What is heart health?

Over 1 in 10 Americans has been diagnosed with heart disease. Picking the ideal wholesome foods can decrease your chance of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary artery disease, resulting in heart attack and stroke. Four key lifestyle Measures can dramatically reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular risk factors and heart disease:

- Healthy diet

For decades, research into relationships between diet and heart disease focused on individual nutrients such as cholesterol (and foods like eggs), kinds of fats, and specific minerals and vitamins. This work has been showing, but it has also generated some dead ends, together with confusion and myths regarding what constitutes a heart-healthy diet. That is because people eat meals, not nutrients.

The best diet and nutrition for preventing heart disease is one that's full of fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains, nuts, and vegetable oils; contains alcohol in moderation, if at all.  And this means you should pick a wholesome diet. Some foods provide significant cardiovascular advantages, but how can you select them? We look at some foods that can help your heart health.

Not smoking

Not using tobacco in any form is among the best things you can do for your health. It does this is by contributing to heart disease. Tobacco use is a hard-to-break habit that may slow you down, make you ill, and shorten your life. 

Healthy weight

Extra weight and an extra-large waist size both lead to cardiovascular disease, in addition to a number of other health issues. In a large study of more than one million women, body-mass index (BMI) was a strong risk factor for coronary heart disease. The prevalence of coronary heart disease increases progressively with BMI.

Exercising

Exercise and physical action are excellent ways to avoid cardiovascular disease and a number of other ailments and conditions, but a lot of people get less active as we age. Getting regular physical activity is among the best things you can do for your wellbeing. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, and it could also help control anxiety, improve sleep, improve mood, keep weight in check, and decrease the risk of falling and improve cognitive functioning in elderly adults. It does not require marathon training to see actual health benefits. A 30-minute brisk walk five days this week will offer important benefits for many people.

See: Foods That Clear Arteries

Video: Gut Health Diet

Top foods good for the heart

Here you'll find the top foods to guard your heart and blood vessels. Find out the best nutrients that keep your heart beating at its finest, along with menu suggestions to make these foods part of your everyday meals.

- Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a yummy breakfast food and another fantastic source of these omega-3 fatty acids. And it's a fiber star, offering 4 g in every one-cup serving. Additionally, it has nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and iron.

Oatmeal is a filling breakfast and, for a far more heart-healthy meal, you can top it with fresh berries. Fat-free oatmeal cookies, oat bread, or combine whole rolled oats to a turkey burger meatloaf.

- Black or Kidney Beans

You understand the schoolyard chant: "Beans, beans, good for your heart." It turns out it is true! Beans have a lot of soluble fiber, vitamins from the B-complex, niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, and, you guessed, omega-3 fatty acids. 

Beans are so flexible. It is possible to include them in soups, stews, or salads. 

- Almonds

It has been proven that nuts decrease blood cholesterol. 

And almonds make an excellent choice for having a heart-healthy nut. They include omega-3 fatty acids in plants, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, calcium, polyunsaturated heart-favorable fats, and monounsaturated fats. Almonds are easy to eat -- you can top your salad or yogurt with almond slivers or bite on a healthy trail mix. You might even try them. For more heart safety, choose unsalted almonds. Just be sure your almonds are raw or dry roasted (instead of oil roasted) and keep portion sizes in mind. Though they are heart-healthy, they're also high in fat, some of which is saturated fat. Like other nuts, nuts are packed with calories, and a little can go a long way. They're eaten in moderation.

- Walnuts

Walnuts have the same health protection as almonds and other tree nuts for a whole lot. They contain omega-3 fatty acids from plants, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, fiber, monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are favorable for the heart, and phytosterols. Almonds provide salads a hearty crunch. They taste great, added to sandwiches and breakfast pancakes.

Even though they are heart-healthy, they're also high in calories and fat and should be consumed in moderation. Keep walnut portion sizes in mind, just like nuts. One serving of walnuts, a percentage that provides about 200 calories, should fit neatly into the palm.

- Red Wine

Red wine comprises forms of flavonoids called catechins, in addition to the antioxidant resveratrol. Flavonoids can help preserve the health of your blood vessels and can help prevent blood clots. Resveratrol has been proven in the laboratory to have heart-protecting advantages. The American Heart Association doesn't recommend people start drinking only to reduce cardiovascular disease. Drinking alcohol carries a risk of alcoholism, which can lead to accidents of hypertension, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide, and vehicles. Appreciate red wine in moderation.

- Salmon

Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids that can decrease the risk of irregular heartbeats 

(arrhythmias), reduce the number of triglycerides, delay the production of plaque in your arteries, lower blood pressure slightly. Two servings of omega-3 rich foods such as salmon are recommended each week by the American Heart Association.  Salmon is a versatile food. 

