Cardiovascular and heart diseases are the cause of more than half of overall deaths in the European regions. In the US, heart diseases takes more than $400 billion every year for health care, medications and productivity loss. In Australia, heart diseases are more prevalent among men (5.5%) than among women (4.5%) and kill one Australian every 12 minutes.
The above statistics though does not mirror the world’s heart disease numbers. But they are just presented to give you a bird’s eye view of how heart diseases can take life every day, can affect the economy and can cause unprecedented death.
And more often, heart disease’s symptoms are knocking right in our door but some are just plain unaware of it. And what more, many are still fanning the factors that can crucially increase heart illness risks. These factors that are often overlooked include exercise and activity, diet and stress.
How Diet Can Play A Role in Your Heart Health
It doesn’t play a role, it plays the top role! You are what you eat, so your heart too. The more unhealthy foods you stuff in your mouth, the more your heart health suffers. The more boxed and wrapped food and meals you have, the more you are putting your health at risks. Boxed foods are those that are pre-packed and are artificially preserved. Take outs and fast foods are part of this bad habit as well.
The more bad fat and unhealthy toxins you ingest, the more your heart are exposed to certain heart conditions. Changing and shifting into guilt free meals might save your waistline and your heart as well.
9 Heart Friendly Options
Oatmeal. Oatmeal and oat bran contains lots of fibers which helps in fighting cholesterol. Fiber carries down cholesterol out of the system, lowering cholesterol in the blood by 20% thus reducing risks of heart disease.
Salmon. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, the right kind of fat that can fight away cardio diseases. It can reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good ones. The omega-3 also is anti-inflammatory and helps regulate triglycerides. Aside from salmon, other sources of omega-3 includes marine life sources such as calamari, tuna and sardines.
Olive Oil. Olive oil, the extra virgin one is a monosaturated fats. It can lower the bad cholesterol in the blood and can reduce risks of heart diseases. Olive oil can be used to cook foods or as bread dip and salad dressings.
Red Wine. Red wine contains flavanoids which helps protect your arteries from cholesterol damage. It can even prevent blood clots. A glass a day in moderation can be an effective heart aid.
Soy. Diets that contains soy can help cut heart disease risks. It can reduce cholesterol levels and is a healthy alternative.
Tomato. Tomato has lycopene which is a potent anti-oxidant. It can also help prevent artery blockage from cholesterol which leads to heart illness.
Nuts. Walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are heart friendly. You can pop them for snacks or definitely have them included in your home cooked meals.
Berries. Berries have potent anti-inflammatory capability which is beneficial to cardiovascular health. Thus, a bowl of berries will be doing your heart good and your waistline too.
Beans. Legumes such as beans and lentils are beneficial to the health. Those who have the regular consumption of it (at least 4 times a week) have 22% lower risk of heart disease than those who eat less of it.
But it isn’t just the food you eat though, there are more tricks to help you be healthy and be heart smart. The first was mentioned above, avoid boxes. Then you can add variety in your food by eating foods in different colors. Another way to help your heart is to minimize the salt. Then exercise, do some cardiovascular routines every day.
These things will not only benefit you today but will be a long term gain later since you will be living life to the fullest and to the oldest.
Image Credit: .craig from Flickr.