It is a widely believed myth that only by watching your weight and exercising, heart trouble can be prevented. A vigorous lifestyle demands a healthy and effective diet too. With growing number of heart diseases, it is essential to know all about right foods that will keep the heart active. Heart disease is known to be a primary killer in both men and women alike. It affects about 23 million people worldwide.
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Consumption of heart healthy food can actually reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease by up to 80 percent. Including healthy foods in everyday diet and adopting nutrient retaining methods of preparation can give you the much needed control over the quality and longevity of your life. If you're unsure of how to go about it, here's a look at some heart-friendly foods you can include in your diet.
Salmon is abundant in Omega- 3 fatty acids. Aim for regular salmon intake in your diet to reduce blood pressure. Salmon is also rich in antioxidants. It is better to pick wild salmon over farm-raised one which is most likely to contain toxic chemicals. Salmon lowers your cholesterol and at the same time also raises good cholesterol in the body. Marinade and grill some salmon and have it as a complete dish or use it in salads, sandwiches, pastas, etc. If not salmon, you can also try tuna, sardines or herring. These fish too will have a positive effect on the heart.
Macadamia nuts, walnuts and almonds are full of mono and polysaturated fats. They are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts contribute hugely to the fibre intake in a regular diet. They are a rich source of healthy fat. A great way to have nuts is during mid-morning snack time. Since nuts are full of protein and healthy oils, they trick the stomach into feeling full, avoiding overeating. Sprinkle some nuts in salads, or just roast them and enjoy as pre-meal fillers. Add roughly chopped almonds in yogurts and smoothies. Honey glazed nuts or roasted nuts are a delicious option.
Consuming a little flaxseed on regular basis can help boost the strength of your heart. Flaxseeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. Flaxseeds are wonder foods that are a great source of fibre too, both soluble and insoluble. Flaxseeds contain an extremely healthy component known as lignans that contain plant estrogens and have antioxidant qualities. Add flaxseeds while baking bread. Or use ground flaxseed in different foods like cereals, cakes, cookies, salad, sandwich spreads, etc.
Having oats first thing in the morning makes for a wholesome and filling breakfast. Oats are loaded with potassium, folate, calcium, niacin, soluble fibre, magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids. White oats help lower cholesterol in the body. Add bananas or berries to a bowl of oatmeal topped with some nuts. If an oatmeal breakfast is not your thing, turn to homemade oatmeal and raisin cookies that are nutritious and delicious.
This super food contains more than 25 of the essential nutrients with plenty of Vitamin A, B, C, E and K, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Avocados are rich in phytochemicals, which protect against severe diseases. Avocados boost heart health as they contain Vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help in regulating homocysteine levels. An increased level of homocysteine means more risk of heart disease. Avocados also lower blood cholesterol levels and control blood pressure. Add avocados in salads and sandwiches or eat them whole.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc are full of antioxidants like anthocyanins, quercetin, that help the body in combating oxidative stress. Vitamin C is found in plenty in berries. They are full of anti-inflammatories that bring down the risk of heart disease. Berries are beneficial for vascular health as well. Berries are best eaten as whole fruits but they taste great with yogurts, salads, desserts and breakfast cereals. Blend some strawberries or blueberries in into smoothies for a flavourful and wholesome experience.