Heart Healthy Foods:
A healthful diet and active lifestyle are some of the best weapons to fight heart disease. Check out the 4 best foods for your heart and arteries.
According to the International Food Information Council Functional Foods/Foods for Health Consumer Trending Survey, cardiovascular health risks, including high blood pressure, stroke and high cholesterol, are the top health concern for many people.
Best Foods For Your Heart And Arteries:
Consuming a diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol and sodium can help reduce your risk for heart disease. But that’s only one side of the equation.
It is also important to choose foods that can promote heart health such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fiber.
Other foods that promote heart health include nuts. As a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fat, nuts are a powerhouse food that can promote heart health.
1. Heart Healthy Fats:
The monounsaturated fats such as olive, canola, peanut or high oleic safflower oil or polyunsaturated fat such as sunflower, corn or soybean oil may help promote heart health.
Salmon, sardines, herring, trout, and tuna are terrific sources of omega-3 fatty acids, as are eggs and some fortified brands of peanut butter, mayonnaise, cooking oil, cereal, pasta and nutrition bars.
2. Soy Protein:
Look for soy protein in nutrition bars, fortified soy beverages, tofu, soy cheese, and edamame or try adding soy protein to your favorite smoothie.
3. Sterols and Stanols:
These plant-based food components help lower LDL cholesterol levels. They are found in foods like corn, soy, wheat and some fortified foods like soft table spreads, orange juice, and yogurt.
4. Dark Chocolate:
Some dark chocolates can contain helpful components called flavanols. These cocoa-derived flavanols have been shown to help support the cardiovascular system, which helps move blood to and from the heart. When included in moderation, dark chocolate can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
Eating chocolate reduces blood pressure by about 2-3 millimeters of mercury (while) exercise and other dietary measures can reduce blood pressure by 3-7 millimeters.
Dark chocolate has 50-85 percent cocoa and milk chocolate up to 30 percent. As the flavanol content is responsible for blood pressure reduction, cocoa-rich foods are preferable.