Heart diseases have been acknowledged as the reason for at least one person’s death every 36 seconds in the US. Not to sound too grim, but you should definitely take proper precautions to prevent cardiovascular diseases if you are above a certain age, for example, 50 to 55-year-old people should start getting concerned about their heart. And if you are already suffering from a cardiac problem, then it is all the more important for you to know about heart healthy foods and how to ensure healthy eating for heart patients.
This is also applicable for those of you who have cardiac problems in their family history. Now, you must have a lot of questions on making your own heart healthy diet? That is why we have compiled a list of heart healthy diet tips for those of you who have cardiac problems or stand a risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. So, without further ado, let’s dig in—
1. You must have lots of green leafy veggies
Fresh vegetables are good sources of ample vitamins and essential minerals that can support your body’s metabolism. These are rich in dietary fiber while they provide a low-calorie count for you. You can check your cholesterol consumption too if you include veggies to your diet. One of the most serious heart diseases is atherosclerosis, which is caused by deposition of lipids and cholesterol in the lumen of your heart. To prevent this, you must cut down on your cholesterol intake.
So, fresh veggies are one of the most important heart healthy foods that we recommend for you.
2. Include whole grains in your diet
You must include whole grains in your heart healthy diet. These are a good source of fiber and other nutrients that play a key role in regulating blood pressure and thereby impacting heart health. You can add a generous amount of whole grains in your heart-healthy meal plan by making simple substitutions for refined grain products.
Also, try quinoa for your post-workout food. You can have flatbreads made of whole-wheat flour, you switch your bowl of rice for a healthy amount of brown rice, and you can also have oatmeal or whole-grain pasta for breakfast!
3. Have some berries
Yes, those delicious-looking blueberries and strawberries can help you put up a great fight against cardiac diseases. Berries must be included in your heart healthy diet because they are a good source of polyphenols, micronutrients, and essential fibers. Scientists have claimed, these constituents have been associated with improved cardiovascular risk profiles.
4. Go for recipes with avocados
Next on our list of heart healthy diet tips: grab some avocados and whip up some great dishes with them! Avocados are hugely versatile and you can find loads of recipes with avocados on the internet. If cooking is not your forte, make a simple avocado smoothy. You must know that cholesterol can be of two types—good and bad cholesterols.
Now, including an avocado a day in your heart healthy diet can significantly lower your consumption of bad cholesterol, thus avocados are a great heart-healthy food option for you!
5. Remember to have fish oil
Our recommendation for healthy eating for cardiac patients is to have some fish oil—such as cod liver oil etc. Triglycerides are a type of cholesterol that can cause serious cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis. In fish oil, you will also find Omega-3 fatty acids which reduce risks of arrhythmias (irregular beating of the heart), myocardial infarction (heart attack) and also heart failure (sudden stoppage of the electrical signals of the heart, which causes the heart to stop beating).
6. Treat yourself to some dark chocolate
Did you ever imagine that we would ask you to gorge on dark chocolate as a part of our heart healthy diet tips? Well, that is what we’re doing here. Dark chocolate is high in flavanols which are a subtype of flavonoids that are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Some studies have also suggested that having chocolates is associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure in adults. And as you must know, high blood pressure can cause serious damage to vital organs like the brain, kidneys as well as the heart. So, a bar of dark chocolate is a must for your heart healthy diet plan!
7. Eat salads with tomatoes and beans
Having tomatoes increases your consumption of good cholesterol and since these are lycopene-rich heart healthy foods, so a good ol’ tomato salad can reduce your risks of heart diseases too. But remember to add just a pinch of salt to your salad because high sodium is a big no-no for your heart’s health. Beans and other legumes are rich in proteins while they do not increase your calorie intake, so you can include them in your heart healthy diet.
8. Cook your food in olive oil
Olive oil is an important heart healthy food for your diet. Researchers have found that those who consume olive oil have lower chances of cardiovascular diseases. So, if you still use sunflower oil or mustard oil for preparing your dishes, you may want to switch to olive oil, for the sake of your heart healthy diet.
More than half a tablespoon of olive oil each day ensures a 15% lower risk of having any kind of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of atherosclerosis.
9. Start your mornings with some green tea
Green tea has multifarious health effects and it does wonders for your heart too! One of the most important uses of green tea is to lower your cholesterol content and that ensures smaller risks of atherosclerosis or coronary heart diseases.
Green tea causes decreased consumption of LDL or bad cholesterol, and it also supplies antioxidants which are good for your health too.
10. Include at least 2 servings of fish in your weekly diet
Fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is a must for your heart healthy diet to ensure lower risks of cardiovascular diets. These sorts of fishes include mackerel, salmon, sardine etc. Researchers from Harvard Medical School have said that having two servings of fish per week can combat heart disease possibilities.
Did you ever think keeping heart diseases at bay could be as simple as having a bar of dark chocolate or cooking your food with olive oil every day? But now you know that, perhaps, it is not that difficult to maintain a heart healthy diet! We hope this article helped you in some ways, and if that is the case, spread the good word by sharing this article with your friends. Thanks for reading and have a great day!