In this article, we will find a wide assortment of foods that we can include in our daily diet to help improve our heart function and decreases elevated cholesterol levels.
As we are aware, cholesterol blocks our arteries and is the main reason of serious heart diseases. By including these foods in your daily diet, you can help keep your heart in healthy conditions and optimum cholesterol levels. Let’s learn about some of these foods below:
Fresh herbs are only one of the many healthy foods that care for the heart. They are ideal to use as a substitution for salt and aid in eliminating fats and cholesterol.
Besides their spectacular flavor, they help the heart by preventing diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, brain hemorrhage, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
We recommend using: rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme as they all contain high amounts of antioxidants.
These black beans are jam-packed with wholesome nutrients for your heart such as folic acid, antioxidants and magnesium to reduce high blood pressure. Plus it contains dietary fiber that helps to control cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Suggestion: Black beans are ideal to add to soups and salads. If using canned black beans, rinse before using to remove the extra sodium.
Red wine and resveratrol
If you enjoy alcohol, an occasional glass of wine will make a wonderful addition to maintain a healthy heart. Red wine contains resveratrol and catechins, which both are powerful antioxidants that protect the walls of our arteries. Alcohol has been shown to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
Suggestion: Women shouldn’t have more than one drink a day and men should have no more than one or two drinks a day. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor first. Alcohol can cause problems for those who take aspirin or other medicine. Over-drinking can damage your heart.
Salmon: a powerful super food
This super food for the heart is rich in omega 3, EPA and DHA. Lower omega 3 levels can increase the risk of heart rhythm disorders, which can lead to sudden death cause by cardiac failure. Salmon also aids in decreasing triglycerides in the blood and reduces inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends eating two portions of salmon or other cold-water oily fish a week.
Tuna: rich in omega 3
Tuna is an excellent wholesome source of omega 3 for the heart, and generally costs less than salmon. Albacore (white tuna) contains more fatty acids such as omega 3 than any other type of tuna. Other sources of omega 3 are: mackerel, herring, fresh water trout, sardines and anchovies.
Suggestion: Bake them in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil, seasoned with some fresh herbs and vegetables. Use leftover cooked salmon in fish tacos and salads.
Extra-virgin olive oil
This oil is made from olives. Olives are extremely rich in healthy polyphenols for the heart called antioxidants and wholesome monounsaturated fats. When olive oil is substituted for a saturated fat (such as butter), it can help to reduce cholesterol levels. Polyphenols also aid it protecting the blood vessels.
Suggestion: Can be used on salads, cooked vegetables and on bread.
This juicy and sweet fruit contains pectin fiber that fights against cholesterol. Also it has potassium hat helps to control blood pressure. A small study showed that oranges could aid in the function of our blood vessels. Plus, it can slightly lower blood pressure levels by an antioxidant such as hesperidin.
Suggestion: A medium sized orange has around 62 calories and 3 grams of fiber.