With heart disease the number one killer of men and women in the United States, eating healthy is becoming even more important. Studies have shown that people who eat healthy food start with childhood are less likely to develop heart problems. However, even people who have eaten their fair share of fast food burgers, fries and shakes can prevent heart disease by eating a better diet. With a healthier diet, George Bush could have avoided having to do a stent implant. Avoid a similar fate by eating heart healthy foods. Below, we’ll review the seven best foods for healthy living and preventing heart disease.
Not only do oranges taste sweet and delicious, but also they contain many heart healthy ingredients. To start, the pulp and pith of the orange contain an enormous amount of pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that soaks up cholesterol in food before it can be absorbed by the body. In short, the more pectin found in the body the less likely that heart-clogging cholesterol will enter the bloodstream. In addition to the pulp and pith, the potassium found in the citrus of the fruit helps to manage blood pressure by controlling salt intake. Medical studies have shown that individuals who have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are significantly less likely to have heart disease.
This leafy green is imperative for a healthy heart as it contains powerful antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium and vitamin E. Kale is best known for helping to minimize the risk of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when an artery wall becomes think due to the build up of fat. This disease is often found in obese individuals or those with a diet rich in processed fats and cholesterol. Included in Kale is the compound glucoraphanin that helps to prevent plaque from building in the arteries. This unusual substance creates a very strong and durable coating along the arteries that cannot be penetrated by fatty foods.
Research has proven that garlic helps to reduce blood pressure and decrease artery-clogging plaque. The more garlic consumed, the more the blood vessels in the body constrict. When this occurs, plaque is likely to become permanently attached to the arteries. To increase your garlic intake, try adding the onion-like vegetable to salads, entrees or marinades for meats. However, those that do not enjoy the pungent and strong flavor of onion can opt to take it in a supplement form.
Not all cholesterol is bad for the body and red win contains HDL a good cholesterol that helps to prevent plaque. In addition to preventing plaque, red wine contains polyphenols that help keep blood vessels flexible. The less flexible the blood vessel is the more prone the body becomes to clotting. It is important to note that while red wine has been proven to help in maintaining a healthy heart it should be consumed in moderation. In addition to red wine, drinking dark beers has many of the same benefits.
Indulge in your sweet tooth by consuming a small amount of dark chocolate daily to help reduce blood pressure. The more cocoa in the chocolate bar the more effective it is at lowering a person’s blood pressure. Included in cocoa are compounds called flavanols that help make blood vessels more flexible. When selecting a dark chocolate bar choose one that has been minimally processed. Dove Dark chocolate bars contain the highest levels of heart healthy flavanols.