Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Clogged arteries pose the greatest risk of heart attack and stroke, by restricting the blood flow throughout the body.
Stress, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet are some of the major causes for the increased number of heart attacks.
To reduce your risk of heart-related diseases and keep your arteries clean, eat more heart-healthy foods. Here are 18 foods that will help you achieve that:
This fish is loaded with healthy fatty acids which help prevent and reduce triglyceride, cholesterol, and inflammation. Other healthy fish you can consume are tuna, herring, and mackerel.
You have probably heard that cheese is not so good when it comes to cholesterol levels, but moderate consumption does help reduce the levels of cholesterol, and blood pressure.
3. Olive Oil
Greeks and Italians have long used olive oil as their secret ingredient to optimal health. The high amount of healthy fats present in cold-pressed olive oil help reduce cholesterol. Therefore, this oil as well reduces the risk of heart attack by 41%.
4. Green Tea
The catechins present in green tea provide calming and energizing effects. These antioxidants improve the metabolism and reduce the levels of cholesterol. Drink one or two cups of green tea a day for optimal results.
When it comes to fighting high cholesterol levels, asparagus is one of the best allies you can find. Some of the compounds it contains reduce inflammation, and prevent blocked veins. Asparagus is quite versatile so you can use it as both, main dish or side dish to noodles and potatoes.
This vegetable is packed with vitamin K, and it’s known for its ability to protect from calcium buildup in arteries. It helps reduce and maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. Broccoli will give a nutrient boost to any dish, and you can also consume it as a snack.
Spinach is great for building muscles, and also for cleansing arteries and reducing blood pressure. Even though it is thought that it loses most of its nutrients when cooked, spinach still contains high significant amounts of potassium and folic acid, both of which promote healthy muscle tissues and lower the risk of heart attack.
Curcumin is the active compound of turmeric which is responsible for most of its healing properties and health benefits. For example, it helps prevent overactive fat storage, and reduce inflammation. You can add it to various dishes, or take it as tea.
Seaweed is a nutritional powerhouse containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, proteins, etc. If you regularly consume seaweed, it will help widen your blood vessels, promoting your circulation and regulating your blood pressure levels. Eating seaweed on a daily basis can reduce your choletserol by 15%.
10. Whole Grain
The fiber content in whole grain flour prevents high cholesterol levels, due to its ability to bind with cholesterol preventing it from building up in arteries. Another ability of foods high in whole grain is to break down the cholesterol.
This well-known healthy food provides plethora of health benefits thanks to its robust nutritional profile. The fats in avocados balance the levels of good and bad cholesterol, keeping the arteries clean. You can use it as a bread spread, or add it in salads or juices.
Pomegranates contain phytochemicals which promote production of nitric oxide – beneficial for blood circulation. Consume this healthy fruit as a juice, or combine it in various salads.
Cranberries are loaded with potassium, thanks to which they raise the good cholesterol levels, and reduce the bad, LDL cholesterol. You can reduce the risk of heart attack by 40% if you drink just 2 glasses of cranberry juice a day.
14. Orange Juice
The abundance of antioxidants present in orange juice reduce high blood pressure, and promote healthy blood vessels. Drink just 2 glasses of fresh orange juice daily to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin C, and supply your body with the rest of the needed minerals and vitamins.
15. Persimmon Fruit
This sweet fruit is high in healthy sterols and fiber, which help reduce the bad cholesterol levels. Persimmon fruit goes well with cereals or salads.
Watermelon encourages the nitric oxide production and widens the blood vessels. Besides being the perfect snack for hot, summer days, watermelon provides many health benefits as well.
The abundance of unsaturated and omega-3 fats in nuts are good for the memory, joints, and cholesterol. Almonds and walnuts are one of the best sources of healthy fats, so make sure you consume a handful of these daily.
According to studies, consuming two to four cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of heart attack by 20%. On the other hand, excess caffeine can do more harm than good, such as causing stomach pains.