A strong heart is important to a healthy body. The heart is the center of the cardiovascular system, which is responsible in pumping blood throughout the body and supplying oxygen and essential nutrients needed by the body tissues.
In addition to regular exercise, knowing the foods that are good and bad for the heart can help lower the risk of developing heart diseases. The following are the foods that contribute to the health of the heart that people should be aware of:
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids keep the heart and blood vessels healthy by preventing high blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke. These can also help reduce inflammation and severe pain throughout the body.
The body cannot naturally produce Omega-3. You need to obtain it from certain foods that you need to include in your daily diet. Some of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, walnuts, anchovies, flax seeds, fresh seaweed, purslane and trout.
Green vegetables are good for the heart because these are great sources of vitamins and minerals. These are also rich in phytochemicals that nourish the cells of the cardiovascular system. Moreover, there are no known harmful effects of eating green vegetables.
Adding broccoli, lettuce, green onions, spinach, parsley, basil, turnip greens, cabbage, zucchini and Brussels sprouts to the main diet can promote healthy living.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C Complex
Vitamin C Complex has antioxidants called flavonoids that help protect the heart and blood vessels from free radicals. In addition, flavonoids support blood vessels dilation when the body needs an increased blood supply.
Lychee, oranges, kiwis, grapefruit, black currants, tropical guava, papaya and longans are some fruits that are naturally rich in Vitamin C.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods can increase your risk of developing heart diseases. It is important to have enough knowledge about certain foods that damage the heart, so you can avoid them. Not all foods seem harmful, but the excessive consumption of each can worsen your heart condition.
Sugar adds flavor and calories to foods. However, it does not contain nutrients needed by the body. Those who consume a huge amount of sugar-rich foods are more likely to have a heart attack than those who don’t.
Cakes, chocolates, pastries, biscuits, cookies, corn syrup, cane sugar and carbonated drinks are rich in sugar. Thus, eat them occasionally, not regularly to avoid heart diseases.
Fried foods are rich in saturated fats and trans-fats. These are responsible in blocking arteries, causing heart problems. French fries, hamburger or any fried foods should not be eaten daily.
Unhealthy fats must be cut back. It is advisable to have a mashed potato, instead of French fries, or grilled fish instead of fried fish.
Red meat is a good source of protein. However, it is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which the heart hates more. Studies show that the more red meat a person consumes, the higher his risk of suffering from a heart disease.
To reduce risk, it is better to replace red meat with heart-friendly foods. Fish and legumes are high protein sources that you can include in your healthy diet.
Planning a heart-friendly diet is actually easy. All it takes is to focus on consuming the best foods for the heart and limiting your intake of those that can damage its health.