Foods for Healthy Heart, Keep Your Heart Healthy

If there is one word that is associated with potentially life threatening health issues it is cholesterol. There are numerous TV and print advertisements espousing the benefits of the latest cholesterol reducing drug and for good reasons. High levels of this naturally occurring substance are associated with increased risks of heart disease and stroke. Knowing this has caused many people to avoid cholesterol high foods in their attempt to mitigate the harmful effects it can cause.

Happily, maintaining a healthy heart is relatively simple, and it’s never too late to start. Do you smoke? If you do, the first step is to quit. Even occasional smoking has been proven to be detrimental to the health of your heart. Regular exercise is essential to help maintain weight and keep the heart strong. It is also important to limit fats in the diet particularly animal fats derived from meat and full fat dairy foods.

Oatmeal. Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties, they contain more fiber. Oatmeal is great for breakfast over sugary cereal; it is full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can also lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Legumes/Beans: One serving of dried beans/legumes a day can reduce cholesterol by up to 10%. The fiber and other compounds present in legumes and beans can lower cholesterol, blood clotting and improve blood-vessel function. These are also a great source of folate, which keeps homocysteine levels (an indicator of heart trouble), in check.

It is not surprising that people are interested in what are the best vitamins and foods for heart health. The heart is one of the most important organs in our body. We cannot live without it and when disease strikes the heart, the results are serious. Much research has been down about the importance of vitamins and foods for heart health. There are many, many healthy foods, many not so healthy foods and some foods that you should avoid entirely.

When it comes to low cholesterol foods, choosing the right foods is not as hard as you might think, it can be as easy as finding something in the pantry or refrigerator and cooking it up, or it may not involve cooking at all. Foods like fruits and vegetables lower bad cholesterol. This can be a smart choice. Instead of going for cookies in the morning on your way out, grab a fruit, at lunch instead of going to a fast food restaurant, pack your own lunch such as a sandwich made with whole wheat bread, whole wheat blocks back cholesterol.

Increase food sources of omega-3 fatty acids which target high triglycerides in the blood. Good sources of omega-3s include fish such as sardines, mackerel; nuts and seeds; green leafy vegetables; grains like wheat, bajra; legumes like rajma, cowpea, and black gram.

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