Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths across the nations of the earth, therefore, in this post, i will share with you top foods for healthy heart. And the Number 1 Diet that is not healthy for you.
Dealing with mood swings, cramps, energy drains, and headaches—not to mention having a job, managing a household, maintaining relationships, and looking impeccably gorgeous while doing it—is all in a day’s work for many women.
It might seem like too much to handle at times, but there’s a simple way to alleviate some of these stresses: your diet. While you may not have a choice as to when those debilitating cramps come on, you do have control over what you eat. Everything you put into your body can be a tool in your health-maintaining arsenal, and picking the very best weapons is paramount.
The following healthy foods claim big bragging rights by protecting the future you from a variety of women’s health concerns: They can fend off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer; strengthen your bones; fortify your immune system; protect and smooth your skin; and even nurture your developing baby.
Most of these healthy foods might already be in your pantry—but if not, now’s the time to load up your shopping cart and supercharge your health. Since there are a lot of nutritious candidates on supermarket shelves, we’ve dug through the science to find out which ones give women that extra edge. Read on to learn about how these delicious foods can be powerful allies for your health and weight loss efforts for years to come. And then double down on your efforts by avoiding these weight loss mistakes women make, too!
Understand that heart disease is the leading killer of both women and men in America. According to the CDC, one in every four female deaths is a result of heart disease. Paired with a sensible diet and consistent routine exercise, the foods below can help ward off some of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease—high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
Below are 9 tested foods for healthy heart:
1. Foods for healthy heart: Salmon
Fatty fish like wild salmon, mackerel, and herring owe their super health-promoting powers to their high omega-3 content. These powerful anti-inflammatory fatty acids can help decrease your odds of dying from heart disease by more than 33 percent, help lower your risk of arthritis, and possibly make your baby smarter. To see which omega-3 fish you should be reeling in, check out our exclusive report of fish ranked for nutritional benefits.
2. Dark Chocolate
Attention, chocoholics! Dozens of studies show that people who consume cocoa—as a hot drink or as dark chocolate—are in much better cardiovascular shape than those who don’t. One nine-year study in the journal Circulation Heart Failure found women who ate one to two servings of high-quality chocolate per week had a 32 percent lower risk of developing heart failure than those who said no to the cocoa.
Researchers attribute cocoa’s health benefits to its high concentrations of polyphenols and flavanols, anti-inflammatory compounds that help protect the heart. When you’re buying it, just make sure to pick up dark chocolate that contains 74 percent or more cocoa solids, as these are the flavanol-rich compounds.
One in four American women die of heart disease every year and 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease. Protecting your most vital organ is as simple as adding some walnuts to your diet. This heart-shaped nut is teeming with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that can help keep you safe.
One recent study found that munching on two ounces a day could significantly improve blood flow to and from the heart in just 8 weeks. Another study found that the same amount can help delay development of breast cancer and slow tumor growth in mice. Speculation is that antioxidants called phytosterols, already known cancer fighters, could be the culprit.
4. Sprouted Garlic
Nearly a third of women between 45 and 55 have high blood pressure, an illness that can lead to more serious issues like heart disease or stroke, and that number increases from 50 to 70 percent for women aged 55 to those 65 and older. It turns out, the vampire-repelling plant is both a flavor essential and a heart-disease-fighting superstar. Garlic contains phytochemicals, including allicin, which a review in the Journal of Integrated Blood Pressure Control showed may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 10 points—similar to standard blood pressure medication.
Garlic can also prevent the progression of heart disease by reducing the accumulation of plaque and preventing the formation of new plaque in the arteries, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. The catch is that cooking destroys this beneficial compound, so you’ll have to use garlic powder, aged garlic extract, or sprouted garlic.
5. Foods for healthy heart: Olive Oil
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the Mediterranean diet, which includes healthy fats like olive oil, prevents about 30 percent of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease in people at high cardiovascular risk.
Olive oil, in particular, is loaded with monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol, which helps in lowering your risk of heart disease.
One of the best foods women should be eating is one you probably already are: the apple. Metabolic syndrome—a syndrome that refers to a cluster of conditions like insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol—is the main contributor to heart disease, the leading killer of American women.
While women who eat a diet rich in blood-sugar-spiking refined carbs or those who are overweight are most susceptible to metabolic syndrome, even healthy postmenopausal women are also at risk.
The Iowa Women’s Health Study, which has been tracking 34,000 women for nearly 20 years, found that apples are one of three foods most effective at reducing the risk of death from coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease among women, as these women had less abdominal fat and lower blood pressure than their peers who didn’t consume apples.
7. Foods for healthy heart: Oatmeal
High cholesterol can lead to the buildup of plaque in artery walls. Left untreated, this buildup can lead to heart attack and stroke, resulting in 2 of the top 5 leading causes of death in American women. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to combat. Simply eating a healthy diet that includes soluble fiber-rich whole grains, like oatmeal, can help.
Oatmeal can also protect you from heart disease. A Harvard study of more than 68,000 women found that those who ate the most fiber daily were 23 percent less likely to develop heart disease than were those who consumed the least.
Thanks to the breakfast staple’s high fiber content, it can also slash the odds of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 61 percent! The superstar nutrient also helps stabilize blood sugar, which wards off diet-derailing hunger and dangerous dips in glucose.
Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a natural plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals, preventing oxidative damage and inflammation, both of which can contribute to heart disease.
Low blood levels of lycopene are linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
One review of 25 studies showed that a high intake of foods rich in lycopene was associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
Another study in 50 overweight women found that eating two raw tomatoes four times per week increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
Higher levels of HDL cholesterol can help remove excess cholesterol and plaque from the arteries to keep your heart healthy and protect against heart disease and stroke.
9. Foods for healthy heart: Beans
Unlike animal sources of protein, beans are free of unhealthy fats. That might be the very reason one study found that people who consumed legumes at least four times a week had a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with those who consumed them less than once a week.
Equally as encouraging results were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. A scientific review of 26 clinical trials discovered that eating a 3/4 of a cup of beans daily could reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood by 5 percent.