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Healthy Foods for the Heart: A diet based on fruits, oil bearing nuts, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains simply prepared gives the best result for heart attack prevention. Fruits and vegetables must form the base of a healthy heart diet.
Attempt to rhythmically close and open your hand one time every second. Keep this action up for a few minute and how do you feel?, it is possible that you will begin to feel uncomfortable and will only take a while to stop this exercise.
The heart performs a similar exercise to rhythmically closing and opening the hand every second (tasking right?), definitely why you should take care of your heart. The alarming part is that the heart does this unceasingly, without stopping, ever, except till death. The exciting part here is that it never gets tired, as long as it is maintained in good health.
However in reality, the heart does rest. It does so in the brief period between beats. During some tenths of a second, the heart relaxes and receives blood by means of the coronary arteries.
8 healthy foods for the heart
Second to apple, banana is the most consumed fruit in the world. This is believed to be due to its ease of use, it can be eaten without the need for knife and napkin. It even comes wrapped in its natural packaging ‘peels’ that protects it from bacteria and contamination. In a nutshell, banana is a ready to eat fruit.
In addition to that, banana is one of the most nutritious and medicinal foods that exists.
Because bananas are an ideal fruit for the heart and those suffering from coronary disease or circulatory system disorders due to its exceptional composition which includes;
- Their richness in potassium and the absence of sodium: with 396mg of potassium and 1g of sodium per 100g edible portion, bananas have the highest potassium/sodium quotient of any fruit or vegetable. A diet rich in potassium and low in sodium prevent arterial hypertension, stroke and even cancer.
- The presence of significant amounts of B group vitamins, necessary for energy production within the heart muscle, as well as magnesium, which inhibits the progress of arteriosclerosis and prevents heart attack.
- Abundant vegetable fiber that lowers cholesterol levels
- Small amounts of serotonin acting as a vasodilator.
Peas are commonly known as the heart’s friends. If you were one of those kids that carefully selected peas from your food to avoid eating them, then there is still enough time to give these seeds another try.
They are exceptionally good for your heart, and particularly if you suffer from coronary disease because they contain practically no fat or sodium.
Nutritional contents of Peas are; carbohydrates, proteins, B complex vitamins, Vitamin C, potassium. Additionally peas are a good source of iron (1.47mg/100 g), zinc, folate and fiber.
They also provide significant amounts of provitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin E and magnesium and because of that they are particularly useful in the case of cardiac disease, nervous system disorders, pregnancy and lactation and diabetes.
Ideal for the heart. The composition of peach is the balanced combination of provitamin A (beta-carotene), B group vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and vegetable fibre, all in moderate amounts.
What makes peach one of the healthy foods for the heart?.
Peach contains virtually no sodium or fat which makes it one of the healthy foods for the heart. They do contain 9% fructose and other sugars and less than 1% proteins.
The composition of peach is almost perfect for a healthy heart. Vitamin A, C and E are nature’s best antioxidants, and few foods contain all three in such balance.
Eating peaches is of benefit whenever there is any degree of heart failure; any impairment in the heart’s capacity to perform effectively its pumping activity. Even though peaches are not a direct heart stimulant, they do aid the work of the heart and is one of the healthy foods for the heart.
Grapes are, after orange, the most cultivated fruit in the world. Unfortunately only a small percentage of the crop is eaten as fruit; most are used for the production of alcoholic beverages, particularly wine.
Grapes are highly recommended as a healthy food for the heart because;
- They provide energy in the form of simple sugars that the heart muscles uses to contract. Although the primary sources of energy for the hearts are fatty acids, it also utilizes glucose.
- Grapes are rich in potassium and also contain calcium and magnesium, minerals involved in cardiac contractions.
- Additionally, grapes contain virtually no sodium or saturated fat, the two primary enemies of the cardiovascular system.
- The phenolic non nutritive (flavonoids and resveratol) produce the following beneficial effects o circulation through the arteries in generals, and the coronary arteries in particular;
- Vasodilatation, thus overcoming arterial spasms and increasing blood flow.
- Reduction in tendency of blood platelets to form clot, which reduces the risk of arterial occlusion caused by arteriosclerosis.
- Inhibition of the oxidation of the cholesterol transported by low density lipoproteins. The oxidation of this type of cholesterol (harmful) initiates the process of creating deposits on the artery walls, giving rise to arteriosclerosis.
The walnut is, together with other oil bearing nuts, one of the most concentrated food sources of nutrients provided by nature. Along with the brazil nut, it is the nut with the highest caloric content (642 kcal/100 g) due to its high fat content (oil).
These are the characteristics of the walnut’s nutrients; fats (linoleic and linolenic fatty acids), carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals (zinc, copper and manganese).
Why is walnut one of the healthy foods for the heart?
Walnuts are an excellent food for the heart and for those suffering from coronary disease for three reasons;
- Their richness in fatty acids; these constitutes the primary energy source for the cells of the heart, in contrast to other cells, neurons among others which use glucose as their principle fuel.
- Because of vitamin B1 content, which in spite of being moderate, contributes sufficiently to adequate muscle function, including the heart.
- They inhibit obstructive build up of cholesterol on artery walls by reducing blood cholesterols level.
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