Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among Americans today. While improvements have been made in recent years, it is still crucial to preserve your heart health in order to prevent disease and complications, and live the longest, healthiest life possible.
Aside from regular exercise, your diet should consist of foods that have been proven to benefit the human heart. With that said, below are some of the most effective foods in maintaining a healthy heart that you should consider adding to your diet, if you haven’t already done so.
Like many different kinds of fish, salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lowering one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, in addition to lowering blood pressure and reduce blood clotting. Eating fish in general is strongly suggested by many medical professionals today, and salmon is one the best options out there with a high amount of protein, B vitamins, selenium, and potassium.
Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes all have high concentrations of flavonoids, which can reduce one’s risk of stroke. Citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C as well; another nutrient that has been found to prevent coronary artery disease, strengthen blood vessel walls, and improve vasodilation. However, take note of citrus juices that may have considerable amounts of added sugar.
There are plenty of nuts that contain fiber and vitamin E, both of which can effectively lower cholesterol. These include almonds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts. Some of these even possess omega-3 fatty acids, much like salmon and other types of fish. Though they may be higher in fat than other snacks, they are monounsaturated fats, which are actually quite heart-healthy.
Another food containing high amounts of fiber, oatmeal is great for those struggling with cholesterol problems. In fact, it has plenty of soluble fiber, which almost acts like a sponge within the digestive system, preventing cholesterol from entering the bloodstream. Be sure to look for traditional oatmeal recipes, as many of the instant-cook brands contain large amounts of sugar. The key is to consume grain foods with all of the grain and no additives.
Almost everyone understands the health benefits that come with eating vegetables, and the greener, the better. Broccoli, spinach, kale, and green beans have all been found to preserve your heart health. They are all plentiful in carotenoids, which are essentially antioxidants within the human body, purging our systems of potentially damaging substances.