Keeping your ticker healthy is one thing that you should be looking at. If you heart is healthy, it will ensure that you live a long life. While exercise is important for maintaining health of the heart, the food you eat has a profound effect on the wellbeing of your heart. There are important nutrients that are healthier for the heart compared to others. Hence, these are the nutrients that you should be looking to eat on a daily basis.
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
These acids have the ability to prevent heart disease. One of the most important Omega 3 essential fatty acids is DHA or docosahexaenoic acid. It helps to reduce the amount of fats present in the blood and facilitates the amount of good blood cholesterol. In addition, it also helps to maintain the heart rate and reduces blood pressure. DHA and other Omega 3 essential fatty acids are found in plenty in salmon, other fatty fish and cod liver oil.
Fiber is of 2 types -- soluble and insoluble. The fiber present in veggies and whole wheat is insoluble fiber. This fiber makes adds bulk in stools and eases bowel movements. It helps to prevent development of cancer of the colon. On the other hand, insoluble fiber is present in legumes, oats and fruits. This fiber keeps the heart healthy by reducing blood cholesterol level and thereby reducing the chances of plaque in arteries, strokes and blood clots.
Antioxidants are compounds that destroy free radicals in the body. Free radicals are known to attack all parts of the body, including the cardiovascular system. By destroying free radicals, antioxidants ensure that heart and blood vessel health is maintained. The arteries are kept clear and the risk of atherosclerosis reduces. Antioxidants are present in fresh fruits and veggies, and that is why they should be eaten in large amounts every day.
A deficiency of Vitamin D can result in elevated blood pressure, heart disease and metabolic syndrome. So if you want a healthy heart, spend time outdoors in bright sunshine for 15 to 20 minutes every day. The skin can naturally produceVitamin D in sunlight. Foods that contain Vitamin D include mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines, cooked beef, eggs, cod liver oil and organ meats.
Folate is a type of water-soluble B vitamin, and it has the ability to reduce the risk of getting heart disease. People, who consume animal-based proteins, have high levels of homocyseine, which is a type of amino acid. This amino acid has been proven to encourage formation of blood clots and atherosclerosis. By eating foods rich in folate, such as legumes, green leafy veggies and orange juice, people can reduce their homocysteine levels in the blood and thereby avoid getting heart disease. Today, even fortified breakfast cereals contain folate. So eating these cereals can also be a good source of the B vitamin.
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Healthy Heart Guide: Healthy Heart Nutrients