Constant stress, lack of physical activity, sleep problems, poor diet, smoking, and many other things can easily damage your heart and vessels. If some of the listed issues and habits are a part of your life, then it’s important you take action to protect your heart.
In this article, we’ll describe a heart-healthy diet. This diet is a powerful tool that will help you not only maintain a healthy cardiovascular system but also improve it. You simply need to add these nine superfoods to your daily diet and you’ll see improvements in your heart health as well as overall health.
Garlic has potential cholesterol-lowering properties. You can use it in supplement form or add it to your dishes. Finely cut a few cloves, saute them in olive oil, and add to your favorite veggies or salads.
Walnuts are an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). A 1-ounce serving of walnuts will provide you with approximately four grams of protein and two grams of fiber. You can add them to hot cereal, salads, grain dishes, yogurt, soup, and many other dishes. You can also snack on them alone.
Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that has potential benefits for heart health. Capsaicin is able to protect against hypertension and inflammation as well as other health issues. Studies indicate that hot peppers may also have a slight positive effect on metabolic rate.
Chicken breast is a good source of lean protein and at the same time, it’s low in cholesterol and saturated fat, unlike red meat and lamb. Chicken breast also provides minerals and vitamins, protects against cancer, promotes weight loss, boosts metabolism, and strengthens bones.
Olive oil is considered among the most heart-healthy oils due to its amazing nutrient content. Olive oil mostly consists of monounsaturated fats that are often used for high cholesterol treatment. You can use olive oil for roasting, sauteing, and making dressings, marinades, and sauces.
Tomato is high in potassium and an antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is known for its potential benefit on blood pressure, and according to various studies, lycopene is also very beneficial for overall heart health. Add fresh tomatoes to a salad, sandwich, or omelet. You can also choose low-sodium canned or cooked tomatoes.
Sole and other types of white fish are an extremely delicious source of lean protein. Their mild flavor makes them a good option for people who don’t love "fishier" varieties like salmon. In order to avoid drying out, try wrapping fish in parchment paper and cooking in the oven.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in dietary fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which will help you increase good cholesterol levels. You can add them to salads, or use them as a garnish for toast, hot cereal, yogurt, soup, and more. You can also snack on them.
Legumes have eight grams of protein and fiber per half-cup serving, depending on which type you choose. Adding them to your diet you’ll provide your body with lean protein and satiating fiber. You can eat them with whole grains at meals or add to soups and salads.