Updated: 2019, Jul 9

The Best Foods to Eat to Prevent Heart Disease

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Here are 7 foods that you should be eating to maximize your heart health.
Healthy Foods
Foods That Can Save Your Heart. Shutterstock Images

The best way to treat heart problems is to be proactive and prevent them through lifestyle and nutrition behavior modifications.

Some of us are certainly predisposed to have heart disease due to family history but there are foods and lifestyle behaviors that can help decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

I suggest going back to the basics and focusing on foods that were only available before package foods existed, these are the best foods. If you were going to put a label on this type of diet it would probably fall under the Paleo diet or the primal lifestyle.

The reason people have so much success with these programs is that our bodies were not intended to ingest harmful chemicals, dyes and preservatives now found in our foods.

Also, processed foods or foods from commercial farming methods are undesirable, since both contain unwanted chemicals.

Removing the chemicals from your diet help naturally detoxify your organs, reduce inflammation and improve the integrity of your gut lining and function.

Some of the recommended foods listed below may not match up with traditional heart-healthy guidelines suggested in a conventional clinical setting such as a hospital.

It is important to be open to new and upcoming research and studies that have different results and guidelines from the outdated guidelines we were once taught based on outdated research and faulty studies.

There is an abundance of research proving that low-fat diets are not the best practice for preventing or treating heart disease[1], yet doctors and other health professionals are still suggesting it to people. In fact, the quality of foods and the overall pureness of the foods we consume are far more important than the fat content.

Heart-healthy fats found in grass-fed beef, olive oil, wild caught salmon, avocados, raw nuts or even eggs have actually been linked to reducing inflammation and increasing vitality and longevity while reducing the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease.

Processed cereals and other processed foods that claim to be heart healthy may in fact increase the risk for heart disease[2] due to its affect on insulin levels, inflammation and overall weight management.

Healthy Fruits and Vegetable Diet

A healthy diet rich in fruits & vegetable is good for your heart. Shutterstock Images

Foods that can Prevent Heart Disease:

1. Kale – Is classified as a dark leafy vegetable. It is a rich source of fiber contains several essential nutrients such as calcium vitamin K and vitamin C, which promotes healthy arteries. Due to its antioxidant profile it also reduces risk for cancer. Kale can be consumed several different ways raw, steamed or even sautéed.

2. Beets – Have become more popular with the juicing craze that we have adopted over the past few years. They reduce the risk for heart disease and help keep blood pressure levels within normal limits because they contain antioxidants, which open up the blood vessels to improve overall blood, flow throughout the body. Beets also contain amino acid‘s that have been linked to improving symptoms of dementia or even dementia risk. Beets can be consumed raw or cooked with the same nutritional benefits. Try to get organic beets when possible because they are typically genetically modified and the organic beets contain a higher quality nutrient profile.

3. Wild Caught Salmon – Is commonly known for its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The same omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in anchovies and sardines. The two critical omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA both reduce the risk of heart disease while improving the overall condition of the heart. Due to the anti-inflammatory benefits of both EPA and DHA they also reduce depression, risk dementia and arthritis.

4. Avocados – Are a fabulous source of fiber, they are almost half of your daily recommended value can be found in a regularly sized avocado. Fiber binds to the bile acid’s reducing cholesterol buildup. They also contain vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help reduce the damage from harmful free radicals in the body. The magnesium and potassium found in avocados also help the heart pump blood efficiently and improves the nerves and overall function of the kidneys.

5. Olive Oil – Is very common oil found in most households it is popular on the Mediterranean diet, which is linked to reducing heart disease. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and is an anti-inflammatory oil that helps reduce high blood pressure. Adding it to salads, with fresh herbs is the best way to maintain the integrity of the oil without overheating it due to its low-temperature tolerance.

Healthy Fatty Acids

Olive oil is naturally high in healthy fatty acids that can protect red blood cells from damage. Shutterstock Images

6. Eggs – Are actually heart healthy[3] we have been misinformed that they are not due to them containing a higher amount of cholesterol but cholesterol is not what actually causes heart attacks. Eggs actually raise the HDL, which is also referred to as healthy cholesterol levels. HDL helps clean up the arteries and bring down the LDL cholesterol levels, which is referred to as the lousy cholesterol.

7. Raw Nuts and Seeds – Such as almonds have been linked to reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke. They are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which is heart protective and healthy. The high-fat content of nuts and seeds keeps us feeling satisfied for a longer period of time, reducing our urge to snack on processed carbohydrates or sugar.

Read Next:A Healthy Heart In 20s Is Equivalent To A Healthy Mind In 40s

Conclusion

Some of the items I have mentioned below may contradict conventional dietary advice when it comes to treating or preventing heart disease.

We now know that Fat does not cause heart disease, its inflammation that causes heart disease. Most of these anti-inflammatory foods contain fats that actually help prevent heart disease.

Author

Dr. Keith Kantor

Dr. Kantor has been an advocate of natural food and healthy living for 30 years. He is also on the Board of Directors for NAMI.org in G

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