According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 600,000 people die of heart disease every year in the United States alone. That is an alarming fact every person should be aware of.
Promoting healthy heart should start at home with the type of food you serve. There are foods that are considered heart friendly or promote a healthy heart. Here are the top 10 superfoods for the heart:
Salmon is one of the best sources of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which is considered good cholesterol. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acid which lowers your risk of heart disease. Eating two servings of salmon a week certainly promotes a healthy heart. This fish is also recommended by the American Heart Association.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating around a cup of mixed berries every day for eight consecutive weeks will increase the level of HDL in your body and lower your blood pressure. This can be attributed to the diverse range of polyphenols in different types of berries. Polyphenols increase the level of nitric oxide in the body and is good for the heart.
Soy is also among the superfoods that promote a healthy heart because it is proven to help lower bad cholesterol in your body. Aside from that, soy is also a healthy food for your general health as it is high in dietary fibers and low in saturated fats.
Spinach is a superfood that is rich in vitamin B complex, calcium, potassium, and dietary fibers which will not only make your heart healthy but will also help you maintain good eyesight.
Nuts contain high monosaturated fats and low saturated fats which also make them healthy for the heart. According to a study, people who consume two or more servings of nuts a week have a lower risk of heart problems.
6. Legumes or Beans
Legumes have a good reputation of being healthy foods due to their low fat and high fiber content. There is another study that shows that consuming a cup of pinto beans every day can help lower the level of bad cholesterol in the body. Additionally, red or purple beans generally have higher levels of flavanoids, an antioxidant that can help protect your body from diseases including heart disease.
Banana is one of the rich sources of potassium which helps in maintaining a healthy heart. One regular-sized banana already contains about 12 percent of the recommended daily dose of potassium.
Studies show that pomegranates help in reducing plaque buildup in the arteries. They also help lower your blood pressure because of their high level of polyphenol and antioxidants.
9. Whole grains
Whole grains are a rich source of dietary fibers and nutrients which aid in regulating blood pressure and promote a healthy heart.
10. Dark Chocolate
Researchers discovered that dark chocolate is rich in flavanol, a substance that has a blood thinning effect. This substance also helps in maintaining healthy blood vessels. There is also research suggesting that the cocoa in dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure because it contains epicatechin. Epicatechin is only present in cocoa so when you eat chocolate, choose dark chocolate for its high cocoa content.
If you like to promote a healthy heart in the family, the ten superfoods mentioned above are the foods that you should always have in your pantry.