- Farmed Vs. Wild Salmon

Does the manner in which your salmon is raised affect its omega-3 content? Both farm-raised and wild-caught salmon are now carried by several grocery stores. It turns out that there will be more omega-3 fat but also total fat from farm-raised salmon. 

- Ground flaxseed

Ground flaxseed, along with both soluble and insoluble fiber, also has omega-3's. It has one of the largest lignan sources available, which has both plant estrogen and antioxidant properties. Ground flaxseed is easy to integrate into your daily diet and can be combined into just about anything you normally eat. Sprinkle it on your breakfast cereal, along with low-fat yogurt, mix it into muffins, or blend it into your smoothies.

- Tuna

Tuna comprises omega-3 fatty acids. Though not as high in omega-3s as salmon, tuna does supply a moderately good quantity. One serving of tuna also provides about half of your daily requirement of niacin, a nutrient that may improve survival chances for people who have experienced a heart attack.

Tuna salad (light on the mayo) is a simple lunch snack that will keep you full. Tuna makes a fantastic salad topping and may also be grilled for a yummy dinner.

- Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is among the most popular kinds of seafood in the USA. White tuna, made of albacore, and light tuna, made from smaller varieties of tuna (usually skipjack) are the two most common kinds. White, a particular risk for pregnant women, has more omega-3s but also higher levels of mercury. Some carrot comes in oil, and some come from plain water. Tuna in water contains significantly more omega-three fat. That's because lots of this omega-three fat is lost along with any oil that you drain out of the can.

- Tofu

Tofu is a fantastic source of protein. It's vegetarian. And it is full of heart-healthy nutrients such as niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Tofu may be known as"bean curd" since it's made from pressed soybean curd. It's easy to prepare and can be a part of just about any meal. Although tofu has been proven in several studies to have heart-protective qualities, it depends on how you consume it. As healthy as it can be, tofu isn't always in good company. It's contained in many ultra-processed foods, a sort of food associated with obesity and cardiovascular health issues. Its use in processed foods directed the FDA to reverse some of its core health claims of tofu products in 2017.

- Brown Rice

Brown rice isn't only tasty. It is a part of a heart-healthy diet also. Brown rice offers B-complex vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. You may add brown rice to just about any dish, and you can not fail. 

- Soy Milk

Soy milk contains isoflavones (a flavonoid) and gives your daily diet plenty of protein. Nutrients include fat-soluble vitamins, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phytoestrogens. Compared to the protein contained in animal milk, the protein found in soy milk will help lower levels of blood cholesterol and provide other cardiovascular benefits.

- Blueberries

Berries are right for your heart, as well as the rest of the body. Blueberries are packed with nutrients that are a part of a nutritious diet, such as beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids), anthocyanin (a flavonoid), ellagic acid (a polyphenol), vitamin C, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Berries are easy to eat as a nutritious snack by themselves, in addition to your cereal or pancakes, mix into a smoothie, top off your low-carb yogurt, or have some on a salad.

- Carrots

Carrots are most likely best called an excellent source of carotenes. They have enough of the well-known nutrient beta-carotene, but alpha and gamma carotenes (carotenoids) are also a great source of carrots. Studies have linked higher beta carotene levels with a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

- Spinach

With beta-carotene, vitamins E and C, potassium, folate, calcium, and fiber, Spinach packs a heart-healthy punch. Add it to your pizza, or mix it with a white egg omelet or add it for a health bonus to your pasta dish.

- Broccoli

Broccoli is a powerhouse vegetable using beta-carotene vitamins C and E, potassium, calcium, fiber, and folate.

Broccoli tastes great added to soups, mixed with a brown rice dish or mixed in with veggie dips, added to salads, or mixed with a brown rice dish. Adding more broccoli into your daily diet is a sure way to improve the health of your heart.

- Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are an exceptional source of vitamins. You'll discover vitamin A and C within them, and sweet potatoes are a rare low-fat source of vitamin E. They also have potassium, folate, calcium, and fiber--and you get even more fiber once you consume their skins.

- Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are tangy, crispy, and full of heart-healthy nutrients such as lutein (carotenoids) and beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins,  potassium,  fiber, and folate. In salads, peppers are tasty and cut into pieces or wraps to snack on raw. Roast or grill them for a hearty side dish, or add extra spice to the sauces or main dishes. In regards to heart-protective nourishment in bell peppers, red peppers have significant stores of beta-carotene, as an example. While still healthy in several different ways, yellow bells have almost no beta-carotene in any respect.

