High cholesterol levels are troubling and force a person to eat dishes that seem bland. Any food that’s tasteless isn’t inviting. Regardless, you still need heart-healthy foods to stay at the top of your game. Life Advancer suggests a few that are delightful and will keep you in the pink of cardiovascular health.
Why you need heart-healthy foods
This advice is not new, but all of us need an occasional reminder.
We know that there are two types of cholesterol, namely low-density lipoprotein ( LDL), which builds up in your arteries to become plaque, and high- density lipoprotein, beneficial cholesterol which removes excess cholesterol from your body. We need cholesterol to manage hormones, digestive fluids, and vitamin D. However, too much of it can lead to weight gain, liver problems, and heart disease.
Also, too much LDL in the arteries stiffens them. The hardening of the arteries is a condition known as arteriosclerosis. Plaque buildup disrupts the flow of oxygen to the rest of the organs in the body. The lack of oxygen may lead to a heart attack. A study in the European Heart Journal gives evidence that LDL causes heart disease. It proves that LDL-lowering therapies reduce the incidence of arteriosclerosis.
You won’t need persuasion, but perhaps information on the heart-healthy foods that will keep LDL at bay. We introduce you to some of these in another section.
Signs That Your Cholesterol Levels Are Too High
So, how would you know that your body has too much cholesterol? In reality, there aren’t many ways to tell that it does. High cholesterol levels don’t cause symptoms, just traumatic events, e.g., strokes and heart attacks. They don’t happen until plaque starts to clog the arteries. Complications set in when the arterial lining changes.
Symptoms of heart disease include nausea, chronic fatigue, breathlessness, and sharp pain in the chest. But the effects of high cholesterol are not entirely unobservable. You should probably pack your cholesterol levels checked if you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or smoke.
Furthermore, high cholesterol levels are hereditary in some families. It’s a condition passed through genes known as familial hypercholesterolemia. If your family members have a history of high cholesterol levels, you should have yours examined as well as introduce certain foods to your diet to make sure you keep your heart healthy.
10 Heart-Healthy Foods To Add To Your Diet For Vibrant Cardiovascular Health
Experts like Julie Zumpano, a dietitian at the Cleveland Medical Clinic’s Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Department, suggest that there are foods that will keep your heart healthy and will revolutionize your diet as well.
First of all, fish like tuna, herring, salmon, and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids. You may have heard that they benefit the heart but are not sure why. These acids are unsaturated and reduce inflammation. More importantly, the lower triglyceride levels and transport LDL cholesterol out of the body. Fatty fish like the ones mentioned above are full of these acids.
This fruit may already be on your list of favorite foods. You have the license to eat more of them. Berries are full of phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Phytonutrients reduce inflammation while soluble fiber improves digestion. All this leads to weight loss and a healthier heart.
Flaxseed, a fiber crop that’s part of the group known as Linseeds, also contains phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytoestrogens that will boost heart health. To reap their benefits, take them in milled form.
4. Healthy Nuts
Nuts also help your heart by lowering LDL cholesterol. They reduce the risk of heart attacks by preventing clotting. A study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that nuts decrease cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, they boost intelligence; a handful of nuts makes you smart.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, oats, which are full of fiber, reduce LDL cholesterol. They also play a part in decreasing colorectal cancer.
Have a black or kidney bean salad if you want your heart to remain healthy. Seeds are full of fiber, and minerals. They reduce blood pressure and oxidative stress. Beans also have heart-healthy vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, and niacin. Niacin destroys homocysteine, a hormone that damages the walls of blood vessels.
They will also benefit you if you have diabetes. Beans regulate insulin levels and play a part in preventing this condition.
7. Red wine
Your favorite beverage may help to reduce cholesterol and improve heart health. Researchers have found that it reduces oxidative stress when consumed in moderate amounts, so you do have permission to enjoy it once in a while.
Do you enjoy a hearty tofu stir-fry? Have it for your next dinner because tofu benefits your heart. Harvard Health professionals certify that eating about 50 grams of soy per day decreases LDL cholesterol by about 3%. Broccoli, according to the National Heart and Lung Institute of the Imperial College, London, has a chemical, Sulforaphane, which protects the arterial lining. Broccoli stir-fry, anyone?
Finally, that cup of hot chocolate that you must have before bed may benefit you in more ways than you think. But it must be unsweetened, of course. Swedish scientists have discovered that cocoa inhibits the enzyme, ACE, which raises blood pressure. Participants in their study reported a decrease in this protein after drinking unsweetened cocoa.
So, you can have it all.
It’s possible to eat what you like and stay healthy. These heart-healthy foods will complement your dishes and keep your heart racing.