Given the alarming rise in the cases of heart diseases that young and old are suffering alike, it is time for us to ensure that our diet is in tune with the health of our heart.
The heart is one of the most vital organs in the body and heart diseases rank as the most common reason behind death among men and women. Thus, keeping your heart healthy is extremely crucial if you want to lead a long, healthy and happy life.
There are certain foods that promise to keep your heart healthy! They not only, regulate the blood pressure but also take care of the important factors like cholesterol and inflammation- all of which, if taken into consideration, can guarantee a healthy heart:
Consuming greens and focusing on a balanced diet
Vegetables and leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, vitamins (especially Vitamin K) and minerals, which not only promote proper blood circulation but also protect the arteries. Heart Diseases are known to affect women more commonly, and including an adequate amount of vegetables in your diet will help in reducing blood pressure, decreasing stiffness in the arteries and regulates the functioning of the cells lining the blood vessels.
Include avocados and berries in your meal
Avocados contain monounsaturated fats, that ensure a lower risk of heart diseases and a healthy level of cholesterol. These are rich in potassium, each one containing around 970 milligrams and thus ensuring a healthy heart. Avocados are also essential as they help in reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants like anthocyanins that prevent inflammation and oxidative stress thus reducing the risk of developing heart diseases greatly.
Substituting refined grains with whole grains
Whole grains are rich in fibre and nutrients and include all three essential components of the grain i.e. the bran, the germ, and the endosperm, thus playing a major role in regulating blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart. Common whole grain foods are oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, whole-grain bread, high fibre cereal, brown rice, barley, whole-grain pasta, and buckwheat.
Whole Grains are preferred over refined grains since they are so high in fibre content that they are instrumental in the reduction of LDL cholesterol, thus, preventing the risks of heart diseases by a good percentage.
A lower level of saturated and trans fat in the diet helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol and prevents the risks of coronary artery diseases. Reducing the level of blood cholesterol is crucial to prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, which can result in a higher risk of heart attacks and stroke. Foods rich in sodium content can be instrumental in increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease as they can cause high blood pressure. To cut down on sodium content, it is much better to consume fresh foods over canned and processed foods which contain high salt content. It is better to consume smaller portions of refined or processed foods which are high in calories and sodium content.
Apart from these, you know that regulating your portion size can improve your heart health in a great way. One of the major reasons for heart problems is the quantity of consumption. Consuming a larger portion can result in higher consumption of calories. Include higher portions of low-calorie foods rich in nutrients like fruits and vegetables.
Madhulika Mitra is a fantasy connoisseur, a realm creatrix, a shadow-seeker, and a cosmic cardslinger.