Healthiest Foods For Your Heart

Saturday, May 16 2020 11:27 AM
By Genesis Genesis

Originally Written by Brooke Floerke, Registered Dietitian

The Facts:

600,000 people die every year of heart disease in the U.S, according to the Center for Disease Control. That’s one in every four deaths. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including diabetes, overweight and obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use.

Prevent Heart Disease

Diet and exercise are key to preventing the onset of heart disease. The following is a list of the top healthiest foods for heart health.

 

Top Healthy Foods for Heart Health

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, walnut oil, sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, soybeans, and tofu are all excellent sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids increase HDL cholesterol or “good cholesterol” and lowers triglycerides and blood pressure. They also protect arteries from buildup and help boost the immune system.

Brightly Colored Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, blackberries, plums, kale, spinach and beets, dark chocolate, nuts, red wine, soy products, and tea contain phytonutrients called flavonoids. Flavonoids contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” and encourage blood vessel walls to relax, helping to lower blood pressure.

Seeds and Legumes

Legumes and seeds, such as peas, beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds contain another type of phytonutrient called polyphenols. Polyphenols also inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and improve healthy blood flow.

Fiber

Fiber is another key nutrient for heart health. Soluble fiber helps to lower LDL cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, oat cereal, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, oat bran, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, dried peas, blueberries, psyllium, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.

Olive Oil

Highly encouraged in the Mediterranean Diet, olive oil is great for heart health. It lowers LDL cholesterol, while not affecting HDL cholesterol. It’s a great idea to use olive oil to replace other unhealthy fats, like butter, margarine, and shortening. The extra virgin strand of olive oil is best because it is less processed and contains more antioxidants.

Plant Stanols and Sterols

Plant stanols and sterols are other heart-healthy foods. Plant stanols and sterols are substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol. These substances naturally occur in small amounts in many grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Manufacturers are now fortifying many products with stanols and sterols, but it’s generally best to get the health benefits from natural, whole foods.

 

Eat Well to Reduce Your Risk!

Your lifestyle is your best defense against heart disease. By making healthy food choices and improving your diet, you can reduce the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

IMPACT your life with a healthy heart! Start today!

 

 

Originally Written by Brooke Floerke, Registered Dietitian

 

©2020 Genesis Health Clubs