Heart disease and strokes are the leading causes of death worldwide. However, the good news is that unlike cancer most heart conditions can be prevented by following a healthy diet. What you eat can drastically affect your weight, energy levels, and heart health. But don’t get us wrong. Eating healthy doesn’t have to involve being chained to the stove or eating boring meals.
And to prove our point, here are 7 healthy foods that will keep your heart in excellent shape.
Besides being a sweet summer treat, watermelons are known to be an excellent source of antioxidants, which lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. Despite its sugar content, they are considered a healthy snack, thanks to its low-calorie content and high concentration of fiber. With a great source of Vitamins A, C, potassium, and magnesium, watermelons also contain high-doses of lycopene and citrulline, which are known to help prevent heart disease and improve the health of the blood vessels.
Long-renowned for their ability to improve digestion, berries are another great food choice for your heart health. This is because they are full of soluble fiber and nutrients that promote the conversion of fat into energy. Berries lower bad cholesterol levels while also increasing good cholesterol, stabilizing blood pressure, and reducing both oxidation and inflammation. They also make an excellent food choice for people suffering from hypertension, as they are known to increase the levels of nitric oxide which helps keep the blood vessels relaxed.
Tasty and easy-to-eat, walnuts are a great snack that you can take wherever you go. Walnuts contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fats and antioxidants, which are known to improve blood vessel performance, lower bad cholesterol levels, and reduce the chances of suffering heart disease. Walnuts can even help you lose weight, as even a handful of nuts can satisfy your hunger and make you feel full for longer.
A diet rich in whole grains is essential to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the chances of developing heart complications. Oatmeal, in particular, is one of the best hearth healthy foods you can consume, as it can keep you lean by making you feel full for longer, therefore reducing your appetite and keeping your weight in check. In addition to this, oatmeal is also high in antioxidants and can lower your cholesterol levels, therefore decreasing the risks of suffering a heart-related condition.
Adding half a cup of beans to your meals is an easy way to stay healthy. Beans are high in fiber, which is an essential element to help you keep your heart in tip-top shape. Fiber binds itself to cholesterol molecules which help prevent them being absorbed into your gut and increasing your cholesterol levels to dangerous levels. In addition to fiber, beans are also heavy on vital omega 3 acids and nutrients that are necessary to keep your heart in good shape.
Tomatoes contain an array of antioxidants, such as lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which play a crucial role in preventing heart conditions. These molecules, especially lycopene, are responsible for protecting you from heart attacks and strokes by slowing down the oxidation of bad cholesterol in your blood and the formation of plaque around your blood vessel walls.
Fish that are high in omega-3 acids, such as salmon and trout, are an excellent aid to keep your heart healthy. According to scientific studies, people who regularly eat salmon, or other types of cold water fish, are less likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t. In addition to this, eating salmon can also restore regular heart rhythms and help patients suffering from high blood pressure.