Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the greatest cause of premature mortality and disability globally. High cholesterol level, elevated blood pressure and diabetes are considered as today’s major lifestyle diseases that can cause cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke. These diseases are caused mainly due to modern day lifestyle habits like faulty dietary pattern and lack of exercise.
Research indicates that some common foods can significantly reduce the risk of developing CVD or being a stroke victim.
Below are some common foods that can reduce the risk of CVD and stroke.
Almonds are in the list of heart healthy foods. This popular nut has the ability to lower the amount of bad LDL cholesterol in your blood. Almonds are rich source of vitamin E, protein, plant sterol and other heart healthy fats. It has a place in almost every healthy recipes because of its health promoting properties. Addition of almonds in the diet has been shown to not only reduce LDL-cholesterol levels, but also maintain HDL-cholesterol levels [study].. Health experts recommend to eat a small handful of almonds daily to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and maintain good health.
An orange a day may ward off the risk of Lifestyle diseases like CVD and Stroke to a great extent. Orange contains a fiber called pectin and this fiber has the ability to fight against cholesterol. Potassium contained in this sweat and sore fruit can help control blood pressure. Studies show that orange juice can boost the health of blood vessels and be beneficial in improving several CVD risk factors.
Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods but the most ignored one when comparing its nutritional value. It contains fewer calories than regular potatoes and are packed with powerful nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber. It is a rich source of Vitamin A, Beta-carotene and Potassium. It is even recommended for diabetic people due to its low glycemic index. Eating sweet potatoes won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar level. Sweet potatoes contain versatile nutrients such as bioactive carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, carotenoids, anthocyanins, conjugated phenolic acids, and minerals. The unique composition of sweet potato contributes to their various health benefits, such as antioxidative, hepatoprotective, antiinflammatory, , antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antiobesity and antiaging effects [study]
Black beans contain nutrients like antioxidants, folate and magnesium which are known to be good for heart health. Some nutrients in black beans has been found beneficial for lowering the blood pressure levels. The fiber content in black beans helps to reduce cholesterol levels. Regular consumption of black beans with meals contribute to the metabolic health and delay of CVD and diabetes mellitus in adults with metabolic syndrome [study].
The whole grain barley which looks like a small nut may save your heart. Studies show that including barley in your daily diet can help to lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Barley is a cereal grain and is packed with healthy fiber, carbohydrates, protein, fats, oils, vitamins and minerals. The key nutrients contained in it are selenium, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and vitamin B3 (Niacin). One of the nutrients responsible for the cholesterol lowering properties of barley is propionic acid which is a soluble fiber. The presence of niacin also provides significant protective actions against cardiovascular diseases. Barley grains are commonly made into malt and used in soups and stews. Diets containing barley significantly reduce total and LDL cholesterol in both men and women [study]
Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are considered as super foods and are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats that are heart healthy. It is known to have the ability to lower blood pressure and prevent heart related problems. They also helps to lower curb inflammation and the level of triglycerides.
Research shows that polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 fatty acids have a positive impact on the preventive aspect of heart health. Also it affects the cellular functions involved in ensuring a normal heart rate and coronary blood flow. Clinical trials of fish consumption and omega-3 PUFA supplementation demonstrate a cardioprotective effect of long chain omega-3 fatty acids. A healthy dietary pattern that includes at least two servings of fatty fish per week is recommended for people having CVD.
Olive oil is another food that can protect your heart health. It is packed with antioxidants and other healthy nutrients. Replacing olive oil with saturated fats like butter and ghee can help to protect your blood vessels and lower blood cholesterol levels. It is the oil obtained from the fruits of olive tree. Cold pressed olive oil gives the best flavor when used with salads and veggies. Olive oil consumption, specifically the extra-virgin variety, is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and mortality in individuals at high cardiovascular risk [study]. Researchers underscore olive oil consumption as one of the key components of the Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular disease prevention.
If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to share it on your favorite social channels.