(Natural News) As common as heart disease is, there are many ways to prevent it — and perhaps the best (and most delicious) place to start is by cleaning up your diet. Supercharging your diet with fiber-rich food filled with healthy fats will allow you to eat your way to a healthy heart and clear arteries. Don’t know where to start? Here are 12 food items you should add to your heart-friendly grocery list, according to TheHeartySoul.com:
- Fresh Fruit — This one is a no-brainer: Filled with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, you’ll be helping your heart, and giving the rest of your body a boost, too.
- Black beans — Another fiber-rich food, this one also has potassium and other vitamins that promote cardiovascular wellness.
- Mackerel — This fatty fish is a great source of omega-3, which can lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels elastic. At the same time, it also contains vitamin D, which also lowers blood pressure.
- Spinach — This is another green vegetable that packs a powerful punch. For the heart in particular, it contains nitrite, which, according to an article on DailyMail.co.uk, helps widen clogged arteries.
- Avocado — The heart-healthy properties of avocados are no secret. Rich in monosaturated fats as well as potassium, it helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.
- Nuts — Another food item that is full of monosaturated fats, they’re also filled with protein, fiber, and antioxidants that make them the perfect heart-friendly snack.
- Flaxseed — A famous superfood, flaxseed is rich in both omega-3 and fiber, and also contains certain plant compounds that serve as antioxidants.
- Green Tea — This helps lower cholesterol levels and is known to widen arteries, reducing the risk of blood clots.
- Sunflower seeds — It contains vitamin E and folate, which both benefit the heart. It also contains phytosterols, which can lower cholesterol levels.
- Garlic — Rich in antioxidants, garlic, according to LiveStrong.com, also contains allium tuberosum, a natural blood thinner that can prevent clots from forming.
- Cayenne peppers — Cayenne peppers contain a compound that maintains healthy cholesterol levels, manage inflammation, and improve blood circulation.
- Lentils — As another great source of fiber and folate, lentils are great for improving heart health.
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Many people have touted the benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet, particularly when it comes to the cardiovascular system. It is, after all, rich in naturally heart-friendly ingredients nuts, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish. According to Health.Harvard.edu, eating the Mediterranean way can help lower cholesterol levels and aid weight loss — which are both important in heart disease prevention. More than that, a Mediterranean diet can also help prevent Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and even some cancers.
Heart disease: Silent but deadly
Heart disease is the top cause of death in the United States, and can strike anyone regardless of age or gender. According to a 2017 update from the American Heart Association, heart disease is responsible for one in seven deaths in the country, reaching a total of up to 360,000 deaths a year. In particular, it is estimated that an American will have a heart attack every 40 seconds, with 790,000 cases of heart attacks recorded every year.
Risk factors for heart disease include smoking, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, unhealthy weight, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Doctors point to a combination of dietary changes and regular aerobic exercise as a powerful combination in helping stave off the dreaded disease.
Learn more about foods that can help you improve your diet on Superfoods.news.