Types of food that are good for the heart. There are several kinds of food that help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Commonplaces don’t usually go along with doctors’ opinions, but it’s always advisable to follow the advice of specialists.
The Nefrocenter Group, with its facilities located in Naples, in Soccavo, and in Cava de’ Tirreni, relies on the professionalism of its specialists and on cutting edge instrumentation that allows screenings for the prevention of heart diseases, with increasingly accurate results. A healthy diet is essential for heart’s health. Here’s the recommended food.
Essential legumes in a diet
The legumes that contain essential mineral salts such as iron, potassium and phosphorous should be eaten at least 2 or 3 times a week.
Recommended food includes chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas, and broad beans, which are all rich in vegetable protein and macronutrients such as fiber and carbohydrates. They also conveniently contain little sugar and fat.
Fish, if it’s the blue one it’s even better
The omega-3 fat acids found in mackerel, anchovies and salmon are essential for the heart. They should be eaten 3 or 4 times a week. Their contribution is essential because they reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death.
Green leafy vegetables
Vitamin K found in spinach, cabbage, zucchini, rocket, and fennel is essential for protecting the arteries. In addition, these vegetables are sources of nitrates, and they help reduce blood pressure, slow down the aging of the arteries and improve the functionality of the lining of blood vessels. The benefits of these vegetables remain the same if they’re ingested in the form of a smoothie.
Fruits, either fresh or dried
Oranges and all citrus fruits, along with mangoes, kiwis, apricots, plums, pineapples, melons, cherries, and apples are reserves of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C. Vitamin E and omega-3, present in walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts, are useful to clean the arteries from bad cholesterol if taken in doses ranging from 10 to 15 grams per day. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, and strawberries are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and contribute – just like dried fruits – to keeping blood pressure and bad cholesterol under control.
Soy contains proteins, omega-3 and lecithins: a substance rich in phosphorus, which has anti-cholesterol properties. In this way, soy keeps diabetes under control by keeping blood triglycerides low. For those who decide to ingest soy, one portion a day is the recommended quantity, which can be consumed in the form of milk, yogurt or even a block of tofu, which shouldn’t exceed 100 grams.
Cereals, preferable whole grains
Whole grains are high in fiber, and they help fighting bad cholesterol. However, it’s preferable not to exceed in portions and limit them to 70 grams per day to obtain benefits.
Above all, the choice of cereals should be varied, alternately eating bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa.
Coffee and tea are not to be excluded
A diet for the health of the heart doesn’t exclude coffee or tea. Indeed, if taken in moderation, they can also be of great help. In fact, both contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances. Coffee and tea also regulate the metabolism of lipids and glucose by keeping cholesterol levels under control. However, a person should drink only 2 cups a day of coffee or tea maximum, otherwise their benefits are lost and replaced with contraindications caused by the excessive use.
Wine isn’t bad for health
To protect yourself from cardiovascular diseases through nutrition, wine should not be excluded. Indeed, the resveratrol, the substance found in red grapes’ skin, has antioxidant properties. A glass of red wine a day benefits not only the heart, but the brain as well, because it reduces the risk of strokes.
Only dark chocolate is allowed
Chocolate can also be included in a diet to prevent cardiovascular diseases. However, it’s essential to eat dark chocolate, instead of the regular one.
Flavonoids, a subcategory of polyphenols, increase the elasticity of blood vessels and reduce weight gain. To define chocolate as dark, the cocoa component must be at least 70%, and to obtain its benefits the dose of 10 grams per day must not be exceeded. That pretty much corresponds to a little square of chocolate.
Extra virgin olive oil is allowed
In the diets for heart’s health, raw extra virgin olive oil can be used as a condiment, since it contains oleic acid, which is nothing more than a monounsaturated fat that protects against cardiovascular diseases. Unlike extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oils, sauces, butter, and lard should be avoided.