7 Heart-Friendly Foods
Our current fast-paced life and erroneous food habits have propelled us to lead very unhealthy lives. It is, therefore, imperative that we stop for some introspection and understand how much harm we are causing ourselves. Indulging in junk and processed food leads to hiking levels of bad cholesterol that inevitably push us towards cardiovascular diseases. But is there no going back? As a matter of fact, there is, and here is how:
- Dark Chocolate: Everybody loves some chocolate. But did you know it could keep your heart healthy? Dark chocolate is made from cocoa that contains antioxidants called flavonoids. These flavonoids are responsible for preventing your blood from clotting, reducing inflammation, and regulating blood pressure, thereby preventing your heart from going into overdrive under any circumstances. However, remember that it is dark chocolate that is beneficial, not milk chocolate.
Tomatoes: Red, luscious tomatoes are extremely useful for the upkeep of your health. Tomatoes contain anthocyanin called lycopene that gives it the red color. This pigment is also an antioxidant, and it helps to lower the levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol, as we know it, in the body. It also helps keep blood vessels dilated and reduces the risks of a cardiac attack. Also, tomatoes are low in calories as well as has low sugar content, so you can enjoy them without restraint.
Green Tea: While most people indulge in a warm cup of green tea to kickstart their day with gusto, most seldom realize the benefits they provide. Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which prolong longevity by treating heart diseases. The antioxidants suppress the inflammatory response of your body caused due to lipids and triglyceride deposits. Scientists have discovered that people who drink as many as twelve ounces of green tea every day have much lower risks of succumbing to a heart attack than those who don’t at all.
- Almonds: Nuts, on the whole, are considered great for health. Almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids that is one of the healthy fats required by your body to increase the levels of High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), or what we cal “good” cholesterol. This cholesterol keeps your heart healthy and comprises fats that burn quickly without forming deposits. Almonds also contain vitamin E, another nutrient that helps regulate the levels of LDL in your blood. Also, the relatively high calorie and fiber content in almonds make them an excellent choice for weight management.
Red Wine: You might be wondering, why red wine? Well, studies have found that red wine, or any other alcohol in small amounts, can, in fact, protect your heart. Red wine, though, contains polyphenols that provide added benefits to your health. Resveratrol, the polyphenol in red wine, helps lower cholesterol levels in your blood. However, more than a drink or two every day can prove to be stressful for your liver and cause harm.
Berries: All berries are high sources of antioxidants. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant content, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. They contain the pigment anthocyanin as well as an antioxidant like flavonoids that dilate your blood vessels and reduce instances of cardiac arrests. They also contain an adequate amount of fiber that facilitates weight management as well as helps to flush the toxins out of your body.
- Salmon: Seafood, especially salmon, is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids.It can cure arrhythmia or irregular pulse rate and plaque build-up in the arteries. Both these conditions affect your heart and cause various diseases. Salmon also lowers your lipid profiles and helps keep your heart healthy.
Try these foods and dial back on good health. Most importantly, have a balanced diet and do regular exercise. It will ensure optimum health as well as keep your heart in a great condition.