Top 4 Foods for Heart Health
Both heart disease and high blood pressure can significantly damage your health and shorten your lifespan. It is incredibly important to combine a healthy diet with a routine of exercise to guarantee a healthy and properly functioning heart. A simple guideline to follow a heart-healthy diet is to consume plenty of fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, all of which are known to aid in lowering blood pressure.
1. Whole Grains
Whole grains are widely known to be exceptionally beneficial for cardiovascular health. Whole grains are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin E, zinc, phosphorus, riboflavin, selenium, iron, and niacin. All of these nutrients aid in regulating proper blood pressure and serve to protect the heart from disease. Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is one of the best things you can do to prevent cardiovascular complications. It is full of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and folate, and rich in fiber. Studies have proven that a diet high in oatmeal can aid in lowering levels of bad cholesterol while helping to keep arteries clear and healthy.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil is incredibly healthy for cardiovascular health. It is a monounsaturated fat that is known to resist oxidation from free radicals, which are toxins that roam the bloodstream and cause damage to tissue and DNA. Olive oil is a healthy substitute for shortening or butter, and is less likely to cause cholesterol to attach to arterial walls. For those that make olive oil their primary fat source, they are known to statistically have lower rates of diabetes, colon cancer, heart disease, asthma, and atherosclerosis. One study on participants who used olive oil as their only source of fat showed a dramatic reduction in the incidence of heart disease and other cardiovascular complications.
3. Fruits and Vegetables
Eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables can significantly increase your body’s resistance to cardiovascular problems. Many fruits and vegetables are known to contain great amounts of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been proven to aid in lowering cholesterol levels and diminish the risk of the development of heart disease. Fruits and vegetables also contain high levels of antioxidants that can prevent damage caused by free radicals.
Soy is known to contain a compound known as genistein, which has proven to aid in reducing body weight by decreasing the production of fat cells and lessening the size of the fat cells that already exist within the body. Lowered risk of heart and disease and proper blood pressure is commonly associated with those with healthier body mass indexes. Studies have also revealed soy to have properties that can lower cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure levels by reducing the production of bad cholesterol levels, LDL, while increasing levels of good cholesterol, HDL.