The heart is a vital organ in your body, so keeping it healthy is very important and something that you shouldn’t ignore. We wrote an article on preventing heart diseases, it contains all other practices involved apart from this healthy heart diet. It is advised that you read that first before proceeding to learn about foods that keeps your heart healthy.
We have highlighted eleven important foods to consider adding to your diet in keeping your heart healthy.
11 foods that keeps your heart healthy
1. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables especially left greens are so important in keeping the heart functioning properly. They provide nourishment for your heart and also nourishment for your whole body.
Examples Of Heart Healthy Vegetables
- Spinach (called efo tete in yoruba)
- Other leafy greens
- Bell peppers
Beans, peas and lentils helps to reduce the levels of triglycerides and lipoprotein in the blood. They contain contain protein, fiber, resistant starch and antioxidant polyphenols which all helps you to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
3. Fish and fish oil.
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and are highly recommended for preventing heart diseases. Examples of such fishes are mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, lake trout etc.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains contain endosperm and bran. Unlike refined grains, they are rich in fiber and help to reduce level of cholesterol. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, oats, wheat, rye, buckwheat, barley, and quinoa.
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, they also contain nutrients which helps you to prevent heart attacks, diseases and stroke.
It is however important for you to note that they contain high quantity of sugar and calories which are not good for the body. Dark chocolate should be taken in moderate quantities.
6. Green Tea
A review in 2011 discovered that drinking green tea helps to reduce the level of cholesterol which is known to contribute to stroke and heart diseases. Another review in 2014 showed that drinking of green tea also helps to reduce high blood pressure.
The review however did not state the quantity of green tea that should be taken to benefit the heart. It is advised therefore that you only take it moderately.
Avocados are also known to help prevent heart diseases by reducing the level of cholesterol. They are rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps to decrease the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Walnuts contains nutrients like manganese, copper and magnesium. They are also rich in fiber and they reduce cholesterol and help to prevent heart diseases.
Almonds are packed with nutrients, they contain fats also but healthy fats. They help to reduce the levels of cholesterol and reduce risks of heart diseases.
Flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, and a whole lot of other nutrients needed by your heart.
Hemp seeds for example contains arginine which helps to reduce the levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. Flax seeds on the other hand helps you reduce high blood pressure and level of cholesterol.
11. Olive oils
Olive oils have been found to contain antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids. Antioxidants helps to resist inflammation and prevents severe heart diseases.
Make sure you consider these food items mentioned here and incorporate them into your diet. You should also read How to keep your brain healthy and functioning properly. How to keep your brain healthy and functioning properly.