The incidence of Heart Attacks shouldn’t be taken lightly. In my earlier article on heart attacks, I shared a damning research report where the researchers explained that 9 out of 10 people who get heart attacks do not survive. If not for anything else, this should be a wake up call for all to take action
By the end of this article and in this research write-up, I explain here, in simple language, some different kinds of foods that we all should, on daily basis of course, be craving to reduce the incidence of heart attacks on us.
Fatty Fish against heart attacks
In fact, fatty fish are outstanding source of lean proteins.
In this category are Wild Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Haddock, Catfish, Cod, Tilapia, Trout, among many others. These are known to decrease the risk of arrhythmia and atherosclerosis. The comforting part is that most of these are also very high in Omega-3s, mild-flavoured and hence can be healthfully prepared by roasting, grilling, baking, and sun-dried and made into powder.
Omega-3s which we find in most of these fishes is noted to severely reduce your risk of heart diseases which is also very important for those with type 2 diabetes, whose risk of heart disease, which is already higher, shouldn’t be under-estimated. They can can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third
The wonderful part of it all is when one prepares delicious meals, in combination with beans, lentils and vegetables for a well-balanced meal, which will not keep your blood sugar level rising, especially good for those with diabetics and diabetic prone persons.
“Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant,” says cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.
In case you’re not a fan of salmon, other oily fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give your heart the same boost.
Experts recommend that you take these fishes 2 to 3 times a week and also not to stuff your body with huge portions at a time.
Oatmeal prevents Heart Attacks
Oatmeal is a whole grain and various researches have shown that eating a diet rich in whole grains and high fibre reduces the risk of diabetes by between 35-45 per cent. Rich in fibre, it decreases the levels of “bad” cholesterol and improves digestion.
Oatmeal is packed with soluble fibre which helps slow down the absorption of glucose from food in the stomach. This in turn helps keep blood sugar levels down and under control.
Oatmeal is best served with about 2 tablespoons full of chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts to add healthy protein and healthy fat as well as add crunch flavour to your ultimate morning meal.
Note that coarse oatmeal is the healthiest of all because it is described as the comfort-food nutrient powerhouse
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fibre-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.
Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fibre—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.
Berries are good for the Heart
It doesn’t matter which of the berries you prefer – raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries are full of anti-inflammatories and very good at lowering blood pressure and expanding blood vessels, which in effect reduces your heart attack risk factor. They also reduce your risk of cancer
The fact is blueberries and blackberries are especially great although all berries are great for general vascular health since they are choked with heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fibre.
Stop Heart Attacks with Dark Chocolate
If you are a lover of chocolates, then I would implore you to love dark chocolate that has a minimum of 70 per cent cocoa. Such chocolate has the ability to normalise blood pressure and fight inflammations as well as blood clotting. Dark chocolate is specially good for your heart if only the cocoa content is higher.
Nuts Prevents Heart Attacks
A handful of healthy nuts will not only satisfy you but give you the needed protection for your heart. Nuts are also known to contain vitamin E which is an essential nutrient that helps to decrease “bad” cholesterol levels as well as its protein fibres that helps the heart.
Walnuts, for example, are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fibre in the diet.
Just a couple of spoons a day will lower the “bad” cholesterol levels and sugar in blood
Extra Virgin Olive Oil good for your Heart
It is full of mono-unsaturated fats and lowers bad LDL cholesterol thereby reducing your risk of developing heart disease.
There have been several studies but results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease via numerous mechanisms:
- Reduced Inflammation: As mentioned above, olive oil protects against inflammation, a key driver of heart disease
- LDL Cholesterol: Olive oil protects LDL particles from oxidative damage – a key step in the heart disease process
- Improves Endothelial Function: Olive oil improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels
- Blood Clotting: Some studies suggest that olive oil can help prevent unwanted blood clotting, key features of heart attacks and strokes
- Lower Blood Pressure: One study in patients with elevated blood pressure found that olive oil reduced blood pressure significantly and cut the need for blood pressure medicationss by 48%
Our advice, look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties since they are the least processed. If I were you, I would stop taking margarine and butter and substitute natural Virgin Olive oil for them, even with salads.
Red Wine May Stop Heart Attacks
Red wines are notable for helping reduce fatty deposits in your blood vessels and assists in detoxification and general weight loss. As a matter of caution though, wine in all its form should be taken in moderation.
To Mayoclinic, Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and prevents blood clots. Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a lower risk of inflammation and blood clotting, which can lead to heart disease.
On any day, if I have to drink wine, I would prefer an organic wine
Non-starchy Vegetables – Broccoli, Spinach, Mushrooms & Peppers
These are filled with vitamins, minerals and fibres and are an ideal source of high-quality carbohydrates, good for the functioning of your heart
Broccoli contains a lot of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and hence activates the heart and normalises blood pressure. It is also very rich in fibre. I love broccoli and can eat it with any food.
In combination with Spinach you can help keep your heart in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, foliate, potassium, and fibre.
Increasing your intake of any vegetables is the sure way to go since they give your heart the much needed boost.
This study alone tells it all. The Physicians’ Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn’t eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.
Avocado is Good for Your Heart
It decreases the “bad” cholesterol levels and helps clear the arteries, hence a heart booster. Since it is high in monounsaturated fats, it is generally considered among the healthiest of fats.
Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and low in low-quality carbs may improve heart health — an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
I would prefer a salad prepared with Avocado on any day and in place of mayonnaise and other fat and salt laden dressings.
Avocados are awesome,” says Dr. Sinatra. “They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health.”
An addition of cilantro, lime juice, and diced tomato is your ultimate deal
Watermelon also Good for Your Heart
It plays an important role in vascular health because several nutrients in watermelon have specific benefits for heart health.
Studies suggest that lycopene may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It can also help prevent oxidative damage to cholesterol.
Watermelon also contains citrulline, an amino acid that may increase nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide helps your blood vessels expand, which lowers blood pressure.
Other vitamins and minerals in watermelon are also good for your heart. These include vitamins A, B6, C, magnesium and potassium.
Bottom Line: Watermelon has several heart-healthy components, including lycopene, citrulline and other vitamins and minerals.
What I have done here, is an explanation of some key foods that help in the functioning of our hearts. You see, you never know when a heart attack might strike. It is therefore imperative on all of us to take steps to reduce the risk of it starting in the first place.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and I await your comments, suggestions and counter views