- Asparagus

Asparagus is a nutritious veggie which comprises beta-carotene and lutein (both carotenoids), B-complex vitamins, folate, and fiber. Asparagus makes a superb heart-healthy side dish. Steam or grill lightly and sprinkle with some balsamic vinaigrette. Add to salads, stews, or casseroles for extra health benefit.

- Oranges

Oranges are an ideal portable snack. They're juicy and full of nutrients like the antioxidant beta-cryptoxanthin, carotenoids like beta- and alpha-carotene and lutein, in addition to flavones (flavonoids), vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber. The entire fruit is best to eat by itself. You could even add orange slices to salads, yogurt, or even chicken dishes. Orange juice can also offer you some of the exact advantages, but pound for pound, you're best off eating the fruit whole.

- Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a  heart-healthy food versatile with beta- and alpha-carotene, vitamin C,  lycopene, lutein (carotenoids), potassium, folate, and fiber. In particular, Lycopene has been studied as potential protection from cardiovascular disease, though studies remain inconclusive.

Raw tomatoes can be added to salads or sandwiches. Cooked, they make great sauces and are ideal additions to pasta dishes.

- Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is just another heart-healthy food with beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids), B-complex and C vitamins, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium fiber.

Baked acorn squash is superb winter food. To create this, just cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and then fill it with rice and veggies before roasting.

- Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a summer favorite containing heart-healthy nutrients like alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids), B-complex and C vitamins, folate, potassium, and fiber. Try some mixed into a smoothie, or for a fresh fruit salad, combine with other fruits.

- Papaya

Papaya comprises the carotenoids beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lutein. It adds vitamins A and C into your diet, together with folate, calcium, and potassium. Papaya goes great with heart-healthy salmon. Try it into a smoothie, fruit salad, frozen into a popsicle, added to salsa, or even grilled.

- Dark Chocolate

Very good news! Chocolate comprises heart-healthy resveratrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids), which may lower blood pressure.

Stick to dark chocolate with 70 percent or sugar content to reap the advantages, and remember moderation is critical because chocolate is high in calories, fat, and sugar. Only one serving is required.

- Tea

Like red wine, tea contains catechins and flavonols, which may help maintain your blood vessels' health and might prevent blood clots from forming. Green tea particularly has been touted for its antioxidant properties. Tea may lower your risk for heart issues, according to a long-term study of over 6,000 adults. The study found that adults who drank 1-3 cups of tea daily had improved coronary calcium scores. Coronary calcium could be a precursor for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. Love tea hot or cold. To get more antioxidants in the tea, brew with hotter water, and simmer for at least three to five minutes. Stay away from cream or sugar as these add unnecessary fat and calories.

See: Papaya Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

Video: Longevity Diet For Weight Loss & Long Life

References

1. UC Berkeley Wellness: "Carrots: A beta carotene wonder," "What you should know about tuna."

2. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter: "Which color of bell pepper has most nutrients?"

3. USDA Food Composition Database: "Broccoli, raw," "Rice, brown, long-grain."

4. recommendations," "Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids," "Good news about chocolate."

5. American Heart Association News Archive: "Tea drinking linked to better heart health."

6. - American Institute for Cancer Research: "How much nutrition do I lose by using frozen spinach instead of fresh?"       Biomedicines: "Resveratrol: A double-edged sword in health benefits." -

7. British Heart Foundation: "Can tomatoes prevent heart attacks?"

8. American Heart Association: "The American Heart Association diet and lifestyle NIH: "Know the differences: Cardiovascular disease, heart disease, coronary heart disease."

9. Dairy Council of California: "Health benefits of oatmeal."

10. UC Davis Nutrition Department: "The benefits of consuming almonds," "Walnuts lower cholesterol and triglycerides in free-living adults."

11. Circulation: "Soy protein, isoflavones, and cardiovascular health."

12. USDA SNAP-Ed Connection: "Blueberries," "Cantaloupe."

13. The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association: "Nutrition facts."

14. Produce for Better Health Foundation: "What is the nutritional value of half an acorn squash if you eat the skin too?"

15. Household USDA Food Fact Sheet: "Beans, black."

16. Journal of the American Heart Association: "The dilemma with the soy protein health claim."

17. Circulation Research: "Serum beta carotene and overall and cause-specific mortality."

18. Harvard Health Publishing: "Finding omega-3 fats in fish: Farmed versus wild," "Why not flaxseed oil?"

19. NIH Fact Sheet for Health Professionals: "Niacin."

20. Network for a Healthy California: "Harvest of the month: Asparagus," "Harvest of the month: Oranges."

21. University of Illinois Extension: "Sweet potato factsheet."

See: Heart healthy diet plan to prevent heart disease

Video: Mindful steps to healthy eating

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