How to improve your heart's health this season

With holiday season round the corner, it is easy to delve into foods which are high in cholesterol, increases the risk of high blood pressure and have poor circulation, which are 3 major factors that affect overall heart health.

ANI| Last Updated: Nov 17, 2014, 14:26 PM IST

Washington: With holiday season round the corner, it is easy to delve into foods which are high in cholesterol, increases the risk of high blood pressure and have poor circulation, which are 3 major factors that affect overall heart health.

However, scientists from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), have now come up with 11 ways boost your heart's health.

According to contributing Editor Linda Milo Ohr, adding certain nutrients and foods to the diet may decrease risk for heart disease.

1. Phytosterols: They help reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is a main source of heart disease.

2. Coca Flavanols: Research has shown that flavanols can help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These types of fatty acids are primarily found in fish and have been shown to decrease triglyceride levels, potentially lowering blood pressure.

4. Hydroxytyrosol: This antioxidant is found in olive oiland protects blood lipids (fats) from oxidative damage.

5. Blueberries: The regular consumption of blueberries is linked benefiting vascular health by lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which is often an effective way to decrease the risk of heart disease.

6. Oat Beta-Glucan: Daily consumption of at least three grams of oat beta-glucan effectively lowers cholesterol.

7. Grape Seed Extract: This extract is shown to support blood pressure within a normal range.

8. Vitamin K: Vitamin K helps to keep excess calcium out of blood vessel walls and improve cardiovascular health.

9. Dairy: Case studies of people with hypertension revealed that the daily consumption of low-fat milk products decreases the risk of high blood pressure.

10. Almonds: Consuming more almonds on a daily basis has been shown to improve serum fatty acid profiles and decrease the overall risk of heart disease.

11. Walnuts: Like almonds, walnuts too are good for reducing the risk of heart disease due to their alpha linolenic acid (ALA), content.

The study is published in Food Technology.