If you're worried about heart disease, there are a number of ways to control health and heart problems such as exercising daily, quitting smoking, and having an annual checkup. But your regular diet also plays a vital role in maintaining a good heart. This is one of the simplest changes you can make in your lifestyle for good heart health. Here are six foods that are great for heart health.
Don't forget to add at least five ounces of walnuts to your diet! Consuming walnuts can cut the risk of heart disease by 25%. This food comes with lots of good fats. These monosaturated fats can easily replace your saturated fats like butter, which ultimately cuts your bad LDL cholesterol and improves your good HDL cholesterol.
You know which is the best source of soluble fiber? Chickpeas and other legumes. Lentils are the kind of fiber that can help lower down the bad LDL cholesterol. If you are planning to go for canned beans, always look for no-salt-added or low-sodium varieties because sodium can lift your blood pressure. You can wash them to remove any added salt.
3. Dark chocolate
You must know that chocolate is made from the plant called cacao. But did you know that the plant is rich in flavanols, which can lower down your blood pressure and prevent blood clots? It also works as an antioxidant and keeps your bad cholesterol from sticking to the artery walls. Always go for dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa so that your body will get more flavanols and less sugar.
These fruits get their creamy texture from monosaturated fats and help to lower your bad cholesterol. Avocados also come with some anti-inflammatory effects to prevent you from chronic inflammation, which is responsible for atherosclerosis. Try to use avocados in place of butter or simply add cubes of it to your salads. Avocados are considered very tasty and high in calories.
5. Olive Oil
You would be amazed to know that your body is becoming unhealthy due to the type of oil you are consuming. To maintain a healthy heart, nothing is better than the olive oil. This one is ideal for if you want to limit saturated fats found in whole milk, butter, and meat. For your information, fats from the animal products and trans fats can lift your bad cholesterol and can even create fat build up inside your arteries.
6. Green tea
One review in 2011 said that consuming green tea can help reduce cholesterol in small amounts, which is, of course, the main reason for stroke and heart disease. But that particular study failed to tell how much green tea a person should consume to enjoy the health benefits. Then, another study in 2014 showed how green tea is beneficial in the reduction of blood pressure. But still, they were not able to decide if this modest reduction could help in avoiding heart disease.