Heart Healthy Foods

Author: Preeti DesaiPosted on 13-07-2014
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Importance of Circulatory System to your Health. Your heart and blood vessels form the cardiovascular system which is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to the cells, tissues, and organs in your body. Plus the circulatory system removes carbon dioxide and other waste products from your cells, tissues, and organs.

Efficiency of the circulatory system determines your overall health and that includes your immune system, the health of your eyes and ears, and how well your brain functions. And if the circulatory system’s functioning is impeded it leads to many health problems.

Fiber in Apples is Heart healthy

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Both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber in Apples helps lower LDL (bad) Cholesterol levels and protects from developing Atherosclerosis, which leads to heart attack. 1 cup of Apple contains about 3.7 grams of Fiber.

Green Beans are Heart healthy

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Antioxidants Beta Carotene and Vitamin C in Green Beans team up to prevent Cholesterol from becoming oxidized by free radicals. Only oxidized Cholesterol sticks to blood vessels and its build up leads to blocked arteries, heart attack or stroke.

Split Peas are Heart healthy

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Split Peas contains soluble fiber that forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract binding Bile Acids. Bile Acids are made of Cholesterol. Fiber is never absorbed by the body so when excreted even bile acids are excreted thus lowering Cholesterol levels.

Papaya is Heart healthy

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Papayas are rich in 3 powerful antioxidants Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A (carotenoids converted to Vitamin A) that help prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) Cholesterol. Only oxidized Cholesterol sticks to blood vessels forming dangerous plaques that can eventually break causing heart attacks or strokes.

Vitamin B6 in Chicken is Heart healthy

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Chicken is rich Vitamin B6 a B Vitamin that is required to convert the dangerous chemical Homocysteine into other, benign molecules. Homocysteine is dangerous molecule, which directly damages blood vessel walls and increases the progression of Atherosclerosis.

Green Peas are Heart healthy

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Homocysteine is dangerous molecule that directly damages blood vessel walls and increases the progression of Atherosclerosis. Green Peas contains Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6 that are necessary to convert Homocysteine to benign molecules.

Cashews Are Heart healthy

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Cashews are rich in unsaturated fatty acid called Oleic Acid which has Heart Health benefits. Oleic acid is a heart-healthy Monounsaturated Fat and is also found in Olive Oil. Oleic Acid is beneficial to individuals with Diabetes. Cashews have lower fat content than most nuts.

Oranges are Heart healthy

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Oranges are Heart healthy as they contains Folate or Vitamin B9 that helps in reducing Homocysteine levels that are associated with Heart Disease. High Homocysteine levels are dangerous for Heart Health.

Kidney Beans are Heart healthy

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Kidney Beans are rich in soluble fiber that forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract binding Bile Acids. Bile Acids are made of Cholesterol. Fiber is never absorbed by the body so when excreted even bile acids are excreted thus lowering Cholesterol levels.

B Vitamins in Beef (lean) are Heart healthy

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Lean Beef is Heart healthy as it is rich in Vitamin B12, and B6 that helps lower Homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is dangerous molecule that directly damages blood vessel walls and aids the progression of Atherosclerosis. High levels of Homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Nuts protect your Heart

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Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Peanuts and Chestnuts have a high amount of Antioxidants that protect your heart. Many Nuts contain Heart Healthy nutrients like contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Potassium. Enjoy a handful of nuts daily or 4 times a week as they are tasty and nuts help reduce risk of heart disease.

Kale is Heart healthy

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Fiber in Kale helps reduce high Cholesterol levels and helps prevent Atherosclerosis. Fiber binds to bile salts and carries them out of the body. Bile is essential for digestion and the body will need to use up more Cholesterol to produce Bile Salts thus lowering Cholesterol levels.

Kiwifruit is Heart healthy

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Fiber in Kiwifruit reduces high Cholesterol levels and is healthy for people at risk for Atherosclerosis or Diabetic Heart disease. Fiber binds to bile salts and carries them out of the body. Bile is essential for digestion and the body will need to use up more Cholesterol to produce Bile Salts thus lowering Cholesterol levels.

Black Beans are Heart healthy

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Black Beans are Heart healthy as they are rich in Magnesium that helps lower high blood pressure. Veins and Arteries relax in presence of sufficient Magnesium thus improving blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Vitamin B12 in Lamb is Heart healthy

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Lamb meat contains Vitamin B12, which is required to convert dangerous chemical Homocysteine into other, benign molecules. Homocysteine is dangerous molecule, which directly damages blood vessel walls and increases the progression of Atherosclerosis that may lead to heart attack.

