Maintaining a healthy diet that consists of the right amount of fat and other nutrients is a vital part of protecting and saving your heart from devastating conditions. There are certain kinds of food that are much healthier and recommended for you and your family to consume in large amounts because of their nutrient profiles.
…our meals are dense in calories but sparse in nutrition and flavor, so our bodies crave more nutrition and pleasure than is found on our plates. We respond to this by drowning our tasteless salad in calorie-dense dressing and reaching for that cheesecake dessert so that we get the rush of pleasure that is supposed to accompany the experience of eating. — Denise Cummins Ph.D.
According to the American Heart Association, one should make it a habit to eat a fruit and vegetable rich diet, along with appropriate amounts of whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts, and low-fat dairy goods. These should always be on top of your grocery list.
Here are some specific favorites that are effective in protecting and saving your heart from deadly cardiac conditions.
These vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll are loaded with healthy compounds that your heart will surely benefit. Also packed with fiber, leafy greens help decrease bad cholesterol and prevent heart disease. If you’re looking to lose weight healthily, you won’t go wrong with these. They have so many nutrients yet very low in calories. Try spinach leaves with Swiss chard as a side dish or just chew on some crunchy broccoli for snacks.
Salmon is a kind of fish that’s famous for its omega-3 fatty acid content. They also contain EPA and DHA, both substances very effective in reducing inflammation, decreasing blow pressure, and enhancing endothelial cell function. Just half a gram of salmon can tremendously affect the arterial function positively. Salmon is has a less fishy taste and smell and tastes delicious whether it’s steamed, grilled, or smoked.
The phytochemical quercetin is what makes red apples an important part of a heart-healthy diet. Quercetin contains various compounds that help prevent heart disease and improve heart health. It is also associated with preventing blood clots. Aside from these, apples are rich in fiber, which aid in lowering cholesterol, and contain flavonoids, which are responsible for reducing the risk of stroke and cholesterolemia. Eat an apple a day, perhaps adding some nuts on some days.
Oats And Cereals
Oats and cereals are part of the large group of whole grains, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whole grains are known to reduce triglycerides and LDL. Specifically, oats contain beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps keep one’s total cholesterol down. According to a 2015 study, whole grain oats is probably the most effective type of whole grain for reducing cholesterol. You can enjoy the taste of oatmeal if you add a little sugar and some strawberries or bananas in it. Or have a breakfast sandwich composed of whole wheat bread, lean turkey ham, a slice of avocado and tomato, and a piece of lettuce. Love pasta? Then switch to whole grain.
Per the 2011 study of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, olive oil is one of the most effective substances that keep the heart young and healthy. This is exactly why olive oil is the primary ingredient of the Mediterranean diet. This oil is rather expensive but worth the cost, as it is aids in a lot of wonderful things, like reducing endothelial dysfunction and improved cardiac function. Cook fish or meat in olive oil, or use it as a dip to whole wheat bread, mixed with a little balsamic vinegar and some herbs.
Lycopene is the main actor in tomatoes. It protects the heart and supplies it with plenty of antioxidants. Tomatoes are also rich in vitamins. You can eat it raw or add it to most of your recipes, such as salads, sandwiches, and even soup.
Walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and other kinds of nuts are mostly, if not all, heart-healthy. They have loads of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E that are powerful blood pressure and cholesterol reducers. Walnuts, in particular, are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Add them in your salad greens with sweet grapes or mangoes. They also complement well with your oatmeal. Or better yet, eat them alone.
Oleic acid is a monosaturated fatty acid that is abundant in the avocado. It helps in decreasing inflammation in the body, especially in the heart. Avocados also contain lots of phytochemicals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are very helpful in preventing cancer and heart disease. The oil that is extracted from the avocado is safe for cooking, as it is resistant to heat-induced oxidation, a process that leads to the damage in the structure of the oil, making it unhealthy.
The only drink that is included in the list, red wine contains polyphenols that are known to be great for cardiac function, but only when it is consumed in moderate amounts. Other benefits that one can get from drinking red wine are improved endothelial function, enhanced platelet activity, and an overall healthy body.
These foods (plus the red wine) are at the top of the list of must-haves in your kitchen. Practice a healthy lifestyle today and save your heart from early damage.
Mindful Eating programs train you in meditation, which helps you cope with stress, and change your consciousness around eating. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.