What Food Is Best for Your Heart

With advances in science and nutrition, as well as advances in treatment of diseases, we can now better detect and take steps to prevent them, and thus have the opportunity to enjoy a healthier and longer life, compared to our ancestors. Nutrition plays a big part in determining our health, and thus our life. A poor diet is a major contributor and the root cause of many serious illness, such as heart disease. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide.
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What type of food should you include in your diet to prevent heart disease? What are the types of nutritional components in food, which are normally associated with prevention of heart attacks?

1. Omega 3 is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid found in fish, especially oily fish such as salmon, cod, sardines and tuna. It is able to lower blood triglyceride (a risk factor for heart health)and prevents blood clotting, thus boosting cardiovascular health. For the non-fish lovers, flax seeds, canola, walnuts and soybeans are also rich sources of omega 3. The American Heart Association recommends taking at least two servings of oily fish per week, or a handful of nuts a day, to reduce risk of heart disease.

2. Garlic is known to prevent platelets from sticking together and thus reducing risk of plaques forming in the arteries. It is lipid-lowering, anticoagulant, antioxidant and antiviral. Just taking 1 fresh clove of minced garlic a day is enough to reap its numerous health benefits. Minced garlic can be sprinkled onto spaghetti, meat dishes, vegetables or salads, just before serving. For those who dislike the smell, there is always the odorless garlic pills or the antioxidant-rich Kyolic aged garlic extract. Another way to include garlic in your diet is to use garlic powder to marinade meats, together with spices and herbs.

3. Fruits and vegetables, rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, help fight oxidative stress, damage done to cells and DNA caused by free radicals. Cell damage can lead to heart disease.Fruits and vegetables are also rich in the cholesterol-lowering phytosterols and soluble fibers, all contributing to heart health. Beets are good sources of betaine and folate and these two nutrients work together to reduce levels of homocysteine, a type of naturally occurring amino acid that can cause harm to blood vessels, which in turn lead to heart disease. It is recommended to take at least four servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A smoothie consisting of a few types of fruits, blend together with plain yogurt, makes a healthy breakfast food.

4. Wholegrain foods were found to reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 25 percent, in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, by a group of 34,0000 post menopausal women, who ate at least one serving of wholegrain food a day. Whole grains supply your body with vitamins and heart-protecting phyto-chemicals as well as insoluble fiber which aids digestion and prevents constipation. Wholegrain cereals are healthy choices for breakfast.


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