Heart diseases are widespread and account for at least one-third of the deaths that happen worldwide. Most of the experts comment on how heart health is regulated due to minor changes in diet and how it can impact the risk of heart disease. In fact, there is ample research on how certain foods impact blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels, and good or bad cholesterol of your heart. There are some brilliant antidotes in nature for heart problems. In my hunt for healthier foods for the heart, I came across an interesting piece of the list of foods by a heart specialist in Lahore.
To maximize my health benefits, I went for them and gave myself a three-month ultimatum. 2 weeks down I immediately started seeing productive results. I felt sharper and more focused throughout my day and not to mention how active and light I was.
If you are also health frantic like me looking for various ways to help improve your heart health here are 6 foods that you should be eating to maximize your heart health.
- Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are actually one of the best foods you can ever have. Remember when popeye used to puff up after one can of spinach? Well turns out spinach is as gold as it was shown on TV at that time.
Your greens are full of healthy Vitamin K which is an important vitamin for your arteries and blood clotting. They are also quite high in dietary nitrates and drastically reduces blood pressure, arterial stiffness and improves the inflammation of our blood vessels.
Certain studies have also found out how a certain amount of leafy vegetables can help reduce heart disease.
So make sure to eat your greens right folks!
- Whole Grains
Some common types of whole grains include whole wheat, brown ic, oats , barely, buckwheat, quinoa and rye. All of these are rich in high quality fibre and help reduce bad LDL cholesterol. Including more whole grains into your diet can greatly benefit your heart health.
When purchasing anything made out of wheat, make sure to carefully read the label, and read between the lines of wheat flour, multigrain and other kinds of wheat by-products.
- Fatty Fish and Fish oil
Omega-3 Fatty acids are one of a kind for people with heart health. Rather Omega- 3 fatty acids should be taken as a supplement by everyone. There have been extensive studies and the health benefits associated with eating fish. It is also linked with lower and controlled blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
If you cannot consume fatty fish directly, make sure you at least yourself omega-3 fatty acid capsules. You can find them at any local pharmacy near you.
- Olive Oil
If you are using canola oil, you should immediately switch to olive oil. Olive oil is packed with rich antioxidants, relieves inflammation, and improves the chances of chronic heart conditions. It is highly rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and many studies have associated it with improvements in heart health. Olive oil is associated with low systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The best way to consume olive oil is to drizzle it directly on overcooked dishes, salads or use it as a raw subtitle in sauces and vinaigrettes.
- Green Tea
Green tea is another excellent beverage for people with heart health issues. It is often brimming with polyphenols, catechins, and other beneficial antioxidants that reduce inflammation of vessels and protect the health of your heart.
During my internship at al shafi hospital in Pakistan, I would often see their doctors giving almonds to patients in the cardiac ward. I have always had a very negative calorie-filled impression of almonds and how giving them to people with heart conditions may not be the smartest idea. To my surprise, I learned how nutrient-dense almonds are and can replace a lot of your daily dose of vitamins. They are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats that in return helps clear plaque buildup in arteries for a smooth blood flow.
As research becomes more advanced, diet and heart diseases go hand in hand. What you are putting on your plate can strongly impact your health and help you stay in good shape.