Top 5 Foods To Improve Heart Health
There are a number of things that you can do every day that will help to keep your heart healthy and disease free. This includes reducing your stress levels, regular exercise and scheduling annual health check ups. Whilst all of these factors can have a positive impact on your heart health, one the biggest influences on your heart is what you eat.
Your diet not only has an influence on your waistline, but also plays a major role in your heart health – good and bad. In fact, certain foods can directly impact your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation, which all play a part in increasing your risk of heart disease. Protecting your heart goes beyond watching what you eat – it is also important to increase your intake of nutrient dense and high fibre foods that all contribute to keeping your heart healthy.
Salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, herring and mackerel are some of the best foods you can eat for a healthy heart. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, studies show that it helps to lower the risk of an irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and a build up of plaque in your arteries (atherosclerosis). Further studies show that consuming fatty fish long term can help to lower cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides. However, if you are not a large seafood eater, fish oil is also a great alternative to get in your daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Dark chocolate is a treat that can do wonders for your heart. It contains high levels of two important antioxidants: flavonoids and flavanols. These elements improve the vascular health by normalising the blood pressure and avoiding clotting, promoting optimal blood flow and reducing inflammation. As a result, the consumption of dark chocolate lowers the risk of heart disease such as heart attacks and strokes. However, to fully reap the healthy-heart benefits of dark chocolate, look for options that have a higher cocoa percentage.
Variety Of Colourful Vegetables
Generally, all vegetables can contribute to a healthy diet and a healthy heart. However, certain coloured vegetables have greater benefits than others! Leafy green vegetables are rich in minerals and antioxidants responsible for maintaining healthy levels of cell functioning within the blood vessels. Packed with vitamin K they also work to protect the arteries and maintain good blood coagulation. Optimal blood coagulation is important to avoid vessel blockages, which can ultimately lead to heart disease, angina and stroke. When you think about orange vegetables, carrots come to mind and they are incredibly beneficial for your heart health due to the high level of carotenoids, an antioxidant that works against free radicals that might provoke heart diseases. Tomatoes are a red vegetable that is great for your cardiovascular system because the lycopene contained in them lowers the levels of bad cholesterol and keep blood vessels open and reduces the risk of a heart attack.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are full of the antioxidant polyphenols, which are known to help reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also a great source of fibre, folate, iron and quite low in calories, making them a delicious snack option, addition to smoothies or enjoyed on top of yogurt.
Whole grains are the much healthier and beneficial choice when it comes to foods such as, breads, cereal, and pasta. Refined products are processed to remove the bran, germ and starchy endosperm from the grain; these are what provide the high-quality nutrients. The whole grain family has a huge variety of foods, but oats are especially beneficial for heart health due to high presence of beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a type of sugar that, together with the considerable amount of fibres contained in oats, helps reduce glucose and bad cholesterol levels in the blood. For this reason, whole grains have a positive impact on preserving the health of your arteries.
Many believe you should steer clear of cooking with or consuming oils, however consumed in moderation it is beneficial to your overall heart health. Considered a ‘healthy fat’, olive oil contains high levels of antioxidants, especially oleocanthal. These elements have anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce the risk of chronic and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, olive oil protects red blood cells and blood vessels from damage whilst managing blood clotting. At the same time, this healthy fat helps lower the level of sugar and bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and promoting the maintenance of good cholesterol levels.
In conjunction with a healthy, well-balanced diet, add our Healthy Heart supplement Tensiofytol to your day routine. Combining concentrated natural extracts of olives and olives leaves, it helps to support and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. As well as supporting your circulatory health, another advantage of Tensiofytol Healthy Heart is antioxidant properties that help to promote your general wellbeing and support your immune system function. With no contraindications, Tensiofytol can be taken alongside any prescribed blood pressure medication.
For more healthy heart tips follow check out our Instagram – @bodlifestyleau.