Good Foods for Heart Health

Good Foods for Heart Health

Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, are the number one cause of death around the world with more people dying from cardiovascular diseases every year than from any other cause, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and it is projected to remain the leading cause of death increasing to reach 23.3 million globally by the year 2030.

We’ve compiled some heart-healthy foods that are said to be helpful in reducing cholesterol absorption by the body, lowering high blood pressure (hypertension) and leading to overall better heart health.

Yogurt

Probiotics found in food like yogurt can be linked to lower blood pressure according to a study published in the Hypertension journal by the American Heart Association (AHA.) Researchers found that consistently eating probiotics or ‘healthy bacteria’ helped lower blood pressure in comparison to those who did not. Hypertension is a growing concern as one in three adults in the US have high blood pressure, according to the AHA, with estimates showing that the incidence of hypertension will increase 7.2% by the year 2030.

Beans

Beans have been found to lower the risk of hearts diseases by helping to reduce cholesterol absorption, cutting low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by up to 5 percent, according to medical experts in a recent report for the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  A daily portion of beans and other legumes such as lentils and chickpeas in your diet is said to beneficial to lowering blood pressure and supporting heart health.

Fish/Salmon

Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein which benefit heart health and those who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease the risk of arrhythmias along with lowering blood pressure and slowing the buildup of plaque in the arteries. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna fish at least twice a week.

Nuts

Nuts contain amounts of unsaturated fatty acids as well as vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which can work to reduce cholesterol in the body and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating a helping of nuts every day could help cut the risk of heart disease by nearly one third, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Pomegranate

Pomegranates and pomegranate juice are a high source of fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium and have been shown to have heart health benefits including lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow.  Antioxidants present in pomegranates, such as polyphenols, could also help prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.

Green Tea

Widely recognized for its various health benefits, from weight loss to strengthening the immune system, green tea has also been said to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.  The antioxidants present in green tea act to lower cholesterol and triglycerides as well as improve blood flow. Drinking green tea daily could make it up to 30 per cent less likely for someone to suffer a stroke, according to a study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Oatmeal

A source of soluble fiber, oatmeal can also reduce the absorption of cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein (LDL) into your bloodstream along with many of the other heart healthy foods on our list. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning containing five to 10 grams of soluble oat fiber can lower cholesterol by up to more than 20 per cent and contributes to a decrease in the risk of developing heart disease.

Flaxseed

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids have significant cardiovascular benefits. While fish is most commonly known for its omega-3 properties, flaxseed is also a rich source of the plant-based acid and can be effective in fighting cardiovascular disease.

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