How to Help Prevent Heart Disease At Any Age By EATING HEALTHY FOODS Daily?
15 Heart-Healthy Foods to Work into Your Diet!
Boost nutrition, flavor and color in meals and snacks
A healthy diet can be good for your heart as well as your waistline.
“You can definitely reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by eating certain foods every day,” says Julie Zumpano, RD, LD, a dietitian in the Preventive Cardiology and Nutrition Program at Cleveland Clinic. “There is a great variety of fruits and vegetables that are good for your heart.”
“Try to eat foods that are in their natural form, as they come from the ground,” Ms. Zumpano says, recommending what she calls the “whole-foods diet.”
That diet includes, of course, heart-healthy foods such as fish, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself occasionally with a glass of red wine or a piece of dark chocolate, Ms. Zumpano says. She suggests using this list as a guide to create meals and snacks with a healthy focus. Just a few simple swaps could make a big difference for your cardiovascular health.
15 foods that are good for your heart
Eat fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.
A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts will satisfy your hunger and help your heart.
Berries are chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Try blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or raspberries in cereal or yogurt.
Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestogens to boost heart health. Take them in ground or milled form to reap the greatest benefit.
Oatmeal: the comfort-food nutrient powerhouse.
Dark beans,such as kidney or black beans, are high in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals and other good stuff. Veggie chili, anyone?
A 4-ounce glass of red wine (up to two for men and one for women per day) can help improve good (HDL) cholesterol levels.
Try marinated tofu in a stir-fry with fresh veggies for a heart-healthy lunch or dinner.
Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fiber and vitamins to help your heart.
Popeye was right – spinach packs a punch! Use it in sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce.
Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
Tender, sweet asparagus is filled with mighty nutrients such as beta-carotene, folate and fiber, and only provide 25 calories per cup, or 5 calories per large spear.
Tomatoes – even sun-dried varieties in winter months – provide lycopene, vitamin C and alpha- and beta-carotene.
Dark chocolate is good for your heart health, but just be sure that it’s at least 70 percent cocoa.
Crisp, fresh broccoli florets dipped in hummus are a terrific heart-healthy snack with a whopping list of nutrients, including vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium and fiber.
The Best Foods to Eat to Avoid Clogged Arteries
Certain heart-healthy foods truly act like medicine for your blood vessels, says integrative cardiologist Joel K. Kahn, MD, and these are the best to eat to prevent or reverse heart disease.
An astounding 180,000 people die each year, worldwide, due to the consumption of sugary drinks, and about 45,000 of those deaths are from heart attacks. Heart disease might set in because people who drink many soft drinks tend to gain weight, become diabetic, and suffer premature heart blockages. Soft drinks also elevate blood sugars, which coat proteins and fats, rendering them into a harmful form that damages your arteries. Harvard researchers, who have been studying more than 40,000 physicians and 88,000 nurses for more than two decades, found that women who consumed more that two servings of a sugary beverage a day were 40 percent more likely to develop heart disease than women who drank fewer. Men who drank the most sodas were 20 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who drank the least.
Power Rx: Give up soda. If you drink several a day, be realistic. Start by swapping one for iced tea. Or water it down by mixing half a glass with seltzer. Over time, drink less and less soda until you get to zero.
Nearly everything you could possibly buy in the produce section of your grocery store is true medicine to the body. Plant foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and special phytonutrients, all of which are good for the heart. Asparagus, bell peppers, and bok choy, for example, are rich sources of B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, which helps lower homocysteine (an amino acid linked to heart disease) and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation). Carrots and tomatoes (as well as the fruits oranges and bananas are rich in carotenoids including lycopene, an important antioxidant. It’s no wonder that the Harvard Nurses’ Healthy Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study found that people who ate 8 or more servings were 30 percent less...