Thursday, February 14, 2013

10 Best Heart Healthy Foods to Include in our Daily Diet

Coloring our world Red: With Hearty food

So, let's talk Healthy Today!!!
While everyone is looking for love on the "love day" and numerous promotional article features February as the "heart month" (I think quite appropriately!), this is our opportunity friends to find out 10 best heart-healthy food to keep our heart as well as our loved ones heart in shape! Not all of them might work for all of us - granted, but if we can pick few of them from the list below and incorporate them in our kitchen as regular eatables, I think the benefits are going to be very rewarding! We are not getting younger everyday, after all!
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10 best heart-healthy food alphabetically:

Avocados:
Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health.
Handy Tip: Try mexican guacamole to enjoy taste and health together.

Blueberries:
The list of healthy nutrients in blueberries is extensive: anthocyanins give them their deep blue color and support heart health. Blueberries also contain ellagic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whatever berry you like best—are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Blackberries and blueberries are especially great, but all berries are great for your vascular health.
Handy tip: Add fresh or dried blueberries to cereal, yogurt. Relish a banana-blueberry smoothie.


Brown rice:
Many people choose to eat brown rice instead of white rice because of its health benefits. Harvard researchers have discovered that eating at least two servings of brown rice per week can lower the risk of developing diabetes. Brown rice supplies 14 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber, an important nutrient that protects against colon cancer and breast cancer. A study conducted by Harvard researchers shows that women who incorporate whole grains, such as brown rice, into their diet were more likely to maintain a healthy body weight. The oil in brown rice has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), by up to seven percent and can increase the level of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Brown rice can slow the progression of atherosclerosis which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Brown rice is a great source of phytonutrients which are compounds naturally found in plants that have anti-inflammatory properties and tend to act as an antioxidant. Moreover, brown rice is a rich source of essential metals such as manganese, selenium and magnesium.
Handy tip: Use Brown rice instead of white rice if you regularly eat rice as part of your diet.ecially come when walnuts replace badats, like those in chips and cookies -- and you don't increase your calo

Extra virgin Olive oil:
This particular variety of olive oil is made from the first press of olives. It is very rich in heart-healthy antioxidants called polyphenols, as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. When olive oil replaces saturated fat (like butter), it can help lower cholesterol levels. Polyphenols may protect blood vessels from getting atherosclerosis.
Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. 
Handy tip: Use for salads, as cooking oil, with bread. 

Fishes and Omega-3 fatty acid:
This is one of the clinically proven top food ingredient for heart health. Fishes, specially oily sea fish like Salmon is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. Omega-3s may lower risk of rhythm disorders and reduce blood pressure. Salmon also lowers blood triglycerides and reduces inflammation. Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant.
Tuna fish is another good source of heart-healthy omega-3s; it generally costs less than salmon. Albacore (white tuna) contains more omega-3s than other tuna varieties. Reel in these other sources of omega-3s, too: mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and anchovies.
The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third. 
Handy tip: Be sure to choose wild fish over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals. 

Flaxseed:
This shiny, honey-colored seed has three elements that are good for your heart: fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. The body converts ALA to the more powerful omega-3s, EPA and DHA.
Handy Tip: Add ground flaxseed into yogurt, it will give some texture and taste.


Greens:
Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.
But upping your servings of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost. The Physicians' Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn't eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.
The dark green, leafy vegetable (such as Swiss Chard) is rich in potassium and magnesium, minerals that help control blood pressure. Fiber, vitamin A, and the antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, add to the heart-healthy profile.
Handy tip: Serve with grilled meats or as a bed for fish. Saute with olive oil and garlic until wilted, season with herbs and pepper.

Oatmeal:
Oats in all forms can help your heart by lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. A warm bowl of oatmeal fills you up for hours, fights snack attacks, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time -- making it useful for people with diabetes, too. Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, potassium and fiber.
Handy tip: Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.
Click here for a quick and tasty recipe of oatmeal with fried veggies.

Nuts:
Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat and fiber. The benefits especially come when walnuts replace bad fats, like those in chips and cookies -- and you don't increase your calorie count.
Slivered almonds go well with vegetables, fish, chicken, even desserts, and just a handful adds a good measure of heart health to your meals. They're chock full of plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds may help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Handy tip: You may use walnut oil in salad dressings; it also has omega-3s. 

Yellows:
The latest research on carrots shows these sweet, crunchy veggies may help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. They're also a top cholesterol-fighting food, thanks to ample amounts of soluble fiber -- the kind found in oats.
Sweet potatoes are a hearty, healthy substitute for white potatoes for people concerned about diabetes. With a low glycemic index, these spuds won't cause a quick spike in blood sugar. Ample fiber, vitamin A, and lycopene add to their heart-healthy profile.
Handy tip: Sneak shredded carrots into spaghetti sauce and muffin batter. Enhance sweet potatoes' natural sweetness with cinnamon and lime juice, instead of sugary toppings.


***Source: WebMD, Health Magazine, American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic
**Image Source: Google Images






6 comments:

  1. Good one..!

    Aditi
    www.sosaree.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  2. i should start eating healthy soon , am so sick of junk food , so heavy on the heart ,

    Following you with GFC , Wanna make my day & follow me back ?

    N@NY
    http://nanybuz91.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good tips, I would also go for organic and GMO free versions.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I need to print this post for my dad!
    http://namelessfashionblog.blogspot.it/
    http://www.facebook.com/NamelessFashionBlog

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not all of them might work for all of us - granted, but if we can better posture fast pick few of them from the list below and incorporate them in our kitchen as regular eatables, I think the benefits are going to be very rewarding! We are not getting younger everyday, after all!

    ReplyDelete
  6. People who have weight problems and are starting to shed some fats are worrying about what is the best healthy diet for weight loss. http://www.puertoricopix.com/

    ReplyDelete

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