It’s not a secret that we are what we eat, and our health and physical state depend on our diet a lot. It’s also about cardiovascular system, which is vital and requires to be paid much attention to. Heart diseases affect all the other organs of the body, so it’s our responsibility to keep our heart and vessels in a good state.
Usually we become worried about the heart too late, when it’s already time to combine diet and exercise with pills. However, it’s much better to prevent such conditions, and a healthy diet is one of the best ways to care about your heart. Certainly, diet is not always enough to keep fit and be healthy, but it’s an important option. And there are many kinds of food that can improve the state of heart, as well as those which can considerably damage the cardiovascular system.
#1. Fish Is the Best DishDieticians claim that fish is one of the best choices for those keeping to a healthy diet. If your heart could speak, it would shout that salmon is what it needs. Harvard scientists tested the contribution of fish in women with diabetes and discovered that eating fish five times a week leads to 65% reduction of the risk of heart diseases. At the end of the 1980s, it was proved that people living in coastal countries and eating a lot of fish regularly have an impressively low death rate caused by heart failures. Salmon and other fatty fish kinds contain omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce atherosclerosis and arrhythmia risk, decreases triglycerides and raises HDL. Apart from omega-3, fish is rich in minerals. For example, iodine which helps keep cholesterol levels low, or manganese that contributes to insulin production, a hormone decreasing blood sugar. Red fish is more useful than white as it contains more antioxidants. However, any fish is digested better than meat. It’s recommended to serve 7-10 oz. of fatty fish at least twice a week.
#2. Oatmeal and BeansOatmeal, beans and other legumes are good for the cardiovascular system because they provide it with soluble fiber, which stays on guard of vessels protecting them from harmful cholesterol. Soluble fiber keeps cholesterol from being absorbed in the stomach, thus keeping it away from vessels. It’s highly recommended to buy organic oatmeal, not instant one, and eat it (or chickpeas, beans, etc.) every day. Legumes also help to control blood pressure due to the fact they contain magnesium and potassium. Magnesium reduces the amount of calcium in blood, while potassium influences blood pressure by balancing salts. Legumes help people suffering from diabetes to control blood sugar, thus, helping them avoid the risk of heart disease. In general, peas, lentils and beans are a wonderful source of protein, and if compared with some kinds of meat, there are no harmful fats in them.
They are not just delicious, but also good for your health. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. – they all contain antioxidants which keep free radicals away. Antioxidants help decrease blood pressure and dilate vessels. Also, vitamin C and fiber that reduce the risk of stroke come into the body when consuming berries.
This amazing product contains about 70 components which are useful for the heart muscle. It reduces blood pressure by lowering the amount of angiotensin. Polysulphides contained in garlic help to activate the blood flow. Also, garlic is rich in vitamin C and selenium that contribute to the work of the cardiovascular system as well. Hydrogen sulphide helps relax smooth muscles of vessel inner walls and release revulsion which may lead to heart attack.
However, some recent studies show that only smashed or chopped fresh garlic is useful for the body.
#5. Dark ChocolateChocolate is a delicious remedy. Everyday consumption of dark chocolate can reduce heart attacks and strokes in people who are in the group of risk. Flavanols, the compounds dark chocolate is rich in, help improve vessels flexibility, thus reducing blood pressure. Moreover, chocolate increases both the quantity and quality of blood cells. Blood clots formation may be prevented with the help of dark chocolate, too. It is necessary to mention that it is only dark chocolate that is useful for your body; milk chocolate doesn’t have the features like that, because cocoa is processed and flavanols lose their qualities. Just several bits of dark chocolate a day would do your cardiovascular system a great favor.
#6. Citrus FruitOranges, tangerines and other citrus fruit are rich in soluble fiber - pectin, which blocks cholesterol absorption. Potassium, which is contained in citrus fruit as well, counterbalances salts. In addition, galectine-3 is neutralized by pectin. Galectine-3 is a protein which is really harmful for the heart, because it causes scarring of heart tissues, which results in heart failures. Thus, citrus fruit are able to prevent heart failure, reduce blood pressure and keep your vessels free of cholesterol.
#7. Red WineAs well as any other type of alcohol, red wine initiates HDL production. Thanks to this useful cholesterol clots are not formed within the vessels. Moreover, red wine contains polyphenols which make blood vessels flexible. But it’s important to drink not more than one glass of wine a day, because regular heavy drinking damages the heart instead of contributing to the cardiovascular system.
This tasty blood-red fruit is a treasure for those who would like to keep their cardiovascular system healthy. Polyphenols and anthocyanins help keep arteries flexible. Numerous studies prove that the blood flow is considerably improved after three months of pomegranate therapy. Pomegranate juice drank within a year can not only slow down plague formation, but also reverse some of the already existing plague. It’s because pomegranate activates an enzyme which destroys oxidized cholesterol. However, if pomegranate is too exotic for you, it can easily be replaced by apples that also contain lots of antioxidants.
To sum up, any diet must be chosen individually, especially if you are allergic to some kinds of food. There is also no reason to force yourself into eat meals you don’t like because there are always dozens of options, and you will certainly find something that fits you and meets your food requirements.