Our heart beats 100,000 times in a day, while pushing 5,000 gallons of blood through our body every 24 hours. It delivers oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to our tissues while carrying away the waste. The heart carries out this vital work for us, and we need to take care of it the same way.
In order to take good care of our heart, we must understand what goes in its favour and what does not.
What may affect your heart negatively?
Cardiovascular disease, that may affect the heart and is more commonly known as ‘heart disease’, includes conditions that affect the structures or function of your heart. A weak heart may get affected by the following cardiovascular diseases:
- Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the arteries).
- Heart attack.
- Abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.
- Heart failure.
- Heart valve disease.
- Congenital heart disease.
- Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy).
Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.
Foods that are good for your heart
Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide.
The good news is that diet plays a major role in heart health and can lessen your risk of heart disease. Therefore making changes to your daily diet may make you possess a healthy and strong heart for the longest time.
Here is a list of foods that will work wonders for your heart:
Adding an avocado to your daily diet may help lower bad cholesterol, in turn reducing the risk for heart disease, according to health researchers.
Avocados are known to be a nutrient-dense food, high in monounsaturated fatty acids.
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease. So, make that tomato paste or tomato salad and gobble it down ASAP!
Olive oil helps with providing antioxidants that can protect red blood cells from damage – otherwise that damage could lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.
Fatty Fish and Fish Oil
A way to have a more heart-friendly diet is to incorporate elements of the Mediterranean diet. This includes fish, which helps in getting omega-3 fatty acids.
Researchers have found that consumption of fish oil can improve blood flow. Blood flow can also be reduced by the accumulation of plaque in your arteries. Plaque makes your arteries narrow. Fish oils have also been shown to decrease the growth of these plaques by preventing the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries.
Chocolate is made from cocoa, which contains polyphenols, which may work as antioxidants that lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) and reduce blood pressure. Some experts suggest that eating some dark chocolate every day can decrease your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Eating almonds can reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels healthy, research has shown. Almonds significantly increase the amount of antioxidants in the bloodstream, reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow.
A molecule found in green tea might help to protect against atherosclerosis, which is a common cause of heart attacks and stroke.
You may want to enjoy a well-deserved cup of green tea after dinner, tonight!
Garlic has been recognised as a preventative to a number of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, nutritionists have revealed. The vegetable works by helping to get rid of plaque in arteries.
Seeds help with strengthening of the heart. They will help protect against heart disease. These seeds are a must try:
- Hemp Seeds. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of vegetarian protein.
- Sesame Seeds.
- Pumpkin Seeds.
- Sunflower Seeds.
One way nuts may help your heart health is by lowering LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels. LDL plays a major role in the development of plaque that builds up on the blood vessels. Eating more nuts has also been linked to lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease.
Beans are high in minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins.
Eating beans as part of a heart healthy diet and lifestyle may help improve your blood cholesterol.
Berries are rich in antioxidants. Studies show that eating them can reduce multiple risk factors for heart disease.
Which foods you must avoid for a healthy heart
Now that you know which foods should be in your list of favourites, you must be aware of which foods you must avoid whenever you can.
Keep intake of these foods low and be careful with their quantities if you ever need to consume them:
- Sugar, Salt, Fat. Over time, high amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbs raise your risk for a heart attack or stroke.
- Red Meat.
- Baked Goods.
- Processed Meats.
- White Rice, Bread, and Pasta.
Other precautions you can take for a healthy heart
Even though your diet may have a great influence on your heart, you may need to adopt the following habits in order to make your heart pump better and for longer:
- Work out for 30 Minutes, four times a week.
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Drink five glasses of water a day.
- Switch from coffee to tea.
- Eat salmon on Saturday, Tuna on Tuesday.
- Ask your doctor about vitamin E and Aspirin.
If you’re concerned about developing heart disease, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce your heart disease risk. This is especially important if you have a family history of heart disease.
Heart disease is easier to treat when detected early, so talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding your hearts health.