About 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 610,000 people die of heart disease annually in the United States. With statistics like these looming over the U.S., it is important to be on the lookout for heart healthy foods.
Consuming the right foods is essential for achieving optimal heart health. Here are five foods that you need to know about to help you maintain a healthy heart.
Eat Your Greens!
You’ve heard it from the time you were a little kid, but we'll say it again: eat your greens! Studies show that kale, spinach, and other leafy greens are a great source of vitamins and minerals to boost your heart health. Vitamin K helps to protect your arteries, which is found in a variety of greens. This vitamin also helps the body form blood clots, which prevent bleeding.
Greens are high in dietary nitrates, which can improve cells within the lining of the blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. They can also decrease your chances of heart disease. Consuming leafy greens on the regular can help to combat heart disease.
White, wheat, or rye? The next time your server asks you this, you may want to opt for wheat or rye. That is because they contain whole grains, which include germ, endosperm, and bran. These three parts of the grain are full of nutrients. Barley, buckwheat, brown rice, and quinoa are other great whole grain options.
Whole grains are higher in fiber. Studies have shown that high-fiber foods can lower bad cholesterol. This could ultimately decrease your chances of getting heart disease.
When looking for whole grain options in the grocery store, be wary of what’s on the packaging. Wheat flour and multigrain descriptions may not entail that the product is classified as whole grain. Labels reading whole wheat and whole grain do.
Fish are Friends
Fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon have great omega-3 fatty acids. Adding these to your daily diet may decrease your chances of heart disease. But, if you’re not a seafood fan, there are still options for you. Fish oil supplements have proven to keep triglycerides low, decrease blood pressure, and maintain a healthy heart rate.
Nuts and Seeds
They aren’t just for the birds. Studies have shown that adding various nuts and seeds to your diet can do wonders for your long-term heart health.
Nuts: Walnuts contain fiber, magnesium, and copper which can keep your heart healthy. Almonds encompass a variety of vitamins and minerals that can regulate your cholesterol levels.
Seeds: Whether they’re flax, hemp, or chia, seeds of all kinds contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber to keep your heart healthy. This can keep the body’s blood pressure under control.
You may want to consider sipping on some green tea in the morning or evenings. This has proven to increase fat burning. You could also take green tea supplements. The beverage contains antioxidants that can reduce inflammation within the body and lead to a healthier heart.
There is a definite correlation between your diet and your health. Consuming foods containing nutrients will promote the wellness of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, inflammation and more. This contributes to your overall heart health.
BASS Advanced Urgent Care in Walnut Creek is here to help with an array of conditions, including maintaining a healthy heart. Reach out to us today.