Healthy Living

Foods Good For The Heart


foods-good-for-heartThere are a number of foods you could say are foods good for the heart but there are some foods that help lower your blood pressure and cut your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Combine these with a heart healthy diet plan and you can stay heart disease free for a long time.

Top 12 List Of Foods Good For The Heart

1. Barley– bake with barley or serve it in soups of casseroles because it is one of the best grains you can eat to control your blood pressure. It has more fiber then most other grains and contains potassium and magnesium, two top minerals for fighting high blood pressure. Pearl barley has been polished to remove the hard outer shell. It can be used in side dishes instead of rice or pasta.

2. Celery– this is a good one folks. This is an age old Asian remedy for high blood pressure. Scientists of the day think that phthalides, the chemicals that give celery its unique flavor and smell, also reduce cholesterol and relax the smooth muscles that line the blood vessels to ease your blood pressure. It contains folate, potassium and vitamin C which are all heart friendly, blood pressure friendly nutrients. But celery does have a natural high salt content so be careful not to eat or juice too much celery because too much salt is counter productive if you are trying to bring down your blood pressure.

3. Broccoli. broccoli has at least four fighters in the battle against high blood pressure. It is included in this list of foods that lower blood pressure because it has calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. Studies have shown that people with low levels of these nutrients tend to have higher blood pressure. Calcium and potassium help rid your body of sodium through your urine. Potassium and magnesium relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens the blood vessels. Steam broccoli to get the most nutrients because vitamin C is lost when you boil or microwave it in water.

4. Beets- eat beet greens because half a cup of beet greens gives you more potassium then a banana. If you take diuretics to keep your blood pressure low then potassium is even more important. Eating the red part of the beet gives you some more potassium, but you also get a lot of folate and vitamin B which help ward off heart attacks and strokes.

5. Garlic and onions– garlic and onions are foods good for the heart because they fight poor circulation by keeping blood platelets from clumping together and making your blood sticky. It is the sulphur in them that does the trick. Quercetin and other flavonoids in onions help stop LDL cholesterol from blocking arteries when it oxidizes.

6. Sunflower Seeds – They are loaded with vitamin E a powerful antioxidant that stops LDL (bad cholesterol) before it can form plaque that clogs your arteries. Vitamin E also guards against hardening of the arteries, stroke and heart attack which make it part of a hear healthy diet.

7. Peanut butter – This is a better choice then eating cream cheese or margarine/butter. Peanut butter contains monounsaturatted fat instead of saturated fat found in other spreads, which will push up your blood pressure. Diets like the mediterranean diet and the Dash Diet both emphasize monounsaturated instead of saturated fats.

8. Oatmeal– just two servings of high fiber cereal a day changed the diets of men in a study enough to meet the American Heart Associations recommendations for fat and cholesterol. Many studies have shown that whole grains and dietary fiber lower blood pressure and risk for heart disease.

9. Fish – fishing is a good way to relax which in turn lowers blood pressure. And provided you catch cold water fish like salmon and mackerel you get more omega 3 fatty acids into your system which helps blood pressure.Eat fish at least twice a week because of its fatty acids. Find a few heart healthy recipes and cook up some fish.

10. Tofu – Foods good for the heart include tofu which has soy protein. Soy protein has been shown to help bring blood pressure down in recent studies.

11. Potatoes– a few years ago researchers found a new nutrient called kukoamines a group of chemicals in potatoes that lower blood pressure. Potatoes have very little cholesterol, sodium or saturated fat to begin with. They are healthiest when baked, boiled or mashed rather then fried or as french fries. French fries will raise blood pressure rather then lower it.

12. You could also add chili peppers to this list if you enjoy foods that make your eyes pop and water. They send your temperature up but your blood pressure down!

There are other foods good for the heart but this is my favorite top 12 list because high blood pressure  kills a lot of people and incorporating some of these foods in  your diet every day can keep you out of the hospital.

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