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Lifestyler: 10 Heart Healthy Foods

Heart healthy foods

There are many ways for you to keep your heart healthy.

In this week's Lifestyler with Josie McKenlay, attention turns to how you can keep your heart healthy.

During the cooldown of my Define Rev classes I always joke that my revolutionaries have just taken care of the most important muscle of all: their heart.

Cardiovascular exercise is vital for your health, but there are other things that are also important.

A healthy, balanced diet is one of them and there are certain foods that specifically benefit your heart.

1. OILY FISH: Omega 3 has an anti-clotting effect to keep your blood flowing. It also helps lower triglycerides (a type of fat that can lead to heart disease). Aim for at least two servings of oily fish each week, says the American Heart Association. Choose from tuna, salmon, trout, sardines and mackerel.

2. BERRIES: Berries are packed full of antioxidants called polyphenols that mop up damaging free radicals in your body. They also provide a good amount of fibre and Vitamin C, both of which lower risk of a stroke. Berries are expensive to buy, but easy to grow.

3. LOW FAT DIARY: Dairy products are a good source of potassium which protects against high blood pressure. According to the Heart Foundation “eating reduced-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt as part of a heart healthy diet can protect against heart disease and stroke, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure and some cancers.” If you can find milk from grass fed cows, you will also get omega 3.

4. LEGUMES: These are a very good source of soluble fibre which reduces your “bad” LDL cholesterol. High LDL levels increase your risks for cardiovascular disease, which is typically related to a process called atherosclerosis. This condition develops when bad cholesterol combines with other substances in the blood and turns into plaques that build up in your arteries. Gradually it blocks off the artery or a piece can break off, causing a clot.

5. RED GRAPES: These have resveratrol, which helps keep platelets in your blood from sticking together, allowing for free-flowing blood.

6. NUTS: Fats from nuts can lower high blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. Nibbling a handful of nuts each week may cut your risk of heart disease in half.

7. AVOCADOS: Fats from a daily avocado can significantly lower your bad cholesterol. These fruits get their creamy texture from “good” fats which lower your “bad” cholesterol. They also seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect.

8. OATMEAL: Oats contain betaglucan, a type of fibre that lowers your LDL cholesterol. Also available from barley, seaweed and shiitake mushrooms. You can lower your cholesterol by ingesting 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal or cooked barley each day.

9. OLIVE OIL: Olive oil contains oleic acid and oleocanthal, nutrients that can fight inflammation, protect LDL particles from oxidative damage, improve the function of the endothelium (lining of the blood vessels), helps prevent unwanted blood clotting and reduces blood pressure

10. DARK CHOCOLATE: Cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, is rich in flavanols, which reduce blood pressure and prevent blood clots. It also acts as an antioxidant, which stops “bad” cholesterol sticking to artery walls.

Story Credit: http://sport360.com/article/health-and-fitness/205579/lifestyler-with-josie-mckenlay-10-heart-healthy-foods/