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Risks for many chronic lifestyle diseases are substantially greater if you are obese or have belly fat, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol levels, and high triglycerides. However, you can say no to all these diseases by eating the right foods and properly supplementing your diet.
Some foods can safeguard you by eliminating chances of a heart attack and stroke, lower your blood pressure without drugs, reverse artery disease, and lower your cholesterol levels. Here are some of those ideal foods for these conditions.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Oils like extra virgin olive oil reduce cholesterol oxidation that is associated with the creation of blocks in the blood vessel walls that increases the risk of heart disease and strokes. It also helps to lower blood pressure. You can use the extra virgin olive oil as a dressing for your green salads and vegetables, the combined effect of which produces nitro fatty acids that act to keep blood pressure low.[ref]Ferrara, L. Aldo, A. Sonia Raimondi, Lucia d’Episcopo, Lucio Guida, Antonio Dello Russo, and Teodoro Marotta. “Olive oil and reduced need for antihypertensive medications.” Archives of Internal Medicine 160, no. 6 (2000): 837-842.[/ref]
2. Greens And Cruciferous Vegetables
Spinach, kale, and other dark leafy vegetables help prevent cardiovascular disease in several ways. They are rich in antioxidant vitamins C and A, the latter in the form of beta-carotene, which together helps prevent the oxidization of cholesterol which contributes to atherosclerosis and can result in a heart attack or stroke.
They are also an excellent source of folate which neutralizes homocysteine, an important factor precipitating a heart attack or stroke. Spinach is also rich in magnesium as well as certain peptides which help lower blood pressure and protects against heart disease.[ref]Volpe, Stella Lucia. “Magnesium in disease prevention and overall health.” Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 4, no. 3 (2013): 378S-383S.[/ref]
Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are responsible for a healthy heart. Eat these veggies to bathe your bloodstream in organosulfur compounds, nature’s prescription for prevention of diseases concerning the heart.[ref] Vazquez-Prieto, Marcela A., and Roberto M. Miatello. “Organosulfur compounds and cardiovascular disease.” Molecular aspects of medicine 31, no. 6 (2010): 540-545.[/ref]
3. Figs And Other Fruits
Fig and other fruits boost your antioxidant capacity which supplies your body with an extraordinary array of antioxidants including flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C which can ward off heart disease.
Figs are an excellent source of fiber. Intake of fiber can reduce the risk of having heart attacks. Fruits are also good for people who are overweight, which is another risk factor for heart disease. Fruits are rich in molecules called flavonoids which can lower stroke risk.[ref]Yeager, Selene. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies: The Latest Findings on the Power of Food to Treat and Prevent Health Problems–from Aging and Diabetes to Ulcers and Yeast Infections. Rodale, 2008.[/ref]
4. Lentils And Other Legumes
Foods like lentils help control stroke, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol issues, and hypertension. Your higher blood pressure is really an outer symptom of an abnormal balance in your body’s cells. Establishing a proper balance of the ratio of potassium to sodium, also called the K factor, will usually lower your blood pressure.
