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25 Best Foods for Your Heart and Arteries

picture best foods for your heart and arteries
best foods for your heart and arteries

25 Best Foods for Your Heart and Arteries

Heart disease is still one of the most fatal, contributing to around 45% of deaths worldwide. These data were published in 2015 by WHO.

Therefore, heart disease is still categorized as a global health issue. Heart diseases and blood vessel disease will occur if your heart function gets impaired due to a lack of blood in your heart muscle, and it will cause your coronary arteries to narrow. 

This condition's typical symptom is discomfort in the chest accompanied by pain. Eating healthy food is an important key to keeping your heart and arteries to stay fit and healthy. 

Besides that, applying a healthy lifestyle also will prolong your heart health. But unfortunately, not all foods are healthy. Some certain foods can also trigger the risk of heart disease.

Food high in fat, salt, and cholesterol is at a higher risk of causing artery blockage and heart disease. Based on research, the risk factor for heart disease is cholesterol level, blood pressure, inflammations, and triglycerides.

Paying more attention to what you eat will give your body a positive impact on overall body health.

Vegetables good for the heart

Have you ever wondered why many doctors suggest eating more veggies to get a healthy heart?

The reason is leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help to support heart health.

Vegetables are usually packed with rich nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, fibers, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.

For your information, magnesium and potassium are essential to improving blood circulation and maintaining heart health.

According to research, people who eat vegetables regularly are likely to have a 16% lower risk of heart disease.

This is all due to the high content of nitrates in leafy greens. The University of Cambridge and Southampton research shows that the nitrate content in leafy greens benefits heart health.

The nitrates work by thinning the blood and preventing the blood from performing blood clots and blood vessel blockages.

Blood vessel blockages are one of the main factors that can lead to various complications like strokes and heart attacks.

25 Heart-healthy foods

1. Fish oil good for heart health

Almost 30% content of fish oil is Omega-3. The rest are some fats, calcium, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin D, A, B1, B2, B3, and C. 

Fish oil is proven to lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, increase HDL or healthy fats and prevent plaque formation in the arteries.

2. Salmon to improve heart health

Salmon is one of the best fish that is very rich in Omega-3. Another great source of Omega-3 is Shishamo or capelin fish, mackerel, and sardines.

Omega-3 is a healthy fat that helps to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart rhythm disorders. Steam or baked fish are recommended to improve your heart health.

3. Oatmeal good for your heart

Eating a cup of oatmeal will help your stomach to feel full longer. Oatmeal is rich in fiber and antioxidants.

The antioxidant content in oatmeal is avenanthramide, which has an amazing effect on your health due to its ability to prevent blockage in the blood vessel. 

This claim is proven by the research held in Taipei by cardiologists, in which consuming oatmeal during the recovery time after a heart attack is very helpful.

Therefore, consuming oatmeal regularly will protect your heart health.

4. Flaxseed for heart health

Flaxseed has been popular as one of the most recommended superfoods to improve your overall body health. Flaxseed is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, lignan, and fiber.

The lignan content in flaxseed is 700 to 800 times higher than in other plant floods. And the amazing benefit of lignans is these compounds are very effective in helping to reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

The fact that flaxseed is rich in omega-3 and lignans compound make this seed one of the recommended food to help heart health.

5. Avocados for heart health

Avocados have long been known as delicious fruits with tons of health benefits. These fruits are even categorized as superfoods. 

You can simply eat this fruit raw, as a salad, or baked. Avocado is a source of monounsaturated fat, which this fat is linked to lowering LDL or bad cholesterol, preventing artery blockages, and lowering the risk of heart disease. 

Besides that, avocados are also rich in potassium, which is essential for heart health. For your information, 1 avocado contains at least 975mg of potassium, enough to meet at least 28% of your daily potassium needs.

6. Garlic to improve heart health

Garlic is not only good for increasing your appetite, but it also has so many benefits for body health, especially for heart health. Since ancient times, garlic has been used as a natural remedy to cure so many diseases.

Many research found that the compound content in garlic is a good source to lower blood pressure, inhibit platelet buildup, reduce blood clots and prevent stroke.

The allicin compound in garlic work as therapeutic in many aspects. Another research found that people who consume garlic regularly for 24 weeks with daily consumption of at least 600mg to 1.500mg have lower blood pressure, similar to the result of using common prescription drugs.

7. Almonds for heart health

Almonds are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, fats, and vitamins, especially vitamin E and minerals. 

