So much has been written about workouts and fitness regimes that go in to making a healthy heart. A good amount of Internet literature also covers foods that should be avoided to keep you away from the cardiology section of the hospitals, yet little is said about what can be had to sport a robust heart.
In this post, I have put together a rudimentary list of some foods (list not in order of merit) that do great favors for the heart. You could have recipes involving these foods as ingredients. Here goes:
1. Salmon: This pink-fleshed fish is loaded with nutritional value - it delivers 34% of the RDA recommended requirements on Omega 3 fatty acids for a single 100 gm intake. For the heart, it reduces erratic heart rhythms (ischemic arrhythmia), prevents clots (that blocks arteries and cause strokes), promotes good cholesterol to bad cholesterol ratio and prevents damage of cholesterols. Try to include salmon twice a week in your diet to maximize heart benefits. You could also use Mackerel or Sardines, which have similar heart benefits.
2. Oats: Oats are high in soluble fiber and help to lower the bad cholesterol LDL. The antioxidant unique to oats, called avenanthramides helps prevent free radicals from damaging the heart and causing diseases. All anti-oxidant rich foods are beneficial for the heart. Brown rice and wholemeal breads have similar properties. Studies have shown including whole grains in your diet reduces the risks for heart diseases.
3. Garbanzo beans/Chickpeas: It is not just the fiber of chickpeas that reduces LDL cholesterol but the significant amounts of folates and magnesium in Garbanzo beans. Folates reduce levels of homocysteine in our blood and this helps us reduce our risk to strokes and peripheral vascular diseases. Similar benefits may be had from Kidney beans, Fava beans, Lima beans and other categories of beans.
4. Fruits: Almost all fruits are heart-healthy. Avoid fruits you know you are allergic to. Of particular value from the cardio perspective are strawberries, plums, peaches, cherries and kiwis.