Did you know that the food you eat affects your risk of heart disease? Depending on your food choices, you can either cut or raise your chances of developing heart-related diseases.
The good news is that researchers discovered which foods can help you prevent cardiovascular diseases, which include heart attacks and strokes.
So, here’s a list of top 15 heart-friendly foods that will help you take care of your heart.
Top 15 Foods to Protect Your Heart
1. Fatty Fish
Unlike fatty meat products, fatty fish is rich in omega 3s which reduce the risk of abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) and atherosclerotic plaque, as well as the levels of blood pressure and triglycerides.
So, eat herring, salmon, haddock, mackerel, and other fatty fish at least twice a week.
Coarse oatmeal contains high levels of omega-3s, potassium, folate, and fiber which improve digestion and reduce the LDL (bad) cholesterol. In this way, it keeps your arteries clean.
Strawberries and blueberries help dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure levels. What’s more, they cut the risk of heart attack, especially in women.
4. Dark Chocolate (60-70% Cocoa)
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, and flavanols which reduce blood pressure, improve circulation to the heart and brain, and prevent arteries from clogging.
Nuts contain high levels of vitamin E which help reduce the LDL cholesterol. Moreover, they are high in protein fibers which help protect the heart health.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This oil contains monounsaturated fats which help improve the endothelial function of the arteries in older people. Also, it helps reduce blood cholesterol and pressure.
7. Red Wine
Moderate consumption of red wine helps decrease fat deposits in the blood vessels. In addition, it supports the weight loss process.
8. Green Tea
Drinking just one cup of green tea daily prevents cholesterol plaques. It helps widen the arteries, thus lowering the risk of blood clots. Also, this tea speeds up the metabolism and the weight-loss process.
9. Broccoli and Spinach
These green vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They help regulate the blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as activate the heart. Broccoli improves the strength of blood vessels and reduces the risk of coronary artery disease.
Avocado is abundant in good fats which help reduce the LDL cholesterol and keep the arteries clean.
Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants which help improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and raise hemoglobin levels. Moreover, it can prevent hardening of the arteries by decreasing the damage linked to blood vessels.
This common spice lowers the levels of total, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides. All this makes cinnamon great for reducing the risk of heart disease. In addition, it speeds up the weight loss process.
Watermelon is rich in antioxidants and lycopene which help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, it can help reduce the thickness of artery walls. Moreover, the magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, C, and B6 in watermelon support your heart health.
Garlic has cardioprotective effects and helps prevent and treat hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and thrombosis. What’s more, it can reverse plaque buildup in arteries, thus reverse early heart disease.
15. Apples and Pears
Apples and pears are naturally free of cholesterol, fat, and sodium, as well as low in calories. They are rich in dietary fiber which reduces the LDL cholesterol and blood pressure levels, thus protecting the heart.
Bonus – Juice Recipe for Healthy Blood Vessels
- 250 ml of garlic puree
- 250 ml of ginger juice
- 5 tablespoons of honey
- 250 ml of lemon juice
- 250 ml of apple cider vinegar
Put all ingredients in a pot, except honey, and mix well. Then, cook on medium heat for half an hour while constantly stirring. Remove from heat and let it cool completely before adding the honey.
Next, mix again and transfer the drink in a glass bottle. Keep the mixture in the fridge for up to two months.
Consume one tablespoon of the mixture every morning before breakfast.
The honey and garlic in this mixture will help lower the cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Ginger, on the other hand, will protect against heart disease and apple cider vinegar will help eliminate toxins from the body.
Last but not least, lemon will help regulate your heartbeat.