Learn about the 10 superfoods that can reduce your risk of heart disease from the experts at National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS).
Certain foods can help reduce your risk of heart disease
With some mindful eating, you can reduce your risk of
heart disease. These superfoods, which contain beneficial fats, fibre, powerful antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals, protect your heart by lowering your blood pressure, increasing your good cholesterol and helping to prevent the build-up of plaque in your arteries. Keep these superfoods in mind the next time you’re planning a meal.
10 Superfoods for your heart
(not ranked by importance)
Almonds are incredibly nutrient-dense, boasting a long list of vitamins and minerals that are crucial to heart health.
They are also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and
fibre, two important nutrients that can help protect against heart disease. Eating almonds can have a powerful effect on your cholesterol levels too.
Remember that while almonds are very high in nutrients, they’re also high in calories. Measure your portions and moderate your intake if you’re trying to lose weight.
Walnuts are packed with
omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats,
plant sterols, and fibre.
In fact, a small handful of walnuts a day can lower your cholesterol and protect against inflammation in your heart’s arteries.
Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to reduced levels of cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.
They are also rich in potassium, a nutrient that’s essential to heart health. In fact, a single avocado provides 975mg of potassium, or about 28% of the recommended daily need.
Berries are full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fibre. They are also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease.
They are a satisfying snack on their own or you can add them in cereal or yogurt. Try adding a few different types to your diet to take advantage of their unique health benefits.
Fibre, potassium and antioxidants in cruciferous vegetables (like
broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprout, bok choy and cabbage) can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Just a cup of broccoli can provide almost 5% of a person’s daily need for potassium.
Carrots aren't just good for your eyes, the antioxidants in them are also good for your heart. Second, the potassium in carrots can help keep your blood pressure in check. Thirdly, they have fibre, which helps you to stay at a healthy weight and lower your risk of heart disease.
7. Oats and oatmeal
Studies have shown that the beta-glucan fibre in
oats is effective at reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan may increase the excretion of cholesterol-rich bile, thereby reducing circulating levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Antioxidants in oats also have anti-inflammatory properties, preventing inflammation of the arteries and tissue damage.
A top food for heart health, fatty fish like
salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids - healthy fats that can lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They also lower triglycerides and curb inflammation.
If you don’t eat much seafood, fish oil is another option for getting your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
9. Soy products
Eating tofu and other soy-based foods can lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Soy foods contain omega-3 fats, essential polyunsaturated fats that have a number of heart health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol.
Choosing minimally processed soy foods will help you get maximum benefit from these heart-friendly fats.
Polyphenols, organic chemicals that are found in both
black tea and green tea, are known to have cardiovascular benefits. These include improving the function of blood vessels, increasing good cholesterol and reducing inflammation.
But remember, what you put in your tea affects how healthy it is. Read
this article to find out more.
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