Heart disease is probably the most common disease in the world and it’s imperative that we take very good care of our heart thereby leading a healthy life too. There are lots of factors that affect heart health like irregular lifestyle, history of family members affected by the disease, poor eating habits, stress, etc. Some of them might not be under our control but factors like irregular lifestyle, unhealthy food habits, stress can be corrected to some extent. In this article, we are going to look at foods that are good for heart health.
There are basically 5 important things that should be there in your food to ensure a healthy heart. They are anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, soluble fibre, and potassium. Now let us have a look at foods which have these properties:
1. Anti-inflammatory: Foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties are chocolates, asparagus, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, spinach, carrot, etc. Coloured foods are basically anti-inflammatory and pro heart health.
2. Anti-oxidants: Foods having high content of anti-oxidants are green tea, sweet potato, papaya, pomegranates, acai, resveratrol, blue-berries, strawberries, raspberries, dry plums, apples, cranberries, etc. Pomegranates, acai and resveratrol are the most powerful anti-oxidants. Resveratrol is also an active ingredient in red wines but wines are not a great source for them as you would require gallons of wine to get prescribed amount of resveratrol a day. Resveratrol supplements could be a better option instead.
3. Omega 3 fatty acids: Fishes like salmon, mackerel, and sardine are good sources. Flax seed, soy beans, cod liver oil, walnuts are also beneficial. These foods help in lowering the bad cholesterol and elevating the good cholesterol which is very good for heart health.
4. Soluble fiber: Oats are the best and most reliable source for soluble fiber. It gels with the water content of the body and helps in increasing the good cholesterol levels as well.
5. Potassium: It is a mineral which is abundant in bananas, sweet potatoes, yoghurt, milk, tuna fish, tomatoes, apricots, avocados, etc.
The above prescribed food should be taken in the form of 2-3 servings per week. Reducing the intake of junk or high cholesterol foods and 15-20 minutes of exercising a day would also help in keeping those heart diseases at bay.