Walnuts Are Heart healthy food

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Walnuts contain good amounts of L-Arginine, which is an essential amino acid. L-arginine in Walnuts is converted into Nitric Oxide, a chemical that helps blood vessels relax. Walnuts are good especially for people with hypertension, diabetes and heart problems, as they do not have normal levels of Nitric Oxide levels.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil prevents Heart Attack or Stroke

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Heart Healthy as it helps increase HDL (Good) Cholesterol levels. Cholesterol of people whose diet is high in Extra Virgin Olive Oil will primarily contain Oleic Acid that is more resistant to free radical damage. By preventing damage of LDL (Bad) Cholesterol, Extra Virgin Olive Oil reduces plaque formation and development Atherosclerosis.

Potassium in Swiss Chard protects your Heart

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Swiss chard promotes Heart Health, as it is rich in Magnesium and Potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and the contraction of all muscles including the heart muscle. Potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. 1 cup of Swiss Chard provides about 27% of Potassium required daily.

Almond Butter is good for your Heart

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High Antioxidants content in nuts helps reduce risk of heart disease making nutty butter or almond butter good food to eat but once a week. Almond Butter also contains Heart Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin E and minerals Magnesium and Potassium as they help reduce risk of heart disease.

Grapes and Red Wine both are Heart healthy

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Grapes are Heart healthy as they contain Phytonutrients Flavans, Anthocyanins, Quercetin Myricetin, Kaempferol, and Resveratrol that have antioxidant properties. Together all the Phytonutrients in Grapes provide many protective effects on Cholesterol metabolism, oxidative stress (free radical activity) and inflammation.

Garbanzo Beans are Heart healthy

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Garbanzo Beans are Heart healthy as they are rich in Magnesium that helps lower high blood pressure. Veins and Arteries relax in presence of sufficient Magnesium thus improving blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Thus Magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. 1 cup of Garbanzo Beans provides about 30% of Magnesium required daily

B Vitamins in Turkey are Heart healthy

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Turkey is Heart healthy as it is rich in Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12, which are required to convert dangerous chemical Homocysteine into other, benign molecules. Homocysteine is dangerous molecule, which directly damages blood vessel walls and increases the progression of Atherosclerosis.

Peanuts Are Heart healthy

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Peanuts are Heart healthy as they contain Monounsaturated Fats that is also known as a Heart Healthy fat. Studies state that people who eat diet rich in monounsaturated fat have a reduced risk to cardiovascular disease.

Heart Healthy Monounsaturated Fats

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Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) are Heart Healthy fats as they lower total Cholesterol and LDL (bad) Cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) Cholesterol. High Cholesterol level is known a s a risk factor for heart disease. Type of Fats in your diets has the biggest influence on the type and levels of your blood Cholesterol.

Tomatoes are Heart healthy food

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Tomatoes are Heart healthy as rich in Lycopene that helps prevent Cholesterol oxidation. Lycopene in Tomatoes helps neutralize free radicals protecting LDL Cholesterol from oxidation. Oxidation of LDL Cholesterol is the first step of atherosclerotic plaque formation a major risk factor for heart disease.

Romaine Lettuce is Heart healthy

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Fiber in Romaine lettuce lowers high Cholesterol levels. Fiber binds to bile salts in the colon and removes them from the body. This forces the body to make more bile and to do so it has to break down Cholesterol.

Onion is Heart healthy

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Chromium in Onions helps reduce LDL (bad) Cholesterol and increase HDL (Good) Cholesterol. High Cholesterol is one of the risk factors for heart disease.

Banana is Heart healthy

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Banana is rich in Potassium which is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. A medium size Banana provides 467 mg of Potassium.

Figs are Heart healthy

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Figs are Heart Healthy as they are rich in Potassium that helps reduce high blood pressure. Most people consume high amounts of sodium as salt found in processed foods and therefore deficient in Potassium which leads to hypertension.

Cranberries are Heart healthy

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Cranberries are Heart healthy as they are rich in Polyphenols - Pterostilbene, a powerful antioxidant that helps lower Cholesterol. Cranberries significantly increase blood levels of cardioprotective HDL (good) Cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) Cholesterol.

