While attention to health foods is increasingly garnering public attention, it can be difficult to know which claims to trust. When it comes to heart disease, knowledge of those foods that may increase or decrease the risk of wellness is vital. The Cleveland Clinic Wellness website has compiled a list of those foods that can help prevent heart disease:
Beans are one of the healthiest preventatives of coronary artery disease. With high levels of magnesium and potassium, they promote normal blood pressure, and their quantity of vitamins B6 and folate help to control levels of homocysteine, an amino acid whose levels are linked to inflammation of blood vessels.
A good source of lean protein with plenty of flavour, fish is a healthy alternative to red meat. Salmon, tuna, halibut, and sardines are rich in omega-3 acids and low in saturated fats, reducing inflammation. Breaded or fried fish should be avoided as they contain high quantities of fat.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil’s monounsaturated fats help in lowering the level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), whose accumulation can pose a risk of cardiovascular disease, while increasing the heart-healthy high density lipoproteins (HDL).
One serving of mixed nuts a day is linked to a healthier level in LDLs, while also lowering the quantity of inflammatory molecules in the bloodstream and raising levels of the body’s own anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Avoiding processed foods and high sodium intake
To avoid a reliance on processed foods, incorporate whole foods into one’s diet and use spices to add flavour. Helpful tips to break a reliance on processed foods include:
- With fruits and vegetables, make the colourful choice:
Fruits and vegetables provide fibre and flavour and they are full of compounds that fight heart diseases and reduce inflammation. Mixing colours in one’s choice in produce makes for both a delight to the eye and a benefit to health as a rich array of colours indicates a wide variance in nutrients.
- Shades of brown lower sugar levels:
Brown rice, whole-grain, bread and pastas: all of these brown foods are rich in fibre, flavour, and nutrients, without affecting your blood sugar.
- Avoid salt and spice it up:
Spices bring rich flavour to your food without the sodium. Turmeric and oregano, in particular, are found to have health protecting compounds.