Though it is quite tough to change your eating habits, there are certain foods that can actually help you to gain good heart health. Once you know which foods are best for your heart by adopting them you will gradually proceed towards the goal of getting a healthy heart.
Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol. It works like a sponge in the digestive tract and soaks up the cholesterol so it is removed from the body and not absorbed into the bloodstream. It is recommended to not consume instant oatmeal, which often contains sugar, and to look instead for old-fashioned or even quick-cooking oats. Other whole grains such as bajra, and jowar are also excellent sources to eat.
Oranges and grapefruits have high amounts of flavonoids that nearly 19% reduces the risk of ischemic stroke (caused by a clot). Citrus fruits are also rich in vitamin C, which has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Do not consume citrus juices that contain added sugar.
Garlic is used for several conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high and low blood pressure, high cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, decreased blood flow due to narrowed arteries, and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C present in mushrooms all contribute to cardiovascular health. Potassium and sodium combined work in the body to help regulate blood pressure. Besides, an intake of 3 grams of beta-glucans every day can lower blood cholesterol levels by approximately 5%.
Tomato consumption is quite popular in India. Be it raw or in a curry. Tomatoes are high in heart-healthy potassium. Besides, they’re a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that helps to get rid of bad cholesterol, keep blood vessels open, and reduce the heart attack risk. Since they’re low in calories and low in sugar, they don’t detract from an already-healthy diet.
Walnuts contain good-for-your-heart fiber. They also contain vitamin E, which helps lower bad cholesterol. And walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Some people in the past used to avoid it because they’re higher in fat, but if one eats walnuts daily they are leaner than people who don’t. And leaner people are at a lower risk of getting heart problems.
When it comes to your health, you really can’t skip vegetables. But green vegetables will give an extra boost to your heart. They are filled with carotenoids, which work as antioxidants and free your body of potentially harmful compounds. They’re also rich in fiber and contain tons of vitamins and minerals. Spinach is one of those leafy green vegetables that could be extremely beneficial to keep your heart healthy.
(By Ms. Avni Kaul, Nutritionist, Wellness Coach & Certified Diabetic Educator, Founder of NutriActivania)