Blueberries are Heart healthy

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Blueberries are high in the soluble fiber pectin, which helps lower Cholesterol. Fiber binds to bile salts in the colon and removes them from the body. This forces the body to make more bile and to do so it has to break down Cholesterol.

Mustard Green is Heart healthy

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Mustard Greens contains Vitamin E that helps protect your heart. Vitamin E reduces the development of Atherosclerosis by protecting LDL or Bad Cholesterol from free radical oxidation.

Leeks are Heart healthy

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Leeks eaten regularly will help reduce total Cholesterol and LDL (bad) Cholesterol levels whilst increasing HDL (good) Cholesterol levels. Reduced LDL (bad) Cholesterol levels prevent the development of plaque building in blood vessel called Atherosclerosis. When oxidized Cholesterol plaques grow too large or rupture it may result into a heart attack or stroke.

Shiitake Mushroom is Heart healthy food

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Eritadenine in Shiitake Mushrooms helps lowers Cholesterol levels. Mushrooms like many other vegetables are a cholesterol-free food thus making Shiitake Mushrooms good to eat if you want to reduce Cholesterol. The stems od Shiitake Mushroom may be tough to eat but are good to make excellent soup stock.

Pinto Beans are Heart healthy

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Pinto Beans are Heart healthy as they are rich in Magnesium that helps lower high blood pressure. Veins and Arteries relax in presence of sufficient Magnesium thus improving blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Thus Magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. 1 cup of Pinto Beans provides about 24% of Magnesium required daily.

Spinach is Heart healthy food

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Vitamin C and Beta Carotene in Spinach are powerful antioxidants that work together to prevent oxidation of Cholesterol. Oxidized Cholesterol is sticky and starts to build up in the artery walls forming plaques. When these plaques become large they may block off blood flow or break, causing a clot that may trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Apricots are Heart healthy

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Apricots are Heart healthy as they are rich in Beta-Carotene rich that protects Cholesterol from oxidation. Beta-Carotene prevents oxidative damage of LDL (bad) Cholesterol thus preventing heart disease.

Olives are Heart healthy

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Free radicals oxidize Cholesterol that forms plaques and damages blood vessels. Oxidized Cholesterol builds up in arteries progressing into Atherosclerosis, which may lead to heart attack or stroke. Monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E in Olives prevents oxidation of Cholesterol and thus prevents heart disease.

Summer Squash is Heart healthy food

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Vitamin C and Beta Carotene in Summer Squash helps prevent oxidation of Cholesterol and reduce development of Atherosclerosis.

Lentils are Heart healthy

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Lentils are rich soluble fiber forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract binding Bile Acids. Bile Acids are made of Cholesterol. Fiber is never absorbed by the body so when excreted even bile acids are excreted thus lowering Cholesterol levels.

Navy Beans are Heart healthy

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Navy Beans are rich soluble fiber forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract binding Bile Acids. Bile Acids are made of Cholesterol. Fiber is never absorbed by the body so when excreted even bile acids are excreted thus lowering Cholesterol levels.

Almond skin is also Heart healthy

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Flavonoids are phytonutrients found in Almonds skin. Flavonoids in Almond skin are unique combination of catechins (found in green tea) and naringenin (found in grapefruit). Flavonoids and Vitamin E work in Almonds work synergistically and help promote good Heart Health.

Winter Squash is Heart healthy food

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Winter Squash contain Folates that help lower Homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is dangerous molecule that directly damages blood vessel walls and increases the progression of Atherosclerosis. High levels of Homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. 1 cup of Winter Squash provides about 14% of Folate required daily.

Lima Beans are Heart healthy

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Lima Beans are rich in soluble fiber forms a gel like substance in the digestive tract binding Bile Acids. Bile Acids are made of Cholesterol. Fiber is never absorbed by the body so when excreted even bile acids are excreted thus lowering Cholesterol levels. 1 cup of Lima Beans provides about 52% of Dietary Fiber required daily.

Resveratrol in Grapes keeps Heart muscle healthy

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Grapes rich in Resveratrol helps maintain heart muscle cells and protect your Heart. Resveratrol also prevents existing cardiac fibroblasts from changing into myofibroblasts, the type of cardiac fibroblast that produces the most collagen. A high amount of collagen causes the heart muscle to stiffen and reduces its ability to pump blood efficiently.


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