The heart is where love lives. Love your heart by eating heart-smart foods. A healthy diet plays a major role in heart health and can impact your risk of heart disease. Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide. Certain foods can influence blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. Here are some foods that can maximise your heart health.
Tuna contains omega-3s. Albacore (white tuna) has more omega-3s than other tuna varieties. Try grilling tuna steak with lemon and herbs. Remember to buy tuna packed in water, not oil.
Herbs like Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Oregano can be planted in a kitchen garden at home. When you add these to foods instead of salt and fat, you’re making a heart-healthy choice. They add flavour without adding the harmful stuff.
They contain folate, antioxidants, and magnesium that can help lower blood pressure. Their fiber helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add beans to boost soups and salads.
A super food for the heart, it is rich in omega-3s. Omega-3s are healthy fats that may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They are also known to lower triglycerides and curb inflammation.
This healthy-fat oil is made from cold pressed olives. It is rich in antioxidants which protect your blood vessels. When olive oil replaces saturated fat (like butter and ghee), it can help lower cholesterol levels. Try it on salads and cooked veggies, or with bread. For cooking use the pomace olive oil and extra virgin only for salad dressings etc.
A small fistful of walnuts a day can lower your cholesterol. It also protects against inflammation in your heart’s arteries. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, plant sterols, and fiber. Let walnuts replace other unhealthy snacks like chips and cookies.
Almonds have plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Grab a small handful a day.
Oranges have the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin. They also have potassium, which helps control blood pressure. Two cups of orange juice a day helps boost blood vessel health. It also helps lower blood pressure.
Try this nutty whole grain in place of rice. You can also simmer barley into soups and broths. The fiber in barley can help lower cholesterol levels. It lowers blood sugar levels too. Hulled or whole grain barley is the most nutritious.
These honey-coloured seeds contain three things that are good for your heart: fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids. Grind flaxseeds for the best nutrition. Add it to cereal, baked goods, or yoghurt.
A warm bowl of oatmeal at breakfast fills you up for hours, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time. Oats fiber can help your heart by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). Best results come from using steel cut or slow cooked oats.
Low fat Yoghurt
Dairy foods can help control high blood pressure, too. Yoghurt is high in calcium and potassium. To really boost the calcium and minimise the fat, choose low-fat varieties.
Soy milk, almond milk, and orange juice have cholesterol-fighting sterols and stanols added. These plant extracts block your intestines from soaking up cholesterol. They can lower LDL levels by 10% without interfering with good cholesterol.
Cherries and Berries
Sweet cherries, sour cherries, dried cherries, and cherry juice, they’re all good. All are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins. They’re believed to help protect blood vessels. Blueberries and cranberries are also super foods for heart health. Blueberries contain the antioxidant called anthocyanin.