No doubt, your heart is one of the most vital organs in your body. This organ is so important that your state of health hinges largely on its wellness. For this reason, you must adopt measures to keep it healthy at all times and avoid anything that may harm it.
One of the ways by which you can take good care of your heart is by taking foods that enhance its well-being. By taking such foods, you’ll be reducing your risk of many heart-related diseases.
The heart health benefits of dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids (such as Salmon and Tuna fish) are well-known. However, many other cheaper alternatives provide the same benefits.
Here are six proven, but usually ignored foods that you should be taking regularly for improved heart health:
1. Olive Oil
This oil is very rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as certain heart-healthy antioxidants known as polyphenols. It’s highly recommended that you take olive oil instead of butter, which, most of the time, is dangerous to heart health.
Olive oil helps to reduce the body’s cholesterol levels. The polyphenols present in it help to protect the blood vessels.
So, when you cook your vegetables and salads, add olive oil. Choose the cold-pressed form, and be sure to use within six months of purchase.
Taking oats â€“ in all forms â€“ will help you reduce your body level of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL), the bad form of cholesterol that causes many heart-related diseases. Oats also contain fibers, which help to enhance digestion and prevent constipation.
So, instead of using breadcrumbs in your cooking, you’ll be doing your heart Â plenty ofÂ good by using oats instead.
Commonly believed to contain no more than Vitamin A, carrots, according to latest research, actually help to reduce the body cholesterol levels. And like oats, they contain fiber.
So, take carrots regularly. Not only are they good for the eyes, they’re good for the heart, too.
4. Black beans
Black beans contain antioxidants. They also contain folic acid, magnesium, and fiber â€“ all of which help to regulate the amounts of cholesterol and sugar in the blood.
It’s best to take black beans in the fresh form. But if you can’t get that, canned or otherwise processed black beans will help. In the latter case, rinse well before cooking, to remove any extra sodium.
Yes, the common oranges you’ve always known. Unknown to many, oranges contain pectin, a fiber substance that helps to prevent the accumulation of cholesterol.
Oranges also contain potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. In addition, oranges contain an antioxidant substance known as hesperidin. This substance helps to improve the function of blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
So, if you’ve always thought oranges contain only Vitamin C, you’ve just got an eye-opener here.
6. Fresh Herbs
Aside the fact that herbs like Rosemary, oregano, thyme, and sage contain heart-healthy antioxidants, they also help to improve heart function by neutralizing the dangerous effects of trans fats on the heart.
So, take these herbs regularly to improve your heart health.
All these foods, will help you reduce the risk of all heart-related diseases, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and stroke. So, take them regularly, and you’ll always have a healthy heart.
Abass Toriola is a Doctor-in-training and a freelance health writer. He’s the author of VitalHealthInfo.com, a blog on which he shares tips on Â how to live a healthy lifestyle.