Cardiovascular diseases are fast becoming one of the leading causes of death globally, due to factors such as sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits. Reducing your risk of heart diseases should be paramount, with exercise and diet offering two key ways to achieve this.
If you’re looking to improve your diet and heart in the long run, here are some foods which should be playing a key role in your life:
Salmon, and other fatty fish such as mackerel and tuna, are packed with essential omega3 acids, which are great for the heart. Studies have found that omega3 can help lower the risk of irregular heartbeats, reduce plaque buildup in the arteries, whilst it can also help to lower blood pressure levels.
Popeye’s love for spinach can now be attributed to more than just the quest for gains, he was probably also trying to keep his heart in good shape! Spinach is rich in folate, which plays a crucial role in managing homocysteine, an amino acid which promotes narrowing of the arteries.
Regular consumption of tomatoes has been found to help reduce the risk of numerous heart diseases. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamins, including vitamin K which has been found to help prevent haemorrhages.
Olive oils are renowned for their heart benefits, as they’re packed with healthy monounsaturated fats. Numerous studies of Mediterranean diets have shown that extra virgin olive oil in particular can protect against heart disease. This is because amongst its numerous other benefits, extra virgin olive oil can lower inflammation, protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, improve the function of the lining of the blood vessels, and also help to prevent unwanted blood clotting.
Wholegrains, in almost all forms, are great for the heart as they provide natural fibers and vitamins. Wholegrains are also a good source of vitamin E, iron and magnesium, with regular consumption helping to reduce blood pressure.
Nuts are a good source of fibre and essential omega3 fatty acids. Walnuts, almonds and macadamias in particular are loaded with both mono and polyunsaturated fats, both of which offer better heart benefits than saturated fats. Nibbling on 5 ounces of nuts each week can cut your risk of heart disease in half.
Avocados have been one of the most ‘in’ superfoods for the last few years. Avocados are filled with healthy monounsaturated fats, which can help to lower blood cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated fats.
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