As we all know, regular exercise and having healthy eating habits is the key to improve your overall health, especially the health of your heart. In almost 70% of the cases with heart disease, the reason for that is unhealthy diet.
What is a usually the reason for strokes and heart attacks is atherosclerosis (which is the hardening and narrowing of arteries) and you can reduce your risk of atherosclerosis with choosing the right foods.
You can help your heart to function properly with having healthy foods for your breakfast, lunch and dinner. A diet that contains veggies, fruits, lean protein and whole grains and it does not include excessive amounts of unhealthy fats and sodium can be considered as a healthy diet.
In this article you will read about some of the best foods that can improve the health of your heart.
1. Dark chocolate – Yes, this is true. But this is only true with the at least 70% cocoa dark chocolate (cocoa is the reason why it is good for you). Many cardiovascular diseases can be prevented with the help of dark chocolate. What can help in lowering the blood pressure is flavonol which is contained in cocoa. Besides lowering the blood pressure it can improve the blood flow to the heart as well and it can protect you from free radical damage.
With eating a small piece of dark chocolate on a daily basis, you will help your heart a lot.
2. Oranges – Oranges can improve the health of your heart because it is rich in many essential nutrients such as potassium, fiber, flavonoids, folate, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and beta and alpha-carotene. Also they are great source of vitamin C and vitamin C is needed in order to improve the blood flow to the heart. Oranges are your friends if you want to lower the high blood pressure and they can reduce artery inflammation and they can improve the function of your blood vessels.
You can either eat oranges, or to make a fresh juice out of them and to drink it.
3. Extra virgin olive oil – This is oil that is made from the first press of olives and it is great source of polyphenols which are heart-healthy antioxidants. Besides polyphenols it is great source of monounsaturated fats as well. You can lower the cholesterol levels with consuming extra virgin olive oil on a regular basis. You can use it for your salads, or for cooking your meals.
4. Salmon – Since salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3s EPA and DHA it is one of the best foods for improving the health of your heart. These omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart rhythm disorders and they can lower the blood pressure. Salmon is effective in reducing inflammation as well and in reducing blood triglycerides. You should always choose wild salmon and to avoid farm-raised fish. You can have it baked or grilled, or you can combine it with your salad, soup or even pasta.
5. Red wine – You can improve the levels of the good cholesterol with drinking one glass of red wine on a daily basis. Your artery walls will be protected because in red wine there are antioxidants known as catechins and resveratrol. What can help even in prevention of cancer is the antioxidant resveratrol. But you can obtain these benefits out of red wine with only keeping to the recommended daily amounts which is 1 glass for women and 2 for men. You should not drink any kind of alcohol including red wine if you are on some medications such as aspirin.
6. Oatmeal – Another good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but also a good source of calcium, magnesium, niacin and potassium. It also contains soluble fiber. You will reduce the levels of bad cholesterol with eating oatmeal on a regular basis and plus you will purify your arteries.