To prevent heart disease and keep it in shape, it is very important to stay at an ideal weight, get regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet.
Diet plays a very important role in the prevention of heart attacks and cardiovascular accidents, since it helps to avoid the causes and factors that predispose to their appearance, which are mainly diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension.
That is why today I bring you 14 foods that you can include in your regular diet to promote the health of your heart and avoid cardiovascular accidents. Do not miss this article!
Why can cardiovascular accidents happen?
One of the most important organs in our body is theheart, which is responsible for pumping the blood so that it reaches all the cells in your body.
If for some reason the blood supply is blocked and does not reach all sections of the heart, a heart attack occurs, also called a stroke.
Heart-related ailments are one of the major causes of mortality worldwide, and although age and family history can increase the risk of suffering from them, most of the risk factors can be avoided by following a healthy lifestyle .
Why are heart healthy foods necessary?
In addition to avoiding being overweight, there are three rates that should be controlled to have a lower probability of suffering a heart attack, and they are:
- Cholesterol: it is a natural fat that is present in the cells of the body and is necessary for the body to function properly, but whose blood levels must not exceed 200 milligrams per deciliter. Although most of it is made in the liver, it can also be obtained through what you eat.
- Glucose: it is the main source of energy for the human body, and it is obtained through food, mainly through carbohydrates. If the levels are adequate, there is a lower risk of suffering from diabetes, which is a factor that increases the risk of suffering a cardiovascular accident.
- Blood pressure: The heart is the organ that pumps blood through the arteries and veins to reach all the organs and cells of the body, but when this pressure is too high, cardiovascular problems can occur. Taking care of the diet with nutrients that favor the correct functioning of the circulatory system, reduces this risk.
Fortunately, these risk factors can be controlled through diet, some exercise, and sometimes with the right medication if prescribed by the doctor. Everything you eat has a significant effect on your cardiovascular health, and hence the importance of taking care of your diet.
A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, the fresher the better, cereals and whole grains, fish, lean meats such as chicken and turkey, legumes, seeds and unsaturated fats can help you maintain good cardiovascular health. Of course, reduce as much as you can the consumption of saturated fats, refined sugar, salt and alcohol, which are enemies of good cardiovascular health.
What are those heart-healthy foods?
In addition to a healthy diet and a little exercise, there are certain foods that have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health, and that you can include among your usual foods to benefit from all its properties, and they are the following:
Olive oil could not be missing from this list, since thanks to its high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, it provides important benefits for cardiovascular health, since it raises good cholesterol levels, lowers bad cholesterol levels, contributes to keep blood pressure at optimal levels avoiding hypertension and preventing the onset of diabetes.
For all this, it becomes the number 1 food that promotes good cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of suffering cardiovascular accidents such as thrombosis or a heart attack.
Cocoa is a good source of flavonoids, a substance that has a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Flavonoids have the ability to improve your nitric oxide levels, widening the veins and allowing a decrease in blood pressure. According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, it revealed that the study subjects who drank dark chocolate for 15 days experienced both a drop in their blood pressure levels and an improvement in their glucose resistance.
Remember that to benefit from these properties, chocolate must contain a minimum of 70% cocoa, since otherwise, it can contain a lot of sugar that is not convenient. So if your body asks for some dark chocolate, give yourself a break and have a few ounces.
Garlic, in addition to providing a peculiar flavor to your dishes, are great allies for cardiovascular health, since they have the ability to lower blood pressure.
When a garlic clove is chopped or crushed, a substance is released, allicin, which is capable of widening the blood vessels, which results in a decrease in blood pressure. Thus, cardiovascular health is favored by reducing the risk of suffering a cardiovascular accident.
Don't forget to use garlic in your meals to benefit from its great properties.
Walnuts are one of the nuts that can take care of the health of your heart the most, since they have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and have the property of reducing bad cholesterol levels as well as total cholesterol.
However, do not forget that they contain a large amount of calories, so you cannot abuse them. To avoid overdoing the calories consumed, you can consume between 50 and 100 grams of walnuts about five times a week, and always within a healthy and healthy diet.
Thanks to its curcumin content, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can be a good ally to prevent cardiovascular accidents.
Turmeric helps prevent platelet aggregation that can lead to blood clots and deposits from forming in the arteries, thus reducing the chances of heart failure and hypertension.
You can use turmeric as a spice for your dishes or add it to your infusion or tea to benefit from all its properties.
Green tea contains flavonoids with anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the formation of plaque on the walls of the arteries, contributing to a decrease in bad cholesterol levels and a decrease in blood pressure. In addition, drinking green tea on a regular basis improves your veins' ability to respond to emotional stress and physical stress, making it a good ally for your cardiovascular health.
But keep in mind that you cannot abuse it, since due to its oxalate content, it can promote the formation of stones in the kidney, so if you are prone to suffering them, you should drink it in moderation.
To benefit from its properties, you can take 1 or 2 cups a day, as they will help reduce high levels of fat in the blood, preventing cardiovascular disease.
Ginger also works by protecting your heart, as it can help you prevent blood clots and fight metabolic syndrome, which includes a group of diseases such as obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. The components of ginger play a fundamental role in achieving these beneficial effects.
Remember that you can add a little fresh ginger to some of your dishes when you are cooking, or even to your salads to take it fresh, and thus, be able to benefit from its good properties to have good cardiovascular health.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, a great antioxidant that can lower levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, while preventing blood clotting, thus reducing the risk of suffering a cardiovascular accident.
Therefore, do not forget to put fresh tomato in your salads, take it in the form of juice or add it to your dishes whenever you can. You can also choose to prepare a homemade tomato sauce yourself, without as many additives as those sold commercially, which you can later add to many of your dishes, such as pasta.
Strawberries are a good source of both magnesium and potassium, two essential nutrients that will help keep your blood pressure level optimal, thus eliminating the risks associated with high blood pressure.
They also have the ability to reduce bad cholesterol, thanks to their antioxidant and pectin content, which makes them a very healthy fruit for good cardiovascular health.
Beets are a good vegetable that can support your cardiovascular health in more ways than one.
On the one hand, thanks to its high soluble fiber content, it will prevent bad cholesterol from depositing on the walls of your arteries, thus reducing the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.
On the other hand, thanks to its high content of nitrites, which are converted into nitric oxide upon reaching the body, they help blood vessels to dilate and relax, making blood circulate better and lowering blood pressure.
With the consumption of beets in your regular diet, you can reduce two risk factors that are enemies of good cardiovascular health, so its consumption is highly recommended.
Legumes such as lentils, aduki, chickpeas or beans, contain high-quality protein and little fat that promote good blood cholesterol levels.
To benefit from its good properties, it is recommended to consume legumes two or three times a week within a healthy diet, and always better cooked with vegetables than with other foods that contain too much fat.
Encourage yourself to eat healthy and your health will thank you
Surely from now on you will encourage yourself to eat better and to include these foods in your usual shopping basket to benefit from all its good properties. With a healthy diet and a little exercise, you can contribute in a very positive way to having a healthy heart and avoiding or, at least reducing, the risks of suffering a cardiovascular accident. Don't wait any longer to start taking care of yourself!