Heart disease kills millions of people every year. One of the reasons of increasing heart diseases among people is the food we eat. While some foods can cause to cholesterol rise and heart problems other foods can lower cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. It should be noted that just eating these foods alone will not be enough and you have to maintain a general level of healthiness and fitness to truly stay clear of heart disease. But eating the following foods will definitely help. Here are the top 10 foods that lower the risk of heart disease.
Soy is the favorite of vegetarians as it provides them with the necessary proteins. But even if you are not vegetarian soy can work for you by lowering cholesterol. It is also low in saturated fat and is a healthy food choice. You can get soy in the form of tofu or as soy milk. One point to remember about soy is that some commercial soy products may contain a lot of salt which is not good for your blood pressure.
Flaxseeds are very good source of the good type of fats. Flaxseeds are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. They are also very good source of fiber. You don’t have to consume a lot and a sprinkling of flaxseeds over your cereal every morning can work wonders for your heart.
Eating green vegetables regularly is very good for the health. Any green and leafy vegetable will do but spinach is the best. It contains lutein, folate, potassium, iron, calcium and fiber. There was a reason why Popeye the sailor ate spinach before beating up Brutus and running away with Olive Oyl (she’s down in this list).
7. Kidney Beans:
Legumes and pulses of all types are healthy and good for the heart. Kidney beans are particularly good as they are low in fat, high in protein and fiber and vitamins. They are cholesterol free and have a low glycemic index which means that they provide energy for a long time and help you stay full. The dried varieties are better than canned ones as the canning process uses a lot of salt for preservation.
Prunes or the fresh plums are both good for the heart. They are known for their laxative properties but they are also rich in fiber and iron. They are known to reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood. Prunes are also good against colon cancer. Plums also provide beta-carotene.
Nuts contain the good oils and are also rich in proteins and fiber. Walnuts are one of the best nuts to add to your diet. They contain good minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc. They also contain polyunsaturated fats that provide omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts can be eaten as a snack or added to salads and other dishes. They should be eaten within limits though as too much of fat is not good even if it’s unsaturated. Apart from making your heart healthier, it also increases your sex power.
Oatmeal is the best breakfast to start your day off with a heart healthy meal. They are full of omega 3 fatty acids, folate and potassium. They are rich in fiber and have a low glycemic index. They help lower the LDL cholesterol to keep the arteries clear. The instant oatmeal should be avoided as it contains a lot of sugar.
3. Olive Oil:
The best oil for a healthy heart is the olive oil. It contains monounsaturated fats and helps fight LDL cholesterol. It is a very good alternative to butter and other cooking oils as it helps keep your heart healthy. The extra virgin and virgin varieties are the least processed and hence the best to use.
Avocados are called nature’s butter. They are a great fruit to include in a heart healthy diet. Like olive oil they contain monounsaturated fat which fights LDL cholesterol and helps you keep your heart healthy and your arteries clear. Adding avocado to salads and sandwiches is a great way of ensuring you are eating healthy.
Sardines have a bad reputation for their strong flavor but they are a very good source of omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain calcium and niacin. You can try them fresh or used the canned version to add in salads, sauces, sandwiches etc. They are also a great trick to add some extra flavor to certain dishes along with making them healthier.