MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MRCOG
You only have one heart, and it works for 24 hrs a day. It never sleeps, so you have to treat it right if you want to keep it pumping for years to come. For a healthy heart, you have to boost nutrition, flavor and color in your meals and snacks. A variety of fruits and vegetables are good for your heart. Always try to eat foods that are in their natural form, as they come from the ground.
Find out how these 10 foods may help lower your risk of heart disease.
1) Fresh Herbs like oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme are full of antioxidants. They are full of flavor and use them liberally to replace extra salt, oil and sugar in your food.
2) Red Wine: before you read on, a caution is that too much alcohol actually is bad for your heart. Sipping a unit of red wine a day may be good by giving you two very powerful antioxidants in restorative and catechist. These can help you to increase your HDL cholesterol while lowering your risk of damage to arterial walls and subsequent clot formation. However, alcohol may be a problem when you are already on aspirin or other medications. Check with your doctor first if you have had a history of heart disease.
3) Salmon: The american heart association calls it a super food and recommends at least two servings of salmon in a week. You can have it baked in a foil with herbs or add with veggies in your salad. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps to correct rhythm disorders of the heart and reduce triglycerides and blood pressure. These properties also hold good for tuna fish and one must choose canned tuna in water or brine instead of oil.
4) Extra Virgin Olive Oil: though any kind of extra oil is bad for your heart, if you need to take in some oil, then extra virgin olive oil has a lot of heart saving properties. Only one should not use it for frying or over heating the veggies. It is good when tossed over salads or used sparingly over boiled or cooked vegetables.
5) Walnuts: a handful of walnuts, say 50 grams a day are full of antioxidants and fiber. They reduce inflammation of the arteries and reduce cholesterol. However, they also have high calorie content so one must be careful about the quantities consumed.
6) Almonds: Almonds are full of plant sterols and reduce the blood ldl and are good for diabetics. One must eat them raw for full benefits as cooking or roasting them may kill some of their beneficial properties.
7) Tofu is a high source of soy protein and can be added to soups or marinated or sauteed with vegetables for its goodness. It has a lot of heart healthy minerals and polyunsaturated fats.
8) Sweet potato is a good substitute for white potatoes especially useful for people with diabetes and heart disease. It has a low glycemic index and prevents sharp rise in blood sugar after meals. One can bake it and sprinkle with cinnamon and lime juice to make it super effective.
9) Oranges have potassium and antioxidants to lower the blood pressure and improve the vessel wall function.
10) Carrots are full of fiber and are one of the top heart saving foods by controlling cholesterol. Add them liberally in your salad or munch them raw for their power packed action.