Top 6 Foods For A Healthy Heart

Having a healthy heart means filling your plate with nutritious foods that your heart loves. It means eating a heart-healthy diet and paying close attention to fiber and limiting unhealthy fats like saturated, trans-fats and salt from your diet.  As much as we might wish, no single food is going to cure your heart and protect it from a disease. Instead, you must do the balancing act and eat a variety of healthy foods that will improve your heart health.

 

Here Are Six Foods To Add To Your Diet For A Healthy Heart

 

Yogurt

Adding yogurt to your daily breakfast may do more than keep your bones strong. New studies have shown that yogurt can also lower your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Yogurt is full of probiotics – aka the good bacteria. Probiotics are used to ferment yogurt and can help guard you against heart disease, improve your digestion, and boost immunity.

A study has shown that yogurt cleans out plague from your arteries. Plague can fill your arteries and block blood from traveling through. This then can lead to a heart attack and stroke.

Yogurt can help prevent plague build up in your arteries and guard you against heart disease and stroke. Not all yogurts are created equally. Make sure you always read the labels to know if you’re buying a healthy yogurt.
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Look for the following types of yogurt:

Low Fat Yogurt

To reduce your consumption of cholesterol-raising saturated fat, choose a yogurt with 1% milk fat.

Less Sugar

If you don’t eat your yogurt plain, you need to consider the amount of sugar in your flavored yogurts. You might want to add honey or real fruit to a plain yogurt instead of buying one pre-sweetened. Keep in mind that most sweetened yogurts have two to four teaspoons of added sugars. This extra sugar also reduces the protein content.

Greek Style

Greek yogurt is creamy, rich tasting and is higher in protein than your regular yogurt.

Olive Oil

Olive oil can be a powerful protection against heart failure. Scientists have found that it helps diseased heart muscles pump blood more effectively. If your heart is damaged, then it can no longer process or store fat. This happens to us over time when high blood pressure makes it harder for our heart to pump blood. This results in our heart growing bigger, thicker and less effective. The toxic fat left in the body will soon start to build up and clog arteries leading to a heart attack and stroke. Adding extra olive oil to your diet can decrease your chances of developing cardiovascular or heart diseases.

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Olive oil is the main source of dietary fat in the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is known to have many benefits. Populations from the Mediterranean have longer life expectancies and lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Monounsaturated fatty acids found in Olive oil is considered a healthy dietary fat, which is the opposite of saturated and trans fats.

A study in 2011 showed that olive oil has many other benefits. Diets that are high in olive oil lower the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Oatmeal

A steaming bowl of cooked oatmeal is the perfect way to start your day, especially if you’re trying to prevent or currently have heart disease. Most people tend to stay away from oatmeal, something about its unappealing gray oats. People try to disguise oatmeal by loading it up with unhealthy and processed sugar. There are better alternatives, where you can make tasty heart healthy oatmeal without the processed sugar.

 

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Oatmeal contains a specific type of fiber called beta-glucan. Consuming 3 grams of this fiber a day will help lower your cholesterol by 8-23%. This has a very significant effect towards your heart and translates to decreasing your risk of developing heart disease by 2%. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and get the benefits of fiber with a hot bowl of oats.

Beans

Adding beans to your diet provides an inexpensive and delicious way to improve your heart health. Beans are a low-fat, high-fiber protein source that is great to decrease your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Many health organizations (and we at Kudolife agree) that the healthiest diet includes beans.

 

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There are five main ways that Beans can improve your health.

  1. Lower Cholesterol- One serving of beans a day can lower your risk of a heart attack by 38%
  2. Lower Blood Pressure- Eating beans can help maintain blood pressure and lead to greater elasticity in the blood vessels. This results in lower blood pressure.
  3. Maintain Healthy Blood Glucose- Eating more beans can lower your risk of diabetes.
  4. Reduce Inflammation- Beans carry several phytochemicals that can reduce the inflammation that contributes to heart disease.
  5. Provide Heart-Healthy Vitamins- Beans can be used as a supplement to meat because of its rich source of vitamins and minerals.

Fish

We have all heard about how fish is amazing for the heart. It especially has many healthy heart benefits for people who are at risk of a heart attack. If you are one of those people who are worried about heart failure than eating one to two servings of fish a week could reduce your risk of heart disease.

 

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Why is Fish Healthy for you?

Fish contains unsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids. These are the nutrients that reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Omge-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation throughout your body; this further reduces your risk of a heart attack and stroke. This is because inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels that lead to heart disease.

Eating, at least, one to two servings of fish a week can decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke, and heart failure risk, and reduce irregular heartbeats. Plus it can help make you smarter and get an A on that next test.

Fruit

Eating fruit every day can dramatically decrease the risk of developing heart disease. Fruit can be as sweet as candy plus it won’t leave you with a tooth ache. Instead, you’ll feel fresh. Scientists have found that if you start including fruit into your diet, you can lower your risk of heart disease by 40%.

Fruit is already naturally low in fat, calorie, sodium and contains no cholesterol. They are high in water, fiber as well as many other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help keep your heart healthy.
Berries are the best fruit to fight heart disease. They are a bright, flavorful superfruit that has a long list of health benefits. Berries are extremely high in antioxidants and polyphenols that help fight chronic disease and cancer.

  1. Blueberries: They have high levels of compounds to help widen arteries that make your blood flow smoothly and prevent plaque buildup.
  2. Strawberries: They are packed with vitamin C and are an excellent source of folate, which helps protect your heart.
  3. Raspberries: They are full of heart healthy fiber and have high levels of polyphenols that help reduce heart disease risk.
  4. Cranberries: They help increase HDL (the good) cholesterol.

 

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Heart healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult. This 6 heart healthy foods can help you get started on your heart healthy-diet.

Lyda Mclallen

Lyda is a health and fitness contributor for Kudolife.

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