Food and vegetables and fruits are often indispensable in every family’s menu. Fruits and vegetables are not only rich in nutrients but also antioxidants and phenolics that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
A healthy, balanced diet can be beneficial for your health and well-being. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of various health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, etc. Making healthier food choices such as focusing more on eating whole foods can help prevent obesity and maintain a healthy weight. Heart-healthy foods like fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish are an excellent addition to your diet to improve overall health.
Worldwide, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death for both men and women. Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term for several conditions, including heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, heart valve problems, stroke, and arrhythmia. A healthy lifestyle, which includes practicing regular exercise and adopting a healthy diet, can help reduce your risk for CVDs. Meanwhile, a new study suggested that inadequate consumption of fruits and veggies may account for millions of deaths from heart disease and stroke every year.
According to the study, around 1 in 7 cardiovascular deaths are caused by not eating enough fruit, whereas 1 in 12 cardiovascular deaths could be caused by insufficient intake of vegetables. The findings showed that low fruit intake claimed nearly 1.8 million cardiovascular deaths in 2010, while low vegetable consumption caused one million deaths. The study was presented at Nutrition 2019, the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting, 2019 in Baltimore.
Benefits of eating more fruits and veggies: Heart-healthy foods to include in your diet
Fruits and vegetables are well-known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phenolics that help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. They are low in calories yet great sources of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, and various essential nutrients that reduce your risk of diseases and improve health. There are many reasons why fruits and veggies should be a vital part of your daily diet. Here we list five of the best foods that are not only good for your cardiovascular health but also for your overall health.
Berries are packed full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. They are also rich in vitamin C but low in fat, and free of saturated fat. One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggested that eating 1 cup of blueberries every day might improve metabolic markers linked to cardiovascular risk. Try having blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or raspberries with your whole wheat cereals or yogurt.
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Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are great sources of vitamin K and dietary nitrates, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve arterial function. Numerous studies have linked a higher intake of leafy greens to a reduced risk of heart disease.
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Adding legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas to your diet is an excellent way to increase your protein intake. Legumes are high in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. For instance, one study found that having legumes at least 4 times a week could help reduce heart disease risk by 22%. Studies have also shown that beans and legumes significantly decreased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
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Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and pistachios are chock-full of vitamins and minerals that are crucial to your heart health. They are excellent sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber, the two key nutrients that can help keep your heart healthy and reduce belly fat. The vitamin E in nuts has been shown to lower the levels of bad or LDL cholesterol.
Flaxseeds are high in heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that eating flaxseeds may improve several risk factors for heart disease – such as blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, and inflammation.
Try making these nutritious and heart-healthy foods as part of a balanced diet to minimize your risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems while improving your overall health and fitness.
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