Heart health is a concern for many people. Fortunately, there are many types of foods that can help you keep a healthy heart. Eating the right foods can reduce the risk for heart problems such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure. To help protect your heart, you should focus your diet on nutrient-dense, whole foods.
However, to help protect your reproductive health, It is equally important to avoid foods that make your ED worse.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are among the most healthful foods you can eat. They are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. Studies have found that increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables can help protect against coronary heart disease and stroke. Eating five or more servings per day may cut the risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart-related illnesses.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are generally considered heart-healthy options. They’re high in healthy fats, fiber, protein and plant compounds. Studies have shown that eating nuts and seeds may reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increase levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Eating nuts and seeds in place of other less healthy snacks may help protect against heart disease.
Whole grains are a heart-healthy choice. They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds. Eating whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. Examples of whole grains include oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice and whole-wheat bread.
Fish is a great food for heart health. It’s packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fish regularly has been linked to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol, reduced inflammation and improved heart function. The American Heart Association recommends consuming two servings of fatty fish per week. Examples include salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring.
Legumes, such as beans, peas and lentils, are another heart-healthy option. They are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Eating legumes has been linked to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and decreased risk for heart disease.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is an excellent source of heart-healthy fats. Studies suggest that it may reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil, as it has higher levels of beneficial compounds.
Avocados are a popular source of heart-healthy fats. Studies suggest that they may reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and increase levels of “good” cholesterol. Eating avocados may also reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function.
Dark chocolate is a great snack for heart health. It’s high in beneficial plant compounds and contains small amounts of heart-healthy fats and fiber. Studies suggest that dark chocolate may reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and improve blood vessel function. Choose dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.
Green tea is an excellent beverage for heart health. It contains plant compounds called catechins, which have been linked to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and improved heart function. To get the most benefit, drink 2–3 cups of unsweetened green tea daily.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice with anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that it may reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and increase levels of “good” cholesterol. Turmeric can be added to smoothies, curries, stir-fries and other cooked dishes.
Garlic is packed with beneficial plant compounds. Studies suggest that it may reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and boost levels of “good” cholesterol. Garlic can be added to dressings, sauces, soups and other cooked dishes.
These are some of the best foods for keeping a healthy heart. Focus your diet on nutrient-dense, whole foods and include these foods in your diet to help protect against heart disease. Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise and not smoking is important for a healthy heart and overall health.
best practices for a healthy heart
- Exercise regularly: Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or biking, every week.
- Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet: Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats in your diet. Limit salt and sugar, and avoid processed and high-fat foods.
- Control your blood pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Check your blood pressure regularly, and aim to keep it within a healthy range.
- Manage your cholesterol: High cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart disease. Have your cholesterol checked regularly by your doctor, and ask if any lifestyle changes can help reduce your levels.
- Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, so if you smoke, make a plan to quit.
- Limit alcohol: Limit your alcohol intake. Men should limit themselves to two drinks per day, and women should limit themselves to one drink per day.
- Reduce stress levels: Stress is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Make sure you’re taking time out of your day to relax and unwind to help manage stress.