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Nov 10, 2014

Food for the Heart

3 of the biggest risk factors for a Heart attack or Stroke are: High blood pressure, High cholesterol and Obesity.

The Good News is… Each of these risk factors can be managed comfortably by making healthy food choices. If you pick the right food items starting from breakfast to dinner, your entire day can be heart healthy. Gone are the days when healthy foods were restricted to bland salads and soups. Today, you have a variety of food choices that can be termed as anything but flavorless.

Take a look as we give you the tastiest heart healthy foods ever

Whole grains whether its barley, millet, wheat, pulses and even beans for that matter are good for the heart because they are loaded with natural fibre and vitamins, iron, magnesium and a host of anti-oxidants. Whole grains when consumed on a daily basis are also known to reduce blood pressure.

Soy Protein in the form of Soya chunks and Soya mince can be easily accessed in the market these days. Soy chunks are also referred to as vegetarian meat because when cooked properly it can sometimes create an illusion of having red meat which is high in saturated fats and bad cholesterol.

Apples contain ‘Guercetin’, a photochemical that contains anti-inflammatory properties. It also plays an important role in prevention of blood clots. Make sure to add an apple to your Breakfast Menu. You can also use it as a snack for satisfying your untimely hunger pangs.

Salmon is an oily fish which is also a rich source of protein, B vitamins, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids which effectively reduces blood pressure and keeps clotting at bay. Aim for at least 2 servings per week, which may reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack by up to one-third.

Not a big fan of Salmon fish?

No Problem, you can always replace this fish with other oily fishes like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. They too possess heart healthy properties.

An excellent source of Monounsaturated fats, Olive oil reduces Bad LDL cholesterol and minimizes your risk of developing heart disease. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols and gives even greater health benefits. Use olive oil for preparation of your daily meals and see the difference. If you are planning to go on a strict diet to lose weight, you can also drizzle some of it in your salad as a dressing.

Nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and peanuts are packed with vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats. Research suggests that nuts when had in moderation (2 to 4 days a week) can lower the incidents of heart disease.

Researchers suggest that eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate (with 70% or more cocoa content) has a blood-thinning effect, which can boost your heart health and reduce inflammation. So now, you don’t need an excuse to break off a piece of that tempting chocolate bar. Just make sure you don’t overdo it because anything in excess can have a detrimental effect on your health