Health.com. https://www.health.com/condition/heart-disease/22-heart-healthy-foods-to-start-eating-asap
Hrefna Palsdottir, MS. (2016, July 19). 9 Health Benefits of Eating Oats and Oatmeal. Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal#:~:text=One%20study%20reports%20that%20antioxidants,protecting%20LDL%20cholesterol%20from%20oxidation.