Seven Foods To Look After Your Heart – There is no ‘magic’ pill that can cure heart disease but there are many ways to help prevent it.
Cardiovascular disease is one of Australia’s largest health problems affecting one in six Australians or 4.2 million, but it is largely preventable through diet and lifestyle. We all know we need to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise but some foods, in particular, can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Seven foods that best protect against heart disease include:
In addition to containing necessary dietary fibre, studies show that oats have unique anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce coronary heart disease. B-Glucan in oats reduces bad cholesterol. Keep your heart healthy by starting your day with a bowl of porridge.
High blood pressure or hypertension can lead to arterial stiffness thereby increasing cardiovascular disease risk. A recent study showed that daily consumption of blueberries may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, thus showing positive benefits for people with heart disease. Sprinkle blueberries over your breakfast oats or add them to a mid-morning smoothie.
Garlic may be your secret ingredient to great tasting meals but it also holds many more secrets for your heart health. It’s the aged extract of garlic that is really showing promise for people wanting to ward off heart disease.
A recent study has found that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract may reduce blood pressure in adults with uncontrolled hypertension, offering hope to those who don’t respond well to prescription medications or would prefer a natural therapy. Remember to speak to your doctor about taking Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract specifically for hypertension so you can be monitored appropriately.
Research suggests that diets that include beans reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, favourably affect risk factors for metabolic syndrome, and reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. Dried beans are also rich in total and soluble fibre as well as in resistant starch, all of which contribute to the low glycemic index of these foods. Eating a low-glycemic diet may help in the fight against heart disease. Soak beans (red white or black) overnight and cook them in a nutritious soup.
Fruit & Vegetables
Antioxidants in fruit and vegetables offer protection against heart disease. Fruit and vegetables are also important sources of folate, which helps lower the blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which appears to be linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Fill your plate up with a mix of colourful fresh vegetables and aim for two pieces of fruit per day.
Studies show that nuts have great heart benefits. One study showed that simply adding 30 grams of nuts per day to a Mediterranean-style diet lowers risk of heart disease by 30 percent. Nuts are a handy and filling snack to carry with you. The best nuts to prevent heart disease are almonds, pecans and walnuts.
Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat has been shown to decrease triglycerides and increase HDL-cholesterol levels, improves blood vessel elasticity and thins the blood, making it less likely to clot and block blood flow. It is advisable to aim for 2 – 3 serves of oily fish per week.
Talk to your health practitioner about how to take care of your heart with foods and supplements for your individual circumstance. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.
Read more about the benefits of vitamin K2 for heart health.