Mortality rates are increasing every year, and heart diseases account for almost 1/3 rd of the deaths across the globe. Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining heart health. Superfoods for a healthy heart along with some lifestyle modification will add some more days to your life. Here is what you must eat to make your heart strong and minimize the risk of stroke and other diseases.
Superfoods For Healthy Heart
Berries are rich in antioxidants that fight against the free radicals in the body. Thereby these tiny little fruits can reduce stress on the heart. The berries dilate the blood vessels thereby reducing blood pressure. It prevents the risk of a heart attack too.
How to include berries in your diet?
- Make a fruit bowl
- Add to your yogurt
- Combine with delicious pancakes
- Include in your smoothies or protein shake.
Nuts mark the top 5 list of superfoods for a healthy heart. They are a powerhouse of various nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Nuts are superfoods containing omega-3 fatty acids and some saturated fats which help to maintain the rhythm of heart, lower cholesterol levels and improve the linings of the blood vessels.
How to include nuts in your diet?
- Grab a nut snack when you’re hungry (include nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios)
- Add nuts to your salads to give them a crunch.
- Add nut milk to desserts and baked goods.
Caution: Avoid eating more than three small servings of mixed nuts in a week, else you’ll gain weight.
Yes! Chocolates can make your heart healthy. Dark chocolate contains 60-70% of cocoa with flavonoids that help to control blood pressure, clotting time and cardiac inflammation.
Consuming dark chocolate is known to reduce the rate of heart attacks and stroke for individuals at high risk of cardiac failure.
How to include dark chocolate in your diet?
- 1-2 squares of the tempting bar should be enough to savor your sweet tooth and maintain good heart health.
- Make hot chocolates with it.
- Garnish your desserts with them (make sure you watch over the portion size).
Beans are one of the underrated superfoods for a healthy heart. They contain high levels of antioxidants, minerals, and soluble fibers that are benefit the heart. Beans help lower cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of heart attacks.
Black beans, kidney beans, white beans, and pinto are a few varieties that can give you a healthy heart.
How to include beans in your diet?
- Stir fry a handful of beans and add them to your meals.
- Make beans salads with cottage cheese.
- Use bean sauce in curries.
- If your lacking time, use canned beans (remember to wash them before using; it will remove excess amounts of sodium).
- Garlicky bean sandwiches also taste yummm!
All citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. They contain fiber, folate, beta-cryptoxanthin, and potassium which lower high blood pressure. Citrus fruits are also known to lower bad cholesterol. Oranges, mandarins, limes, lemons, grapefruit, and pomelos are some readily available citrus fruits.
How to include citrus fruits in your diet?
- Consume fresh fruits and not the canned varieties.
- Drink fruit smoothies and fruit-flavored yogurt.
- Top your pancakes and ice-creams with fresh fruits.
- Snack on fruit salads with chia or flax seeds for a healthy mid-day meal.
Fatty fishes, such as sardines, tuna, salmon, lake trout, anchovies, and herring, are a good source of essential amino acids. These nutrients can control high blood pressure, reduce irregular heartbeats. Fatty fish reduces the chances of developing various cardiac diseases.
How to include fatty fish in your diet?
- Include 1-2 servings of above fishes per week.
- Make a grilled fish salad with beans and cottage cheese.
- Opt for fish tacos and kababs.
- Snack on tuna sandwiches and more.
- Take fish oil supplements.
Quinoa ranks amongst the best superfoods for a healthy heart. It is the powerhouse of nutrition, rich in minerals, proteins, and essential amino acids that is required for tissue repair and growth. Eating three servings of whole grains every day reduces the risk of heart diseases.
How to include quinoa in your diet?
- Add quinoa to desserts like pancakes, and muffins.
- Make quinoa salads, soups and risotto to include quinoa in your meal plan.
Since ancient days our elders use garlic as a natural remedy to treat various diseases. Its health benefits include lowering of blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. Allicin, a compound present in garlic is known to elicit its therapeutic benefits. It may also inhibit the formation of blood clots.
How to include garlic in your diet?
- Drink garlic tea.
- Add minced garlic to curries and vegetables.
- Garlic can make tasty pasta sauces or salad dressings.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Fresh and leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are also good sources of vitamin K that promotes proper blood clotting and protects your arteries. Leafy greens like collards, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, fenugreek, etc. must be a part of your meals.
How to include fruits and vegetables in your diet?
- Eat them raw or cook them.
- They can be incorporated as salad, main course, and soups in your diet.
- Make delicious smoothie with vegetables and yogurt.
Avocados contain heart-healthy compounds like monosaturated fats, vitamins, and folate that reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and lower risk of heart diseases. It provides 28% of the potassium that you need in a day; this is essential for your heart health. It also decreases the risk of metabolic syndrome.
How to include veggies in your diet?
- Drink avocado smoothies.
- Season them with salt and pepper and have as is.
- Make stuffed avocados, or incorporate it in salads and soups.
- Use avocado dips as a mayo substitute.
Will you incorporate these superfoods for a healthy heart in your diet?
All that you feed upon will influence your heart health. Thus, a well-balanced diet including these superfoods will help to keep your heart in good shape and reduce the risk of cardiac diseases.
Eat right! Make the difference!
She is a pharmacist by education and working in the field of medical content development for more than 9 years. She has an excellent hold on medical content research and development and has produced valuable data for various pharmaceutical companies.