Approximately 6 million people are currently living with heart failure, and around half of these will die within 5 years of being diagnosed. So, before your heart starts giving you heart attack signs, it is better to start consuming healthy food for your heart’s sake. So, in this article, we will discover sixteen foods for a healthy heart.
One of the best things about starting eating healthy is that it is extremely easy to do so. Unless you have been eating only unhealthy food most of your life, all you have to do is to eat more of what is good for your heart and less of what is not. Read on to discover the foods you need to start eating for a healthy heart!
Table of Contents
Foods For a Healthy Heart
There have been many studies that have shown the benefits of eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and tuna are excellent sources of omega-3, help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and lower blood pressure naturally.
If you remember your high school biology, you’ll know what amino acids are. However, while amino acids are essential for life, not all acids are good for you.
One particular amino acid, homocysteine, has been linked to coronary heart disease and strokes. Asparagus contains folate, which prevents homocysteine from building up.
Regular consumption of asparagus not only good for a healthy heart but it also has a reputation as good food for mood-boosting and brain health.
As healthy foods for the heart go, broccoli is not the tastiest food but eaten regularly, it can prevent heart disease and lower levels of cholesterol. Broccoli provides antioxidants that lower the risk of heart disease caused by the build-up in the body of free radicals.
Be careful not to overcook the broccoli as the more it’s cooked, the less healthy it becomes for the heart.
Healthy nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are not only great for the heart but are also great as a healthy late-night snack. Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts such as peanuts and pecans, are not only full of hearty nutrients but also omega-3 fatty acids, which we already know as beneficial for the heart.
When we have nuts, we should have berries. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries are full of soluble fiber and phytonutrients. Berries are also full of antioxidants, which we also know are suitable for the heart. Eating yogurt with berries is an excellent way to start the day and look after your heart.
Flaxseeds, which are also known as linseed, is used in the production of bedsheets and underclothes. However, believe it or not, they are also becoming known as a ‘superfood’. One of the new healthy foods for the heart, flaxseeds are not only full of healthy nutrients but is also another food that contains omega-3s.
Any person who eats breakfast should be eating oatmeal. Not only is oatmeal filling and delicious, but it is packed with nutrients such as soluble fiber, which we have already seen in berries and know is excellent for the heart. Add fruit and nuts to oatmeal for extra fiber and healthy fats.
Pulses, which include foods like beans, chickpeas, and lentils are high in resistant starch, which is known for its ability to lower the levels of bad cholesterol. These foods are also full of protein and fiber, known to lower blood pressure, which is hugely beneficial for the heart.
It is no secret that the humble tomatoes are packed full of hearty goodness. As healthy foods for the heart go, you can not do better than eat tomatoes as part of your regular diet, Not only do they contain lycopene, fiber, vitamin C, and folate, but they are high in potassium which, when combined with lowering sodium, reduces the risk of heart disease.
If you were wondering where the meat is, wonder no further. The liver is chock full of everything that helps the heart keep beating. Iron, zinc, copper, and folic acid mean that the liver is one of the best meats to increase the chances of maintaining healthy hearts.
Like many other vegetables, spinach is one of the best healthy foods for the heart. Spinach is not only full of fiber, which is healthy for many parts of the body but also contains potassium, folate, and lutein, all of which are conducive to keep your heart going.
Another food that is well-known for its hearty benefits is the avocado. While not scientifically-proven, scientists believe that the monosaturated fats found on avocados are responsible for lowering cholesterol levels, which in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease. And even if the science isn’t 100%, avocado on wholemeal toast is a fabulous breakfast or snack.
Bran is one of three parts of the wheat kernel, the other two being endosperm and germ. Long considered to be a rather useless by-product of the milling process, bran is actually chock-o-block full of fiber, which improves health and is good for the heart. Added to cereal in the morning, it makes for a hearty and filling breakfast.
Long thought to be a healthy alternative to meat, recent studies appear to show that soy-based foods may be unhealthy and even dangerous.
If you eat tofu as part of a balanced diet, have no fear, you may continue to do so. If you don’t, you should start because tofu is full of nutrients, vitamins, and fiber, all extremely beneficial to keep the heart beating.
15. Dark Chocolate
Good news for those of you who are chocolate lovers. Dark chocolate seems to work against two factors that lead to heart disease.
Firstly, it stops white blood cells from sticking to the sides of blood vessels. Secondly, dark chocolate works against the stiffness of arteries. Definitely worth putting on the list of healthy foods for the heart.
A while back, no one thought that banana was anything more than a rather pleasant tasting fruit, with no more benefits than the average fruit.
However, since scientists discovered the advantages of eating a diet high in potassium, the banana has come into its own as a food to be taken seriously. Add bananas to your breakfast bran to give your heart a fantastic boost.
And there you have it. Healthy foods for the heart that you don’t need to change your life to eat. No need for any dramatic changes. All that you need to do is put a bit of forethought into your diet, and you’ll be feeling the benefits in no time.