6 Heart-Healthy Superfoods

6 Heart-Healthy Superfoods

Consuming a healthy diet is great for the heart. Several studies have shown that almost 70 % of heart diseases can be prevented by making the right food choices. What you eat and drink can protect the body against various health problems. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc., promote heart health. A simple change in your diet or the addition of some superfoods can make a big difference in your heart health.


People often think about superfoods to be expensive and exotic or something that cannot be easily added to their diet. In reality, superfoods are nutrient-rich and easily available foods that can be included in your daily diet. Because of these foods’ nutritional benefits, nutritionists often recommend them. The following foods have proven to protect the body from heart problems and other chronic diseases, and even cancer.

1) Berries:


Blueberries and strawberries have been proven to make your heart healthy. Berries are rich in anthocyanins, polyphenols, and ellagic acid, which increase the levels of nitric oxide and lower blood pressure, and keep the blood vessels healthy. For maximum benefits on the heart, blueberries and strawberries should be consumed at least thrice a week. This does not include baked blueberry cheesecake or cupcake, as bakery items contain a lot of sugar and fat, which can harm your heart. You can add fresh berries to a healthy smoothie or morning cereal.

2) Beans:


Beans are a great meat substitute. A study found unprocessed red meat, processed meat, and poultry consumption to a small increase in the risk of heart diseases, such as heart failure and stroke. Instead of meat, beans provide the required protein, and they also contain similar nutrients found in meat, fish, and poultry. They are also rich in fiber and minerals. Beans might not contain as much iron as some meats, but they have almost nil saturated fat (the bad fat that increases the risk of heart disease), which animal-based proteins are high on. Make sure you replace meat with a bowl of beans or add them to your soups and salads.

3) Omega-3-Rich Foods:


Nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids (good fats), vitamins, and minerals and are low on bad fats. Consuming a handful of walnuts, peanuts, almonds, or any other nuts and seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds daily or four days a week has been shown to lower heart disease incidence. These omega-3-rich foods raise the good cholesterol levels (HDL) and reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), which in turn lowers the risk of heart rhythm problems and atherosclerosis. Also, including fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, or tuna) at least twice a week can provide enough omega-3.

4) Green Tea:


Antioxidants, such as polyphenols and catechins, present in green tea prevent cell damage and protect the heart. Researchers have found that green tea drinkers suffer fewer heart events like heart attack and stroke. For the most benefit, green tea should be made from tea leaves that do not have anything else added to them. And if you have been advised to limit caffeine intake due to heart condition, drink caffeine-free green tea.

5) Dark Chocolate:


Studies have shown dark chocolate to promote heart health. Flavonoids present in dark chocolate reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation. A study showed that consuming dark chocolate (at least 60 to 70 % cocoa) can reduce heart attacks and strokes in high-risk people. But, you need to watch how much chocolate you eat at a time, as they still contain sugar and additives that can result in weight gain and put extra pressure on your heart.

6) Leafy Greens:


Being rich in vitamin K and nitrates, leafy greens help reduce blood pressure, protect the arteries and promote proper blood clotting. Spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, etc., are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A high intake of leafy green vegetables is associated with a 16 % lower risk of coronary heart disease.


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