Top 10 foods for your heart
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Last Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011, 18:42
  
Top 10 foods for your heartLiji Varghese

`1.73 million`, Yes, that`s the number of people dying every year due to cardiovascular diseases, one of the world’s largest killers. Sedentary lifestyle and physical inactivity has increased the risk of heart diseases in multiples.

What add to the risk factor are the unhealthy eating habits that have more or less become a part and parcel of the fast-paced lifestyle. As we try to cope with the express world, we tend to become more and more ignorant about what we eat and when we eat.

To help you out get the required nutrients in the day long run, here are a few food items which you must have to keep your heart beating……

Olives

A concentrated source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, olives help reduce risk of heart disease by lowering blood press and LDL cholesterol. High phenols content in olive oil reduce inflammation, act as an antioxidant and have clot-preventing powers.

Whole Grains
Higher consumption of whole grains like oatmeal, barley and brown rice help lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Fiber and other nutrients in whole grains help lower cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar levels. It also reduces inflammation and improves blood vessel functioning.

Oats

The best way to start your day with, oats are nourishing whole grains which are rich in vitamins, minerals and cholesterol-lowering fiber and best for people dealing with heart disease or diabetes. Oats contain dietary fiber, manganese, selenium, and magnesium. Beta glucan, a soluble fiber in oats helps reduce LDL cholesterol which helps reduce risk of heart disease and stroke.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Adding plenty of green leafy vegetables to your diet can help you ward off heart disease, stroke and control blood pressure. Rich in vitamin and minerals vegetables also help reduce diabetes risk. Foliate in vegetables help keep homocysteine levels down.

Tomatoes

Besides being rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, tomatoes are packed with lycopene, a carotenoid that acts as a potent antioxidant in the body. It offers a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases and several types of cancer.


Blueberries

The naturally occurring antioxidants called anthocyanins make blueberries one of the most powerful disease-fighting foods. Packed with fiber and vitamin C, this dark fruit helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, raises HDL cholesterol levels and prevents clogging of the blood vessels.

Apples

`An apple a day keeps the doctor away.` the proverb is more than enough to state the importance of the fruit that not just helps you have a healthy heart but also helps reduce risk of certain types of cancer. The fruit rich in antioxidant compounds help control cholesterol by preventing reabsorption. Phytochemical called quercetin reduces inflammation and helps prevent blood clots.

Almonds

Monounsaturated fats from almonds may reduce your risk for heart disease and also lower your low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Almonds are also packed with vitamin E, magnesium and potassium and are a good source of protein and fibre.
Soy

A diet rich in soy protein helps prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering triglycerides and bad cholesterol. High in protein, this vitamin and mineral rich food item helps reduce blood clotting and prevent both heart attacks and strokes.

Fish

Fatty cold water fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids that protect your heart by reducing both inflammation and the risk of blood clots. Inflammation damages blood vessels which eventually lead to heart problems. The unsaturated fatty acid in fish also helps lower cholesterol levels.


First Published: Friday, September 30, 2011, 18:42


(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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