Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide. Diet plays a major role in heart health and can impact your risk of heart disease.
Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits.
More than 1 in 10 Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease. Picking the right healthy foods can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States. In this Spotlight, we outline some foods that, when consumed as part of a well-rounded diet, might help to keep your heart healthy.
You can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by eating certain foods every day,” says preventive cardiology dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD.
There is a great variety of fruits and vegetables that are good for your heart
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables and are undoubtedly healthful foods. They boost your immune system, providing the nutrients your body needs and help reduce inflammation.
Antioxidants in fruit and vegetables offer protection against heart disease. Fruit and vegetables are also important sources of folate, which helps lower the blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which appears to be linked to an increased risk of heart disease
Broccoli Is Good for the Heart
University of Connecticut researchers reports that news after studying broccoli and heart health in rats. The scientists brewed a broccoli extract and fed it to rats for a month in addition to regular rat chow.
Broccoli has an impressive nutritional profile. It is “high in fiber, very high in vitamin C and has potassium, B6 and vitamin A,” raved Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin.
Apples In A Basket
An apple a day may keep the cardiologist away. But why exactly is that? Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that blocks cholesterol absorption in your gut.
Like beans, they also have polyphenols and other antioxidants that fight heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
This ocean-going fish is a top choice because it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. “Omega-3s have an anti-clotting effect, so they keep your blood flowing,” says Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., RD, Bickford Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont.
There are several potential mechanisms for the favorable effects of omega-3 fatty acids on overall cardiovascular health (Table 1). Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride levels and increase high-density lipoprotein (ie, good cholesterol) levels.
Avocado Tuna Salad
Tuna salad made with ½ mashed avocado with sliced grapes and few chopped walnuts, lettuce and a slice of tomato on 1 slice of whole-grain bread or a bed of greens
Choose fiber-rich whole grains for most grain servings.
Dietary fiber can help you improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and even type 2 diabetes. Fiber for the win!
Choose poultry and fish without skin and prepare them in healthy ways without added saturated and trans fat. If you choose to eat meat, look for the leanest cuts available and prepare them in healthy and delicious ways.
Whole grains not only do they provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed to keep your family healthy but whole grains also contain dietary fiber, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes and other health problems, such as constipation.
Whole grains are simply grains that have all three parts intact. They’re typically high in iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, B vitamins and dietary fiber (1).