15 Heart Healthy Foods for Heart Healthy Month

About 10 days ago I had a Zoom cooking class called Heart Healthy Foods. In doing my research, I found additional/similar lists for other ailments and realized that many of the same foods are on almost every list: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, seaweed, and fish. The list below is specifically for the heart, but you may find that eating these foods (without deep frying, overcooking and preferably organic) may help you with other health issues that you may have, such as migraine headaches or indigestion. Overlapping is quite interesting.

Fifteen Heart-Healthy Foods from http://www.healthline.com
(Note: I found the photos on the Internet under Free Photos)

Leafy greens are high in vitamin K and nitrates, which can help reduce blood pressure and improve arterial function. Studies show that a higher intake of lwafy greens is associated with lower risk of heart disease.

Whole Grains: Studies show that eating whole grains is associated with lower cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, as well as a lower risk of heart disease.

Berries are rich in antioxidants.* Studies show that eating them can reduce multiple risk factors for heart disease. (* A substance such as vitamin C or E that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism.)

 Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats and potassium. They may help lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of metabolic syndrome www.mayoclinic.org › symptoms-causes › syc-20351916.  (Mar 14, 2019 — Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur   together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.)

Fatty Fish & Fish Oil (supplements): Both are high in omega-3 fatty acids and may help reduce heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.

Walnuts: Studies suggest that walnuts can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Beans are high in resistant starch and have been shown to reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation.

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants like flavonoids.* It has been associated with a lower risk of developing calcified plaque in the arteries and coronary heart disease.(*Flavonoids are various compounds found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. They’re also in plant products like wine, tea, and chocolate. There are six different types of flavonoids found in food, and each kind is broken down by your body in a different way.)

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in lycopene (a natural plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties) and have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol.

 

Almonds: Almonds are high in fiber and monounsaturated fats, and have been linked to reductions in cholesterol and belly fat.

 

Seeds: Human and animal studies have found that eating seeds may improve several heart disease risk factors, including inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. Chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds are all great sources of heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Garlic and its components have been shown to help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. They may also help inhibit blood clot formation.
(This is thanks to the presence of a compound called allicin, which is believed to have a multitude of therapeutic effects.)

Olive Oil is high in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. It has been associated with lower blood pressure and heart disease risk. What is healthier: monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats? Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels,  which can decrease your risk of heart disease and may also help     decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.). [Also olives-es]

Edamame Beans: In addition to its isoflavone* content, edamame is a good source of other heart-healthy nutrients, including dietary fiber and antioxidants. (This bean is an immature soybean frequently found in Asian cuisine.) [*Isoflavones are a class of phytoestrogens — plant-derived  compounds with estrogenic activity. Soybeans and soy products are the richest sources of isoflavones in the human diet.]

 

Green Tea has been associated with a number of health benefits, from increased fat burning to improved insulin sensitivity. It’s also brimming with polyphenols and catechins, which can act as antioxidants to prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation and protect the health of your heart. It has been associated with lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. (Taking a green tea supplement or drinking matcha, a beverage that is similar to green tea but made with the whole tea leaf, may also benefit heart health.)

Bottom Line from www.healthline.com: “As new evidence emerges, the link between diet and heart disease grows stronger. What you put on your plate can influence just about every aspect of heart health, from blood pressure and inflammation to cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Including these heart-healthy foods as part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet can help keep your heart in good shape and minimize your risk of heart disease.”

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply