February is American Heart Month, and what better time to remember your most important organ – your heart!
Research has shown that heart diseases account for almost a third of all the deaths recorded worldwide. If you look carefully, you would realize that people who develop these heart diseases do not take their time to ensure that they eat healthily, as diet is a major contributor.
They eat foods that trigger their cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increase inflammation and blood pressure – all these are factors that contribute negatively to our heart health.
If you want to protect your heart health, not to worry! Here are some foods and supplements that can help you prevent common heart diseases.
5 Sources of Nutrition for Heart Health
This is one of the best foods you need to eat if you want to protect your heart health. This is because whole grains have much fiber content compared to refined grains, and this helps to reduce cholesterol levels, thus, reducing the risk of a person getting heart diseases.
Research has shown that eating three or more servings of whole grains reduces the risk of heart disease by 22%. It also reduces systolic blood pressure, which invariably reduces the risk of stroke, by 45%.
Examples of whole grains include brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, rye, etc.
When you go to purchase a product, ensure you read the label carefully. Look for products that have “whole-grain” and not “multi-grain.”
Who doesn’t love berries?
Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries play an important role in protecting our heart health. They are rich in various nutrients and are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which helps to fight against inflammation and oxidative stress.
Blueberries, especially, help to improve the activities of cells that are on the blood vessels so that proper blood clotting and pressure. Finally, they are low in calories.
Fatty Fish and Fish Oil
Fishes like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are filled with a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which go a long way in helping us fight against heart diseases. One research has shown that eating salmon over a long period can significantly lower diastolic blood pressure.
If you are not a fan of seafood, fish oil is another good option. Research has shown that taking a fish oil supplement may help to remove blood triglycerides and increase arterial function because of its omega-3 fatty acid content.
Most people take the nutritional benefits of beans for granted. Beans have resistant starch, which is fermented by the beneficial gut bacteria. This resistant starch also helps to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, which invariably reduces the risk of heart disease. People with heart disease are also encouraged to eat legumes.
Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash