6 Foods that Prevent Heart Disease
- Posted on: Jan 6 2023
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. However, just because heart disease is prevalent doesn’t mean it’s inevitable.
You can prevent heart disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That means exercising regularly, not smoking, getting good quality sleep, and undergoing regular health screenings.
At Cardiovascular Wellness in Nassau County, New York, our skilled doctors work with patients to prevent and treat heart disease. With convenient offices in Hicksville and Lake Success, we provide our patients with the care they need to live long and healthy lives.
A healthy diet is a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. There are specific foods that directly affect blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and inflammation, which are all factors that contribute to heart disease. Here are some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet for heart health.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
Green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, arugula, Chinese cabbage, and parsley, are all rich in nitrates and vitamin K. Vitamin K protects your arteries and promotes blood clotting, while nitrates can reduce blood pressure, improve the function of the cells lining blood vessels, and decrease arterial stiffness.
A recent study showed that patients only need to consume one cup of raw or half a cup of cooked nitrate-rich vegetables a day to significantly reduce their risk of heart disease.
While refined carbohydrates can increase a patient’s risk of developing coronary heart disease, whole grains can decrease a patient’s risk. Some common whole grains include:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat
According to the National Institutes of Health, patients can lower their risk of developing heart disease by up to 22% by incorporating three or more servings of whole grains into their daily diets.
Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries all provide essential antioxidants that fight off cell damage and phytonutrients. Consuming a cup of berries daily can protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to heart disease.
Over 20 studies examining the health effects of berries show that their consumption can reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and body mass index, and reduce inflammation markers.
Consuming monounsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, can lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. For example, in a study tracking patients who followed one of three cholesterol-lowering diets, researchers found those eating one avocado daily significantly lowered their LDL cholesterol.
Avocados also contain high levels of potassium. Potassium lessens the effects of sodium in your body and eases tension in the blood vessel walls, lowering blood pressure.
Fatty Fish and Fish Oil
For heart health, the American Heart Association recommends eating unsaturated fats, like omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil. Regular consumption of fatty fish and fish oil can decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of strokes and heart failure.
The fatty fishes that offer the most heart health benefits include:
- Atlantic Mackerel
- Lake trout
To receive the heart-health benefits of fatty fish, consume two four-ounce servings of fish weekly.
Nuts and Seeds
While nuts and seeds can be high in calories, they also offer substantial benefits to your heart health. Nuts and seeds contain essential, heart-healthy nutrients, including vitamin E, fiber, monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and l-arginine.
Benefits of eating nuts include lowered cholesterol, reduced plaque development in the arteries, and more flexible artery walls. Doctors recommend about four servings of unsalted nuts weekly. One serving is 1.5 ounces of nuts or two tablespoons of nut butter.
Help with Preventing and Treating Heart Disease
At Cardiovascular Wellness in Nassau County, New York, our expert team of cardiologists works with you to prevent and treat heart disease. Patients can visit our convenient offices in Lake Success or Hicksville to discuss ways to protect their hearts and health. To optimize your wellness, schedule an appointment with our team today.
Posted in: Heart Disease