Foods for a Healthier Heart
It is a known fact that over one in four adult men or over 25% will die of cardiovascular disease. These are scary facts but before it’s too late you can to something about it now and begin by starting a sensible diet and getting plenty of exercise. There are many foods that can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels thereby strengthening the heart and making it healthier.
Shrimp is a seafood that is low in fat with only about 1.5 grams per serving and has no saturated fat. It is saturated fat that should be avoided because it is harmful to the heart and blood vessels. Therefore a diet that includes shrimp is a healthy diet. A shrimp diet increased HDL or “good cholesterol” by 12% and lowered triglycerides by 13%. The study clearly showed that shrimp had a positive effect on cholesterol. Shrimp can be made in many different ways and eaten hot or cold. Therefore including shrimp in your diet is not only healthy but also offers a varied diet. You can make such delicious dishes as shrimp jambalaya or firecracker shrimp. So include some shrimp in your diet today.
A healthy diet needs to have heart-healthy fats like the kind that are found in flax seeds which raise good HDL cholesterol levels. Flax seeds can be added to many different foods like smoothies and cereal or granola. These seeds also include a large dose of heart protecting fiber. To maximize your omega-3 intake eat ground flax seeds.
Beans and Legumes
All kinds of beans and legumes have no unhealthy fats. People who ate legumes like lentils and peas along with beans at least four times a week had a 22% lower risk of heart disease than those who consumed them less than once a week. Usually when people are eating more beans and legumes they are consuming less meat which is great for a healthy diet. A study showed that by eating a three-quarter cup of beans daily the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood were reduced by 5%. You can add beans to many different foods like soups and salads.
A study showed that over 2,000 adults who got just 2% of their total daily calories from yogurt had lower risks of hypertension than those who ate yogurt a lot less. Many yogurts include doses of potassium which has been proven to reduce blood pressure. An 8-ounce container of creamy yogurt offers up to 14% of potassium which is more than a small banana contains. Having yogurt at the start of the day is a great way to begin eating your way to a healthy heart. You can make delicious tzatziki sauce with yogurt which can be added to other foods.
One healthy benefit of the Mediterranean diet is including a regular intake of virgin olive oil. Olive oil has been shown to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease as well as lowering the risk of stroke. A study was done with overweight firefighters and it was shown that once they began a Mediterranean diet rich with olive oil there was a 35% decrease in the risk of metabolic syndrome and a 43% lower risk of weight gain. Studies have shown that virgin olive oil has the ability to “turn off” genes which are associated with the inflammation that has been seen in metabolic syndrome. So include a good dose of olive oil in your diet today.