Almonds are also great for supporting heart health. The monounsaturated fat content in almonds is great for lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.

Besides that, monounsaturated fat also helps to produce more serotonin hormones during the day, which can improve your sleep quality at night.

The high vitamin E content is also another great support for maintaining heart health. Vitamin E helps to prevent any infection and boosts the immune system.

Eating almonds regularly reduces the risk of blood clots, minimizes inflammation, and prevents blood vessel blockages.

8. Walnuts good for heart health

Besides almonds, other healthy-heart nuts are walnuts. Walnuts are often recommended as a healthy diet snack to keep your stomach full longer.

Walnuts are high in healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats or Omega-3, fibers, and sterols. Eating walnuts in moderate amounts regularly is proven to help lower blood pressure, improve blood circulation and prevent artery blockages.

Walnuts also protect your heart health by preventing artery inflammation.

9. Olive oil to protect heart health

Olive oil has been famous for its fragrance and benefits in the beauty industry. But who knows that consuming olive oil regularly will also improve your heart health.

Based on research, people who consume olive oil more than half a tablespoon per day every day will likely have a 15% lower risk of heart disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart. 

Olive oil prevents bad cholesterol, reduces inflammation, prevents blood clots, and repairs blood vessel lining.

This is all due to the high amount of antioxidants, vitamin E, omega6, and omega-3 fatty acids, and the high amount of oleic acids that are really good against inflammation.

10. Blueberry is good for your heart

Blueberry is one of the superfoods that are worth consuming daily. Blueberry is rich in polyphenol antioxidants that are known as anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are great for fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative stress that can lead to many chronic diseases, including heart disease. Blueberry will help you to maintain heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

11. Sweet potatoes for heart health

Sweet potatoes are a good carbohydrate source if you want a healthy diet. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index compared to white potatoes, which makes sweet potatoes a better choice.

Another great benefit of sweet potatoes is their rich in beta-carotene, fiber, zinc, phosphor, and lycopene, which are great for supporting body health, especially heart health.

12. Carrot is good for your heart

Carrot with vibrant orange color is often used as a comfort soup or a healthy diet snack. It's lucky how the vibrant color in carrots resembles the high amount of carotenoid.

This powerful antioxidant helps protect the body from the free radicals that can cause chronic illness. This antioxidant also works to prevent cancer and heart disease as well.

According to research, the high amount of vitamin A in carrots is also great for protecting internal organ lining from being infected by a pathogenic organism and preventing stroke and heart disease.

13. Barley to support heart health

Barleys is known for its rich content in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The fiber in barley is great for helping lower blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels.

Changing your rice to barley is a great step toward improving your heart health. Barley is also a great source of vitamin B, essential to help lower blood pressure and prevent the risk of heart disease. 

Besides that, barley also contains good bacteria that help to improve body health.

14. Yoghurt good for heart health

Yogurt has been known as a great source of good bacteria that help to improve gut health, maintain hormonal imbalance, maintain bone health, and improve the digestive system.

But not only that, but yogurt is also good for protecting your heart by lowering cholesterol and controlling blood pressure.

Yogurt is rich in potassium and calcium, which are essential to maintaining blood pressure. Researchers also found that micro-organisms in yogurt also help to lower cholesterol naturally.

15. Kale for heart health

Kale is a leafy green that rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Kale also carries various substances that prevent damage to artery walls and effectively lower cholesterol levels.

Kale contains a high amount of vitamin C, potassium, vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin D, magnesium, sodium, and protein.

16. Spinach for heart health

Spinach is a wonderful leafy green and rich in antioxidants, zinc, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B complex, protein, vitamin A, and carbohydrates. 

Based on research that has been held in Australia and China, spinach contains folic acid that is beneficial in protecting heart muscle from the increased level of glucose that causes diabetes.

The research was conducted on diabetic mice, showing that folic acid reduces the risk of a heart attack.

Besides folic acids, the antioxidant in spinach also works to prevent the buildup of cholesterol plaque inside the arteries.

17. Lettuce good for heart health

Lettuce is often eaten as salad due to its crisp and crunchy taste. Who knows that these vegetables contain vitamins and minerals, especially potassium.

Potassium is essential in preventing stroke and coronary disease. Potassium also helps to maintain and control blood pressure.

Therefore, consuming lettuce regularly will help your body minimize any cardiovascular disease that can affect your heart health.

18. Pineapple for heart health

Pineapple is not only rich in vitamin C and antioxidants but is also rich in potassium. As we stated before, potassium is essential in helping your body to control blood pressure and prevent any cardiovascular disease.

