Can you eat your way to better heart health? The experts say YES! Add these foods into your diet to help lower your risk of heart disease.
Apples contain pectin, which helps lower cholesterol and slows down the the progression of clogging in the arteries. Studies have also proven that an apple a day can reduce the hardening of arteries by at least 40%.
“Instead of using a whopping dollop of mayonnaise on your sandwich, try using thin slices of avocado,” suggests Megan Madden, a registered dietitian in New York, NY. A 1996 study done by researchers in Mexico found that people who ate avocado every day for one week experienced an average 17 percent drop in total blood cholesterol. What’s more, their levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol decreased and HDL (“good”) cholesterol increased.
Asparagus is one of the best, natural artery-clearing foods around, says Shane Ellison, an organic chemist and author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures. “Asparagus works within the 100,000 miles of veins and arteries to release pressure, thereby allowing the body to accommodate for inflammation that has accumulated over the years.” It also helps ward off deadly clots, Ellison says. We just love the versatile vegetable’s crunch in this salad recipe
Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, which is needed for bone formation and helps to keep calcium from damaging the arteries, Dr. Schneider says. Not to mention, broccoli is full of fiber, and studies show a high-fiber diet can also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Enjoy this veggie for dinner tonight with this side dish recipe.
Just one teaspoon a day of antioxidant-rich cinnamon can help reduce fats in the bloodstream, helping to prevent plaque build up in the arteries and lower bad cholesterol levels by as much as 26 percent, according to recent research. Sprinkle some on your morning coffee or onthese delicious crepes.
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain fiber and alpha-linolenic acid, that helps keep arteries clear by regulating blood pressure, lowering triglycerides, reducing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol.
Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants, known to help improve cardiovascular health by lowering LDL and increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
8. Salmon (Fatty Fish)
Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, Madden says. “Eating fish twice a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by decreasing inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels, and it may even help boost your HDL levels.” Try any of these heart healthy and delicious salmon recipes for dinner tonight.
Flaxseeds is one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, known to help reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
10. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in catechins, compounds that have been shown to decrease cholesterol absorption in your body. Another bonus? It may help prevent cancer and weight gain, too!
Eating a handful of nuts is a heart-healthy way for your snack. Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, while almonds are rich in ,heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fibers and vitamin E.
Studies have proven that monounsaturated fats can assist in reducing levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and effectively lower risk of stroke and heart disease.
12. Orange Juice
Studies have shown that drinking at least 2 daily cups of 100% orange juice, can help reduce diastolic or resting blood pressure. It also contains an antioxidant known to help improve blood vessel function.
Persimmons are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, which helps to decrease LDL and triglycerides in the blood-stream. It is also a good source of fiber for regulating blood pressure, keeping the arteries clear and your heart healthy.
Pomegranate contain antioxidant phytochemicals that helps protect the circulatory system from damaging oxidation, which can cause dangerous blood clots and plaque build-up. It also naturally stimulates production of nitric oxide in the blood, thus helping to open arteries and regulate blood pressure.
Spinach is rich in folate, potassium and fiber, which helps to keep arteries clear and lower blood pressure. Just 1 serving of folate rich foods like spinach can help lower your homocysteine levels, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis.
Spirulina can help normalize blood pressure and relax artery walls. It can also help the liver balance your blood fat levels, by decreasing your LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol.
Tomatoes contain carotenoid lycopene, an antioxidant responsible for giving tomatoes their rich red color. A diet rich in lycopene can help reduce the oxidation of the bad cholesterol that leads to the hardening of the arteries.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory due to its curcumin content, that helps lower inflammation, a major known cause of arteriosclerosis or the hardening of arteries.
Watermelon is a great source of the amino acid L-citrulline, which helps to keep arteries clear by decreasing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.
20. Whole Grains
Whole grains contain soluble fiber which help binds the cholesterol in food and drags it out of the body. If your body needs to utilize cholesterol, it draws on your blood cholesterol supply, which results to low total blood cholesterol level and thus reducing the risk for heart disease.