Unhealthy eating habits, stress, lack of physical activity, etc. have increased the risk of heart diseases significantly. The number of people dying from heart diseases is increasing at an alarming rate. Hence, it is important for you to take good care to prevent such chronic health conditions.
Following healthy eating habits is important for maintaining heart health and preventing the risk of various heart diseases. Certain foods have a great impact on your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and levels of triglycerides. Additionally, some foods can trigger inflammation and may even lead to the accumulation of plaque in your blood vessels. All these factors can contribute to the risk of heart diseases and conditions like stroke.
However, there are many foods that are beneficial for your heart. Including such foods in your everyday meal plans can be a great aid for you to protect your heart from the risk of different diseases. Therefore, we list some of the heart-healthy plant-based foods that you have to definitely include in your diet for keeping your heart healthy.
Leafy greens are incredibly healthy, as they offer a large number of nutrients and help to fight off different diseases. They can be a great aid for promoting the health of your heart too. Some of the best leafy greens that you have to add to your heart-healthy diet are spinach, collard greens, kale, etc. These veggies are known for their impressive amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Leafy greens are a good source of vitamin K that has the ability to protect your arteries and facilitate proper blood clotting. They also contain high amounts of dietary nitrates that have been shown to regulate blood pressure, improve the functioning of the cells that line the blood vessels, and reduce arterial stiffness.
Some studies also suggest that increasing the intake of leafy greens can be beneficial for lowering the risk of heart diseases.
Replacing refined grains with foods that are made up of whole grains can be beneficial in promoting your heart health. They are high in fiber which might help with reducing the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Studies also show that these plant-based foods can also be helpful for reducing systolic blood pressure, which can aid to prevent conditions like heart diseases and stroke.
Some of the heart-healthy whole grains that you should add to your plant-based meals are whole wheat, rye, barley, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.
Different berries including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. are abundant in important nutrients that are crucial for promoting heart health.
Berries are well-known for their rich amounts of antioxidants like anthocyanins that can protect your body from the damages caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Both inflammation and oxidative stress are major risk factors for heart diseases, as they can increase blood pressure. But the antioxidants present in berries can be useful for controlling these problems effectively.
In addition to this, eating berries can also reduce the chance of several risk factors associated with heart diseases including “bad” cholesterol levels, metabolic syndrome, etc.
A study indicates that the regular consumption of blueberries can help to promote the function of cells lining the blood vessels, control blood pressure, and reduce the risk of blood clotting.
Hence, including berries in your daily diet can be beneficial for controlling different problems that can lead to heart diseases.
The high amounts of monounsaturated fats present in avocados can be useful for reducing cholesterol levels and lowering the chance of heart diseases.
According to various studies, the consumption of avocados can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. Also, avocados are high in potassium, which is an important nutrient essential for heart health. This mineral can help to decrease blood pressure and lower the chance of stroke and heart diseases.
This nut is a great source of fiber and various micronutrients like copper, magnesium, and manganese. Including a few servings of walnuts in your meal plans can give protection against heart diseases.
Walnuts can lower bad cholesterol, reduce diastolic blood pressure, control oxidative stress, and decrease inflammation. All these properties of walnuts can help to protect your heart health.
However, make sure to eat them in moderation, as they are high in fat.
Beans have plenty of resistant starch that can resist digestion. Resistant starch can help to promote heart health by decreasing the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Eating beans can also aid to reduce inflammation and blood pressure, which are factors that can contribute to the development of heart diseases.
The high amounts of antioxidants like flavonoids in dark chocolate can help to improve your heart health. A lot of studies have associated the consumption of dark chocolate with a lowered risk of heart diseases. It might also help with preventing the accumulation of calcified plaque in the arteries.
Including these plant-based foods in your everyday meals can help to protect your heart from the risk of various diseases and keep it healthy.