Eating pineapple regularly will help your body prevent infection, attack free radicals, protect heart muscle, and lower blood pressure.

19. Papaya good for heart health

Another tropical fruit that is beneficial for heart health is papaya. Papaya has been known as a source of vitamin C and is also rich in antioxidants called lycopene.

Vitamin C and antioxidants help to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol.

20. Tomato for heart health

Another fruit that is high in lycopene is the tomato. Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals and prevents them from performing oxidative stress and inflammation that can cause heart disease.

Based on research, a low lycopene level in the blood is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.

21. Chia seeds for heart health

Chia seeds are a superfood that contains an abundant amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that are important to support heart health.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to prevent the risk of arrhythmias and thrombosis, reduce blood pressure, preventing blood vessel blockages.

Those major factors can lead to serious diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure.

22. Mung bean to protect heart health

Mung bean or green beans is an excellent source of vitamin B, fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin C, and calcium.

Consuming mung beans are proven to reduce cholesterol that can interfere with blood flow and are effective in lowering blood pressure. 

Mung beans are also packed with antioxidants, which are good for infant and kids' development. Mung beans are also good for lowering LDL and increasing HDL, which is good for keeping the heart healthy.

23. Apple is good for the heart

Apple, which contains soluble fiber, is often recommended to be included in your daily healthy diet. 

Not only that, but apples also contain an abundant amount of flavonoids. This antioxidant helps your body to fight free radicals that can cause inflammation and other damage to a body organ. 

The soluble fiber and flavonoids work wonders to reduce the risk of heart disease and strengthen the heart muscle.

Based on research, flavonoids also act better in preventing heart disease for alcoholics and active smokers.

24. Oranges for heart health

Another fruit that is recommended to protect your heart health is oranges. Oranges contain a high amount of antioxidants and vitamin C, which helps to control blood pressure levels and decrease the chance of getting heart disease.

Besides that, oranges are also rich in phenolic and carotenoids, an antioxidant compound that supports heart health.

25. Banana good for your heart

Banana has been known for their benefits, especially for heart health. Bananas can be found almost everywhere, rich in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium.

Potassium is a great compound to prevent the body from getting at risk of heart disease. Not only potassium but banana also contain magnesium which is good for maintaining heart health.

Heart-healthy foods for seniors

Living a healthy lifestyle can be started by having a healthy diet. A healthy diet can be done by reducing fatty foods such as fried food, fast food, and foods that are too sweet and high in salt.

Healthy foods prevent your blood vessel from blockages, protect your heart muscle, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Heart-healthy foods for seniors are oatmeal, barley, green vegetables, and salmon, and consume more berries and fruits.

In addition, practicing a healthy lifestyle, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcoholic drinks, can increase heart health by preventing from getting any heart disease.

According to research based on the elderly over 70 years old, practicing a healthy lifestyle can reduce the death risk of heart disease by as big as 66%.

What drinks are good for your heart

Many people often ask what drinks are good for the heart? Then the answer is water. Yes, water. 

Drinking enough water will help your body to stay hydrated, and your heart will work better. Drink your water at least 8 glasses daily, depending on your daily activity. 

If you love to drink milk but are sometimes still worried that it can affect your cholesterol level, then you can try to drink low-fat or vegan milk.

Low-fat milk, almond milk, soya milk, or even rice milk support bone health and heart health. It helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Drinking coconut water is also the best choice if you want to replenish your body ion and protect your heart's health. 

Coconut water is rich in potassium, essential for maintaining heart health.

Food for heart failure

If someone is experiencing heart failure, paying attention to their food is important. For your information, heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood all over the body. 

The factors that can cause heart failure are varied, but some could be due to cardiomyopathy, coronary heart disease, and heart attack. 

To prevent heart failure getting worsening, implementing a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle is essential.

Food for heart failure should be rich in nutrients. The recommended foods for heart failure are fat-free milk, low-fat, lean meats, eating more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and avoiding pasta, white bread, sugar, white flour, and alcoholic drinks.

Bad food for the heart

Once you get heart disease, it can't be cured, but it can be controlled. Therefore, avoiding bad food that can cause heart disease is important. Below are the bad foods for the heart
  • Food that high in fat and cholesterol
  • Foods that high in salt
  • Processed meat
  • Canned foods
  • Mayonnaise and margarins
  • Foods that high in sugar
  • Alcoholic drinks

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