If someone wants to follow a balanced and heart-healthy diet, they need to eat plenty of nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, soy, fish, fruit, and vegetables on a daily basis. However, there are some foods that are considered more heart-healthy than others because of the disease-fighting nutrients they contain. Keep reading to learn more about the best foods to ensure a healthy heart, regardless of a person’s age.
Keep in mind, these foods are regularly served by companies like Morrison Healthcare because of the many benefits they offer. This makes them the top foods for anyone to add to their diet, regardless of age or state of health.
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Green Leafy Vegetables
Green, leafy veggies such as collard greens, kale, and spinach are well-known for their many benefits and nutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. In fact, these are all a great source of vitamin K, which protects the arteries and helps to promote proper blood clotting. These are also full of dietary nitrates, which are beneficial in reducing blood pressure, reducing arterial stiffness, and improving the overall function of the cells that line blood vessels.
There are some studies that have shown a link between increasing a person’s intake of green, leafy vegetables and reduced likelihood of developing heart disease.
With whole grains, a person is getting three nutrient-rich parts of a grain, which include the bran, endosperm, and germ. Some of the most common types of whole grains that are seen today include quinoa, buckwheat, barley, rye, oats, brown rice, and whole wheat.
Compared to the refined grains, a person who eats whole grains is getting a food that is much higher in fiber. Over time, this can help to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol and reduce the possibility of heart disease.
There are multiple studies that have been done and proven that when people include more whole grains in their diet, their heart health improves, which means it is a worthwhile investment of time and energy. When someone is ready to buy whole grains, they should be sure to read all the included ingredients carefully. There are some phrases, such as “whole wheat” and “whole grain” that indicate it is a true whole grain product. However, if terms like “multigrain” or “wheat flour” are used, these are indications the product does not include whole grains.
Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are all full of crucial nutrients that have a huge role in a person’s overall heart health. Also, berries are full of antioxidants such as anthocyanins. These will help to protect against inflammation and oxidative stress that can lead to cases of heart disease.
Studies have proven that if someone eats a lot of berries, they can reduce their risk factors of developing heart disease. For example, according to one study, it was proven that drinking something that was made of freeze-dried strawberries helped to reduce LDL cholesterol by 11% over the period of eight weeks.
A condition that is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease is metabolic syndrome. A different study provided evidence that consuming blueberries each day helped to improve the function of the cells that line the person’s blood vessels. This was beneficial in controlling blood pressure and improving blood clotting.
Berries are a great-tasting treat. They can be a snack on their own or used with other food items to make a tasty dessert. It is a good idea to try several different berries to see the biggest benefit to a person’s health and all the unique health benefits this food offers.
There is a lot of buzz about avocado being healthy fat. Unfortunately, many people don’t know what this means. Avocados are considered a good source of monounsaturated fats. These have been directly linked to reduced cholesterol along with a reduced risk of developing heart disease.
According to a study that involved how cholesterol-lowering diets for 45 people who were overweight or obese that included avocado, what happened. The group that received the avocado each day saw more significant reductions in total LDL cholesterol, which minimized the possibility of heart-related problems down the road.
Fish Oil and Fatty Fish
Some fatty fish, such as tuna, sardines, mackerel, and salmon are full of omega-3 fatty acids. These are substances that have been studied -; a lot -to learn more about the benefits they offer to the heart.
According to the findings of a study that involved 324 people, eating salmon a minimum of three times per week for a period of eight weeks helped to reduce a person’s total diastolic blood pressure. There was another study that provided proof that eating fish for a long period of time helped to reduce things like systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, and blood triglycerides.
If someone is not a huge fan of seafood, they can opt for fish oil in supplement form, instead. Today, fish oil supplements are beneficial in reducing blood pressure, improving total arterial function, and reducing a person’s blood triglycerides. There are other types of omega-3 supplements, such as algal oil and krill oil that are considered more popular elements to try.
The walnut is a great source of micronutrients and fiber. Research has proven that incorporating several servings of walnuts in a person’s diet will help to protect them from cases of heart disease. In fact, according to one review, consuming walnuts can help to reduce total LDL cholesterol by as much as 16% and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
The Role of Food in Heart Health
As can be seen from the information here, the impact of food on a person’s heart health is significant. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to see why the food that a person eats is so important and how it can have such a huge impact on a person’s long-term wellness and the diseases they must deal with later in life. Being informed is the best way to maintain good heart health.