Heart & Circulatory Health Data Verified

Heart Healthy Foods

Written by
Krystel Quadros
and medically reviewed by Preetha J

Published on Nov 13, 2018 and last reviewed on May 07, 2022   -  4 min read

Abstract

Are you in search of foods that are healthy for the heart? Read the article below to know about them in detail.

Contents
Heart Healthy Foods

What Are Heart-Healthy Foods?

In the last few decades, heart diseases like atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease, and stroke have increased in their count exponentially all around the globe. As per the American Public Health Association, a sedentary lifestyle coupled with a poor diet is responsible for the majority of heart diseases worldwide. Stressed and busy schedules tend people to incline toward junk food and processed food, which are otherwise hazardous for their health, particularly heart health.

Scientific studies have built a stronger link between the diet taken and the occurrence of heart diseases. Incorporating healthy foods and regular workout sessions into the routine help a long way in preventing heart diseases. There is a wide range of food items that are specifically good for the heart. These foods are called heart-healthy foods. Having foods in their natural or organic form is the healthiest way to consume them. This is known as a ‘whole-food diet.’ Such a diet includes heart-healthy foods like nuts, whole grains, olive oil, vegetables, and fruits. Besides these, occasionally a glass of red wine or a piece of dark chocolate can also be consumed for keeping the heart healthy.

What Can Be Done for Heart-Healthy Eating?

When the health of the heart is concerned, the foods that are consumed holds a great importance. The below-mentioned tips can be followed for heart-healthy eating:

What Does Heart-Healthy Foods Include?

There are certain food items that are distinctly beneficial for the health of the heart. They are as follows:

  1. Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and trout.

  2. Nuts such as almonds or walnuts in small quantities that satisfy hunger and help the heart.

  3. Berries, as they contain heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. These include blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

  4. Seeds, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. that contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytoestrogens and enhance heart health.

  5. Oats contain an abundance of nutrients, besides protein and fiber, and are regarded as a ‘nutrient powerhouse.’

  6. Legumes that include dried beans and lentils like garbanzo, pinto, kidney, or black beans. These are high in fiber, vitamin B complex, minerals, etc.

  7. Red wine improves good (HDL) cholesterol levels in the body. Up to two glasses of four ounces for men and one for women per day can be consumed.

  8. Soy, edamame beans, or marinated tofu can be eaten for heart-healthy meals.

  9. Veggies of different colors like red, yellow, and orange such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes, etc. are full of carotenoids, fiber, and vitamins that boost heart health.

  10. Green veggies particularly; spinach, kale are a pack of healthy nutrients. Broccoli and asparagus comprise vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium, and fiber.

  11. Fruits, like oranges, and papaya are filled with beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.

  12. Dark chocolate is especially good for the heart. The higher the quantity of cocoa, the healthier it is. The fiber and protein amounts increase with increase in cocoa percentage and the sugar content decreases.

  13. Green tea consumption boosts heart health as it brims with antioxidants like polyphenols and catechins. It also prevents damage to the cells and decreases cell inflammation.

Conclusion:

Heart-healthy foods are a part of a healthy diet that particularly have effects on the functioning of the heart. Such foods are easily available all around us and can be simply swapped with unhealthy food options. It is essential to incorporate them into the diet as early as possible, after gathering the right information about them. As the heart is one of the vital organs of the body, a heart-healthy diet should be followed strictly to minimize the chances of developing heart diseases.

Last reviewed at:
07 May 2022  -  4 min read

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