"Healthy isn't boring, and definitely not challenging!"
There has been a steady rise in the number of people, especially in the below 70 age group, becoming susceptible to cardiovascular diseases and related mortality. Of the many factors responsible for this, diet and lifestyle are two of the most common and widespread; especially among the urban population.
A healthy diet maintains the body's nutrition requirement and also reduces the onset of various health complications. What we eat (or don't eat) bears an impact on our heart heath; hence the need to shift to healthier alternatives is becoming more of a necessity than a choice.
We take a look at some of the best food for your heart.
1. Fish: High levels of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein and low amount of cholesterol and saturated fat make fish one of the best foods for a healthy heart. The ones rich in omega - 3 fatty acids like Indian Mackeral, Tilapia, Trout, Salmon, Tuna are some that are particularly beneficial for their ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
2. Seeds and Nuts: Delicious and nutritious, seeds and nuts are a great addition to a heart healthy diet. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of omega - 3 acids and omega -6 acids as well as antioxidants and fiber. Walnuts are recommendable for their healthy fats and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Plus, they are great for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. Chia seeds, flax seeds, pistachio, almond and peanuts are great additions that are just 'right' for the heart.
Eat them on their own or make a trail mix or add them in a salad or as part of a cooked dish.
3. Chickpeas and Lentils: A powerhouse of essential nutrients and filled with numerous health benefits, both chickpeas and lentils are great for the heart. It's a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium (and more!) making it one of the must-have food for a healthy heart.
4. Sprouts: Lower amount of calories and the ability to increase 'good' HDL and regulate blood pressure levels makes it a great choice for a heart healthy diet. There are several other health benefits associated with eating sprouts as well, so all the more reason to grab a handful! But do remember to clean the sprouts properly before consuming.
5. Garlic: One of the top foods that is good for your heart, garlic has long been recommended for its potential health benefits, and especially so for the heart. Lowering blood pressure levels and cholesterol levels as well as lowering t he risk of blood clots are some of the top recognized benefits of garlic.
6. Turmeric: Another powerful ingredient packed with several health benefits, the active component in turmeric i.e curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies indicate that curcumin can prevent the clogging of arteries - one of the main risk factors of heart attacks and strokes.
7. Whole Grains: Whether it's oats, whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, dalia or some other vaiant - whole grains are filled with heart healthy soluble fibers and are including them in your regular diet can be highly beneficial for your heart.
8. Leafy Green Vegetables - They are a superfood for the heart and vascular system and a must-have for lowering the risk of heart diseases. Broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage are all a rich source of Vitamin K, which is vital for the heart's health. Additionally, consuming green leafy vegetables helps in improves arterial function and reduces risk of heart malfunction.
It's no secret that healthy eating is beneficial in multiple ways! A well balanced diet can support a healthy heart in multiple ways, not to forget the benefits it unfolds for the entire body. One thing that makes eating healthy challenging is the assumption that it is difficult and boring, but its quite the opposite actually. All that's really needed needs is the determination to make it a part of our lives.
P.S - While all of the suggestions listed above are potentially beneficial for the heart, it's recommended to eat them as part of a diet and in moderation.
Consult a doctor, prior to making a switch in your existing diet if you're ailing from any health problem.