Can the items in your refrigerator truly save your life? A growing body of literature indicates that what you drink and eat can protect your body from a variety of health problems—and studies have also shown that up to a 70percent of total cardiovascular disease cases can be avoided by making the right dietary choices. Here are the top 8 Best Foods For Your Heart you should know.
Almost all fruit is beneficial to your health—cherries, strawberries, mangos, and peaches—yum! However, these blue-hued beauties do work hard to give you free antioxidant properties and vitamin C, both of which are potent stress relievers. They’re low calorie and sugar, so that you can eat as much as you want without feeling guilty (or fat). Blueberries are also high in fiber, which can help with cramping and digestive problems when you’re stressed.
Best Foods For Your Heart: Dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa; 85 percent is ideal) is not only a stress reliever, but it is also heart-healthy! Researchers from the University of Scranton discovered that feeding 6 ozs of dark chocolate per day reduced bad cholesterol. That is not all. Another study discovered that cocoa contains phenols, which are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory compounds that lower your risk of heart disease by preventing fat-like substances in the blood from oxidizing and clogging your arteries.
Almonds’ vitamin E, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, and zinc all contribute to the health benefits of a couple of dozen (about 1/4 cup per day) crunchy almonds. B vitamins and magnesium aid in the production of serotonin, which regulates mood. Zinc has been shown to combat some of the consequences of stress, whereas vitamin E is an antioxidant that destroys free radicals associated with stress and cardiovascular disease.
Is it time to make pie? A University of Michigan study discovered that rats given whole tart cherry flour combined with a high-fat diet used to have lower blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides, as well as decreased rates of molecules associated with inflammation and disease. The rats also had less belly fat, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
“The bright red color of tart cherries comes from powerful antioxidants, anthocyanins that researchers have linked to the fruit’s unique health properties, ranging from anti-inflammatory as well as heart health benefits to lowered post-exercise strains and sprains,” says Mitzi Dulan, RD, a fitness and nutrition expert. “Include frozen cherries in smoothies, sprinkle dried cherries on a salad, or mix dried cherries with almonds as a snack.”
The pumpkin seed oil contains phytoestrogens, which have been shown in studies to improve Hdl ( good ) cholesterol in postmenopausal women. Furthermore, animal studies revealed that the oil can help reduce blood pressure as well as protect against cardiovascular disease. Roast pumpkin seeds for one crunchy snack, or look for pumpkin seed oil available on the internet or in specialty stores. This is, by the way, the ideal route to roast pumpkin seeds.
Do you want something to eat? Reach for some raisins, which may be a heart-healthy way to decrease blood pressure, according to the American College of Cardiology. According to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting, people with gently high blood pressure who decided to add small amounts of raisins to their diet 3 times per day were able to greatly lower their blood pressure. The study did not attempt to determine which nutrient in raisins was likely to have an effect, but raisins are high in potassium, which is known to be beneficial to people with high blood pressure.
“For someone who does not drink cow’s milk, soy milk would that’s my next choice,” Severson says. “It has protein levels comparable to cow’s milk and some isoflavone benefit.” According to some research, isoflavones may provide heart benefits such as improving cardiovascular health in postmenopausal women.
Other plant-based milk, such as almond and oat, do not contain protein, as well as the calcium they do comprise has been added, “so this is the same as taking calcium supplements,” according to Severson. Plant proteins are significantly superior to animal proteins. For the most health benefits, choose soy milk with little or no added sugar.
Best Foods For Your Heart: Cracked wheat, faro, barley, millet, and quinoa are just a few of 19 whole grains that can be used in a variety of dishes. Whole grains digest gradually, allowing you to feel fuller for longer. Furthermore, they increase serotonin rates and make you happy—and they lighten your mood since they are delicious!
A half-cup serving of any whole grain, along with vegetables and lean protein, should have you strolling down the bright side of the street in no time. Follow the package instructions for preparation, but keep in mind that most whole grains don’t require any special preparation.
Add these Best Foods For Your Heart to your daily diet, and your heart will thank you for decades.