As we all know, heart disease is nearly a good portion of worldwide deaths, approximately one-third. There are many foods that play a major influence in heart disease risk factors: blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, as well as inflammation. There are over six million people living with cardiovascular disease and half of that number dies within the five-year limit; luckily, there are some foods out there that can prevent heart failure from happening. In order for this plan to succeed, one must be very dedicated to wanting a healthy heart by eating the right foods. Here’s a list of low sodium foods that you can eat, and what they can do for your heart.
Eat your green vegetables
Spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard, and Bok Choy are the best greens giving your heart vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. They also contain vitamin K, and this protects your arteries, and helps rid unnecessary blood clotting. There’s also broccoli and asparagus; these contain high amounts of vitamin C, E, potassium, calcium, and fiber.
Dietary nitrates are also contained in green veggies, and that can help reduce a person’s blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and improve blood cell lining. High intakes of green vegetables are linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease. Can you imagine how healthy Popeye’s heart is from all that spinach?
There are three parts of the nutrient-rich ingredient: germ, endosperm, and bran. Examples of the common types of whole grains are:
- Whole wheat—high in fiber, but refined. Helps in digestion.
- Brown rice—highly nutritious in fiber, vitamins/minerals, helps weight loss.
- Oats—rich in soluble fiber, lowers cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Rye—good source of manganese and dietary fiber.
- Barley—high nutrients, benefits for heart/blood pressure, maintains weight, high source of manganese and selenium.
- Buckwheat—good source of protein, fiber, and healthy carbs.
- Quinoa—prevents several diseases, high in antioxidants.
Whole grains are known to be much higher in fiber, which rids bad cholesterol. Having more grains in your diet helps benefit a healthy heart. Always look at packaged foods on the labels that read “whole grain” or whole wheat.
This particular grain gives great health benefits, and when eaten it reduces risk of diseases, and provides many vital nutrients for the health of the human body. Whole grains, according to research studies, lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease, with the exception of lowering blood pressure.
There are good sources of berries that contain phytonutrients, which are heart-healthy, and full of soluble fiber: blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. They play an important role in having a healthy heart, as they are so rich in antioxidants, which protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. From scientific studies, berries reduce multiple factors of heart disease if plenty are eaten.
There are plenty of people who don’t like beans, but they are beneficial to a healthy heart, did you know eating beans resists digestion and fermentation by good bacteria for the stomach? Resistant starch helps improve your heart as it decreases blood levels and cholesterol. These beans include:
- Legumes—dried beans, chickpeas lentils, garbanzo, pinto, and kidney and black beans, very high in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.
- Soy—edamame beans that are high in fiber, can be used as a cheese or meat replacement.
Nuts and Seeds
Some seeds have a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, phytoestrogens that can boost the improvement of a healthy heart. The seeds included are:
- Flaxseeds—omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, controls blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Chia Seeds—similar in style to flax seeds, but also has protein.
- Hemp Seeds—high in arginine, reduces blood levels of inflammation.
The best kinds of nuts that are healthy for your heart are almonds and walnuts. Almonds are nutrient-dense with many vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of fiber and other nutrients to battle against heart disease. Walnuts are a great source of fiber and magnesium with other micronutrients. Your heart can be protected with just a few walnuts in your diet.
When eaten moderately, this is the one and only chocolate that a person can get away with eating without worrying too much, compared to what other sweets do to your teeth, as well as your heart. Dark chocolate is super rich in antioxidants that can boost heart health; it has been studied that eating chocolate helps lower heart disease risk, and if eaten five times a week, it gives a 32 percent chance of lowering coronary heart disease than those who don’t eat it. Eating dark chocolate also lowers the risk of calcified plaque in the arteries. Higher percentages of cocoa (like 70 percent) has more protein and fiber with a decrease in sugar, milk chocolate is a good way to start off!
Start making your heart healthy now!
There are many other foods that help with healthy hearts that weren’t mentioned, and there are many delicious, tasty recipes to start off with. If you’re dedicated to pumping your heart with healthy oxygen and nutrients (and be disease-free), then the diet change is totally worth it!