(BeWellBuzz) Eating healthy is a matter of habit. Nothing is more important than taking a good care of your heart. Food that you eat greatly effect your heart health. So, here’s a list of foods that you should have as a part of your daily diet that your heart will thank you for.
Healthy fat, fiber, minerals, proteins and vitamins. Beans pack a punch just because they have multiple nutrients present in them. From dips to soups and even curries, beans can be a part of your diet – and in an interesting way. However, you may find many people (including yourself) avoiding the intake of beans. The fear of gas makes many people steer clear of beans. However, research shows you may have more to thank beans for than you think.
According to a recent health study conducted in the UK, which took 19 years to conclude, people who eat beans at least four times in a week face 22% reduced risk of heart disease. A University of Toronto study also revealed that a regular intake beans (apart from chickpea and lentils) will not only reduce the risk of heart disease but will also bring your blood sugar levels under control. Soluble and rich in fiber, beans have the ability to make you feel full early into a meal. This naturally helps keeping your weight under check and puts lesser pressure on your heart.
What can make a delicious breakfast can also make a healthy heart. Yes, oats it is we are talking about. Consume about three grams of oats per day and the soluble fiber that goes into your body will easily bring your LDL down. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL is often referred to as the ‘bad cholesterol’ in the body. University of Kentucky College revealed, in a study that took them 10 years to conclude, that oat consumption not only brings LDL but also overall cholesterol levels down. Start your day with a bowl of oats. And if that doesn’t excite you, you can always savor it as a sweet treat – just mix oats with fresh organic berries and almond or coconut milk, and eat it as a snack.
These amazing fruits aren’t just about their aromatherapy and sour-sweet taste. They’re heart-helpful as well. Thanks to all the soluble fiber they pack in, they put up a constant fight against cholesterol. And not just that. Oranges are also rich in potassium which means they prevent your blood pressure from skyrocketing. And their ability to shoot down free radicals is amazing – one that will keep your arteries from hardening. Squeeze them into a juice with a lot of pulp thrown in (all that extra fiber is good) or pop them in just like that. The latter might be better because you don’t lose out on the pith. The pith is the whitish part that contains Pectin, a heteropolysacharide, that fights heart failure.
More fruit to the heart’s rescue. Apples, like oranges, comprise heart-healthy food that you can make a part of your daily diet. A study conducted in Florida found out why consuming apples may be better than consuming any other fruit. The study involved observing two groups of subjects – one that consisted of apple-eaters and the other had plum-eaters. In a year’s time, people in the apple-eating group showed 23% reduction in LDL as against the other group. The first group also noted a 14% reduction in overall cholesterol levels. Plaque formation within the arteries also seem to have reduced among the apple-eaters. Like with oranges, you can make a quick juice or smoothie with apples. But to enjoy the fruit’s nutritional benefits – pectin, polyphenols and soluble fiber – it’s best to eat an apple as is.
They’re crunchy and healthy. Which makes it easier for you to snack on nuts without feeling guilty. Many large-scale cohort studies have proved that eating nuts is a good way to keep your cholesterol levels under check. Major health studies like the Adventist Study, Nurses’ Health Study and Iowa Women’s Health Study have noted 30% to 50% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in people who consume nuts multiple times in a week. From almonds to peanuts and hazelnuts to pistachios, nuts should become a part of your regular diet – high heart risk or not. Eat them between meals and if that’s too much of an effort, you can always sprinkle some nut shavings over your food.
6. Whole grains
Besides fruits, whole grains can help ease your heart headache. But sadly, not too many Americans seem to be paying heed. According to the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA, less and less people are consuming the recommended three whole grain servings a day. Making whole grains a part of your daily diet isn’t that difficult. Chuck that bread made of refined flour and buy brown rice instead of white. And yes, organic popcorn helps too – so have as many helpings as you like.