What is the best diet for a healthy heart? What foods can you eat to improve your chances of cardiovascular wellbeing and longer life? Certain whole foods are known for their ability to support heart health. Read on to find out which heart-healthy foods to keep in your fridge and eat more regularly.
Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, New Zealanders – and many other western countries. When combined with other complications of hardened arteries, such as stroke, heart disease is responsible for over 40% of all deaths. Too much of the good life seems to have gone straight to our hearts.
Heart disease is the term used to describe hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and blood clots, which can lead to blockage of blood supply to the heart. The main symptom is angina, a chest pressure or pain usually caused by stress or exertion. The worst outcome is a heart attack.
Is there anything we can do to avoid these problems?
Luckily yes! And you have the power to make the positive changes needed.
Diet is clearly an important factor in heart disease. What Should You Eat for a Healthier Heart?
A diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds can gradually replace fatty animal products, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates. This improves blood cholesterol and blood lipid balance. It also lowers blood pressure and provides nutrients to the heart muscle.
Whole foods with specific cardiovascular benefits
A heart health study in New Zealand: In 2004, the New Zealand Department of Health published a study examining the causes of all deaths in New Zealand in 1997. That’s what researchers found Diet is the leading cause of death with over 8500 attributable deaths in 1997 – 30% of all deaths that year. The majority of these were cardiovascular deaths.
One of One of the main risk factors for heart disease is a diet low in plant fiber and high in animal foods, fried foods, and refined carbohydrates. By shifting this balance toward whole plant-based foods, we not only protect and support the heart, we can even repair arterial damage that has already occurred. Even the healthiest body needs good nutrition to maintain and repair itself. If there has been damage, then there is an even greater need for proper nutrition.
Other lifestyle recommendations for improved heart health:
If you think you may be at risk for heart disease, see your doctor for a full evaluation.
Copyright Wild Health and Roger Wild 2007
Thanks to Roger Wild