Healthy Eating For Heart Disease – 6 Foods You Must Eat
Heart disease accounts for nearly 1/3 of all deaths worldwide, so healthy eating for heart disease is crucial.
Now, the thing is, your diet plays a major role in heart health, which can impact your risk of heart disease. So in this video I’m looking at the six foods you should be eating to maximize your heart health.
Healthy Eating For Heart Disease – Food #1
Number one, leafy green vegetables. Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens are known for their high nutrient content, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
In particular, they’re a great source of vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promote proper blood clotting. They’re also high in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness, and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels.
Some studies have also found a strong link between increasing your intake of leafy green vegetables and a reduced risk of heart disease. One analysis of eight studies found that increasing leafy green vegetables intake was associated with up to a 16% lower instance of heart disease.
Another study in almost 30,000 women showed that a high intake of leafy green vegetables was linked to a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Healthy Eating For Heart Disease – Food #2
Number two, berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, these are all packed with important nutrients that are central to heart health.
Berries are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease. Studies show that eating lots of berries can reduce several risk factors of heart disease.
For example, this analysis of 22 studies showed that eating berries was associated with reductions in the so-called bad LDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and certain markers of inflammation.
Healthy Eating For Heart Disease – Food #3
Number three, avocados. Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which are linked to reduced levels of cholesterol and reduced risk of heart disease. One study looked at the effects of three cholesterol lowering diets in 45 overweight and obese people, with one of the test groups consuming one avocado per day.
The avocado group experienced reductions in bad LDL cholesterol, including low levels of small, dense LDL cholesterol, which are believed to significantly raise the risk of heart disease. Avocados are also a really rich source of potassium, which is a really important mineral for heart health.
Now, eating one whole avocado provides 28% of the amount of potassium that you need in a day.
Healthy Eating For Heart Disease – Food #4
Number four, edamame. Edamame is an immature soybean frequently found in Asian cuisine. Like other soy products, edamame is rich in soy isoflavones, a type of flavonoid that may help lower the LDL bad cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
If combined with other changes to diet and lifestyle, even slightly reducing your cholesterol levels can have a big impact on your risk of heart disease. In addition to the isoflavone content, edamame is also a source of other heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants.
Healthy Eating For Heart Disease – Food #5
Number five, extra virgin olive oil. A staple in the Mediterranean diet, the benefits of extra virgin olive oil are well-documented. Olive oil is packed with antioxidants, which can relieve inflammation and decrease the risk of chronic disease.
It’s also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, associated with improvements in heart health, much like avocado. Observational studies consistently show that those who consume the most extra virgin olive oil have a 30 to 50% lower risk of developing heart disease.
Extra virgin olive oil is also equally as good, if not better than coconut oil for cooking at high temperatures because of its high oxidative stability. So, really you can use extra virgin olive oil for all sorts of dishes.
Just make sure that it’s extra virgin, as that is the least refined and contains the most antioxidants.
Healthy Eating For Heart Disease – Food #6
Number six, beans. Beans contain resistant starch, which resists digestion and is fermented by the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Now, according to some animal studies, resistant starch can improve heart health by decreasing blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Multiple studies have also found that eating beans and legumes can reduce certain risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure.
Look, what you put on your plate can influence all aspects of heart health, from blood pressure to inflammation to cholesterol and triglycerides. Including all these heart-healthy foods that I’ve mentioned as part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet will make sure that you keep your heart in good condition and reduce your risk of heart disease.
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