All legumes have a very high K factor. Legumes are also excellent sources of protein, adequate amounts of which can help balance cholesterol levels.[ref]Bouchenak, Malika, and Myriem Lamri-Senhadji. “Nutritional quality of legumes, and their role in cardiometabolic risk prevention: a review.” Journal of medicinal food 16, no. 3 (2013): 185-198.[/ref]
5. Salmon And Other Seafood
If you consume fish regularly for your meals, then the good news is for you. Omega-3 fatty acids which are found abundantly in fish oil are increasingly being used to manage cardiovascular diseases. Fish oil can reduce high triglycerides which cause a rise in bad cholesterol levels. Cod liver oil and fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and a natural source of vitamin D which can reduce cholesterol, hypertension, and prevent heart attacks. Fish consumption is shown to be related to reduced sudden cardiac death and stroke mortality.[ref]Kris-Etherton, Penny M., William S. Harris, and Lawrence J. Appel. “Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease.” circulation 106, no. 21 (2002): 2747-2757. [/ref]
Cod liver oil and fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and a natural source of vitamin D which can reduce cholesterol, hypertension, and prevent heart attacks. Fish consumption is shown to be related to reduced sudden cardiac death and stroke mortality.[ref]Kris-Etherton, Penny M., William S. Harris, and Lawrence J. Appel. “Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease.” circulation 106, no. 21 (2002): 2747-2757. [/ref]
6. Walnuts, Almonds, And Flax Seeds
Nuts like walnuts and almonds and seeds like flaxseeds can help strengthen your heart and increase circulation. It also prevents atherosclerosis from affecting your body. Include a snack of mixed nuts and seeds in your daily diet to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids which promote heart health. They are rich in squalene which provides oxygen to tissues and dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.[ref]Pantsi, Wongama Given, Dirk Jacobus Bester, Adriaan Johannes Esterhuyse, and Guillaume Aboua. “Dietary antioxidant properties of vegetable oils and nuts–the race against cardiovascular disease progression.” In Antioxidant-antidiabetic agents and human health. Intech, 2014.[/ref]
7. Garlic And Onions
Garlic is a naturally available miracle medicine that can boost immune response and lower blood pressure, prevent coronary thrombosis, heart attack, and stroke. It can also inhibit enzymes that are involved in lipid synthesis, decrease platelet aggregation, enhance fibrinolytic activity, increase antioxidant status, and reduce blood pressure and glucose.[ref]Rahman, Khalid. “Historical perspective on garlic and cardiovascular disease.” The journal of nutrition 131, no. 3 (2001): 977S-979S.[/ref]
Onions lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and prevent blood clot formation thus preventing heart attack and stroke. An antioxidant flavonol found in onions called quercetin reduces blood pressure and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.[ref]Larson, Abigail J., J. David Symons, and Thunder Jalili. “Quercetin: a treatment for hypertension?—a review of efficacy and mechanisms.” Pharmaceuticals 3, no. 1 (2010): 237-250.[/ref]
8. Oatmeal And Whole Grains
Whole grain food sources and bran are associated with lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. They are one of the healthiest choices to lower the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.[ref]Anderson, James W. “Whole grains protect against atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 62, no. 1 (2003): 135-142.[/ref] Oats promote a cholesterol-lowering effect which in turn causes a reduction in blood pressure. A diet high in water-soluble fiber like oatmeal is inversely associated with a risk of cardiovascular disease. Water-soluble fibers lower the absorption of particular bile acids which results in increased LDL uptake by the liver. This mechanism results in the lowering of bad cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure and the risk of cardiac events.[ref] Theuwissen, Elke, and Ronald P. Mensink. “Water-soluble dietary fibers and cardiovascular disease.” Physiology &
Water-soluble fibers lower the absorption of particular bile acids which results in increased LDL uptake by the liver. This mechanism results in the lowering of bad cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure and the risk of cardiac events.[ref] Theuwissen, Elke, and Ronald P. Mensink. “Water-soluble dietary fibers and cardiovascular disease.” Physiology & behavior 94, no. 2 (2008): 285-292.[/ref]
Consuming egg every day can increase the good cholesterol levels which can protect your heart against vascular diseases. Eggs are an inexpensive and low-calorie source of many other nutrients including minerals, proteins and unsaturated fatty acids which could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. They help fight obesity which is a major contributing factor for cardiovascular disease. Eggs are also associated with a lower risk of developing hemorrhagic stroke.[ref]Rong, Ying, Li Chen, Tingting Zhu, Yadong Song, Miao Yu, Zhilei Shan, Amanda Sands, Frank B. Hu, and Liegang Liu. “Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” Bmj 346 (2013): e8539.[/ref]
Choose a healthy diet comprising of a major serving of fruits and vegetables, greens, fish, lentils, and unrefined oils with reduced intake of salt. Add a daily dose of eggs and a snack of mixed nuts and seeds. A balanced diet comprising the aforementioned foods can supply you with the required nutrients and minerals that can balance your cholesterol levels and blood pressure and safeguard you from cardiac irregularities and the occurrence of stroke.