Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. As you grow and age, looking after your heart becomes more and more vital. Here are some foods to include in your diet for a healthy heart.
- Leafy Greens
You saw this one coming. Vegetables like kale, spinach, beet greens, collard greens etc. are renowned for their health benefits. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals that protect your arteries and reduce blood pressure. In fact, there are many case studies which suggest an increased consumption of leafy greens directly means a decreased risk of heart disease.
This one may come as a surprise, but it brings incredible benefits too. Avocados are loaded with good nutrients and monounsaturated fats – good fats. They have also been proved to fight and reduce the bad cholesterol in your arteries and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease too!
- Dark Chocolate
Shocker, right? Consuming an appropriate amount of dark chocolate has a plethora of health benefits – like improving mood, promoting healthy brain function, and reducing inflammation! And among these many benefits is a reduced risk of heart disease too! Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants and minerals that reduce the risk of heart disease, but remember to look for dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa.
- Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds, like walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, and chia seeds, are nutrient-dense and high in fibre. Nuts have been found to drastically reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your arteries, as well as reduce inflammation. In fact, a serving of nuts a day can even alleviate stress and lower blood pressure!
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their extensive health benefits – overall and specifically for your heart. These fatty acids have been linked to lower blood pressure and a reduction in bad cholesterol levels. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include nuts and seeds as mentioned above, some beans and leafy greens. However, the best source of these fatty acids in arguably fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring. If you’re not too keen on fish, fish oils are a great supplement!
Other than keeping vampires away, garlic is also great for promoting good heart health. A study found that consuming garlic can be, more or less, as effective as taking prescription medicines that reduce blood pressure! It also lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of blood clots, making it incredibly heart-healthy.