Heart disease is a major killer among Americans. It affects people of all ages and from all walks of life, though it’s particularly common in those who are overweight or obese. The more overweight a person is, the greater his chances of contracting heart disease. As such, making an effort to live a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference in the war against heart disease. There are also certain foods that, according to research, can make for a healthier heart that is better equipped to fight off this deadly disease.
Most of the time, when you hear the word “fatty” in a food description, it’s a food you should be avoiding. However, there’s an exception to that rule when it comes to fish. Fatty fish is actually quite good for you and your heart.
Fish, such as salmon and tuna, is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to decrease the amount of plaque near the heart and arteries, thus greatly reducing the risks of heart disease. Researchers have found that those who enjoy a serving of fatty fish at least twice per week experience the most heart-healthy benefits.
Another great food that benefits the heart is oatmeal, which is full of healthy, heart-disease fighting soluble fiber. Soluble fiber, when consumed in oatmeal or anything else, has the ability to greatly lower cholesterol. And, since high cholesterol is one of the main contributors to heart disease, it’s easy to see how oatmeal improves overall heart health.
However, to truly get the most heart benefits from your oatmeal, avoid processed instant oatmeal or oatmeal with lots of sugar. Instead, go for whole-grain varieties that contain all natural ingredients.
Green tea, much loved in Asian countries, has been the subject of many scientific studies related to human health. And, time and time again, it has shown to have countless positive health benefits. Not surprisingly, these include benefits for the heart.
The catechins and flavonoids in green tea protect the heart while also helping to calm high blood pressure and cholesterol. It can be enjoyed hot or iced; the health benefits remain the same either way.
It sounds too good to be true, but amazingly, dark chocolate is actually quite good for the heart. A 2012 research study found that people who consumed dark chocolate daily cut their risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Like green tea, dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammation, both of which, if left unchecked, can greatly increase the risk of heart disease.
As you can see, there are many excellent foods to eat for improved heart health. Eating these foods regularly in conjunction with a generally healthy diet can greatly help to improve your heart’s health. Furthermore, all of these foods, when consumed in moderation, can still be part of a healthy, balanced weight loss plan.