Heart disease was the #1 cause of death in the United States in 2016 according to a HealthLine report. The research shows that more than 630,000 people in the U.S. die from some type of heart disease each year.
This is due to a number of factors that influence the health of people living in the United States. Similarly other first world countries around the globe cite heart disease among the leading causes of death.
This is a shame because heart disease is nearly 100% preventable. Yes, it’s true some people suffer from congenital heart conditions, whether inherited or otherwise. But, for the most part, the choices you make daily influence whether heart disease will impact your life or not.
One thing you can do to prevent and treat a number of different heart diseases is to become more active. The way most people earn a living is very sedentary in nature. For a number of reasons, we don’t stay active. This has led to the prevalence of heart disease since the late 20th century.
Aside from being physically active to become healthy, you can eat your way to better health. You can simply eat certain food that naturally turns your immune system into a heart-disease fighter.
5 Foods That Fight Heart Disease
You are what you eat… there’s no better way to say it. The foods you eat and the foods you avoid determine the state of your health, how you look, and how you feel.
When you eat foods high in sugar, saturated fats, and highly processed, your body will suffer. And, to be sure, inflammation is at the top of the list. Inflammation is the root cause of heart disease as well as other diseases. On top of that, you’ll probably be overweight.
The following is a list of a few foods you should make a part of your daily diet. Take it to heart (pun intended) and reap the “heart-healthy” benefits derived when you consume them regularly.
1. Fatty Fish
Fish like sardines, Alaskan salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel contain fish oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s important that you only purchase fish that are caught in the wild. Do not consume fish which are farm-raised. This applies to fish oil supplements too. The oil must come from wild fish.
Our diets are too high in omega-6 fatty acids. This is due to the excessive use of hydrogenated oils which are detrimental to our health. They look clean and golden on the supermarket shelf, but don’t be fooled. Most of these vegetable oils are harmful to our bodies over time.
The fish you consume will restore the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in your body. This will reduce inflammation, lower your bad cholesterol and prevent heart disease in the long run.
2. Grass-Fed Beef
While it’s best to consume red meat in moderation, if you’re going to eat beef, stick to grass-fed beef. Cows were meant to eat grass. But the food manufacturing industry puts profits above everything else. Unfortunately for the consumer, they feed the herd grains loaded with hormones, antibiotics, and steroids.
This creates meat that contains a lot of inflammatory omega-6 fats. And by now you know that inflammation leads to heart disease. So, stick to grass-fed beef. This is organic meat that will not cause your body to become inflamed.
Used in India for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, we have recently discovered the potency of this spice. One of the best natural anti-inflammatory spices, you can use turmeric in your cooking or sprinkle on your vegetables.
The curcumin, which is the active ingredient in the turmeric, is also an antioxidant. Add pepper to turmeric and mix it up for best results. Using this mixture will enable your body to get the most benefit from this spice.
You could also take curcumin supplements to get your daily dose of this miracle spice. In fact, there are many ways you can add turmeric to your diet on a daily basis.
The allicin, which is the active ingredient in garlic, prevents blood clots from forming in your arteries. It also lowers your cholesterol and has antioxidant and antiviral properties. This is one of the most beneficial foods you could consume.
It’s best to crush it and use it in your cooking to get the benefits. Alternatively, you could purchase garlic supplements and take them daily.
5. Red Wine
No list on heart-healthy foods would be complete without mentioning red wine. It is well-known for reducing your risk of heart disease. Resveratrol (a polyphenol found in red wine) gets a lot of mention as a potent antioxidant. But red wine contains many other antioxidants that benefit your heart.
Red wine is chockful of flavonoids that prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol which causes inflammation. This is one of the reasons red wine is so potent for preventing heart disease. One or two glasses of wine a day should suffice.
There’s no need to go overboard and become an alcoholic in the name of preventing heart disease. That’s just trading one disease for another… not good.
Foods That Promote Healthy Blood Pressure to Prevent Heart Disease
Hypertensive heart disease is a blanket term that refers to multiple cardiovascular disorders. These include heart attack and stroke, heart failure and coronary artery disease, or a thickening of the heart muscles.
When your blood pressure gets too high, any of these along with several other health issues may develop. It is important to maintain a healthy blood pressure level. When you do so, you can avoid many of the common causes of illness and death that affect many people.
Controlling blood pressure with the foods you eat is another way to prevent heart disease. Adopting certain dietary practices has proven successful in regulating healthy blood pressure levels for thousands of years. By doing so, you can keep heart disease at bay.
Eat the following foods to promote healthy blood pressure levels you can live with.
- Natural Dark Chocolate
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Leafy Greens
- Red Beets
These foods have potassium and dietary fiber, magnesium and low sodium content. You get antioxidants that fight heart-hating free radicals along with flavonoids that have been proven to lower high blood pressure. The vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in these heart-healthy foods keep your blood flowing freely and your artery walls from thickening.
Swap your unhealthy salad dressings for extra-virgin olive oil (EVO). EVO is full of essential fatty acids and oleic acid, a heart disease hater and cancer fighter.
Substitute simple carbs for zero carbs. You get healthy fats and antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and protection against heart disease.
You can add garlic to most meals, and a banana makes a healthy, filling snack anytime night or day. Natural dark chocolate is versatile in the kitchen and you can add pomegranate to your smoothies.
Oatmeal is a heart-healthy way to start your day. You can eat pistachios and seeds alone or added to soups, salads, casseroles, and other dishes. There are many ways you can add these heart-healthy foods to your daily meals.
Now you know it is possible to avoid heart disease by changing what you eat. Try to include these foods in your diet. They contribute to improved overall health so don’t ignore them. You’ll not only improve your health but will greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.