First of all: To enjoy a healthy heart for as long as possible, it is much more important to avoid highly processed and obese and sugary products than to concentrate on a few “good ones”. Still, science has uncovered remarkable properties in certain foods that promote heart health.
Tomato Paste Protects Against Stroke
The lycopene contained in tomatoes is considered a well-researched natural “cancer protection”. And the more concentrated the tomato product is, the more of it has. Especially tomato paste. At the same time, the so-called carotenoid is an excellent antioxidant, which positively affects heart health. This finding was gained from the analysis of 25 studies.
She confirmed the link between the reduced risk of stroke and tomato consumption. One of many beneficial effects: lycopene has the property of increasing HDL levels (good cholesterol) in the blood, which ensures clean arteries and thus a well-supplied heart with blood. Incidentally, lycopene significantly improves sperm quality.
Edamame Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Edamame is unripe soybeans, which in Asian countries are often served as a starter, still steamed in their shells and sprinkled with coarse salt. The soy isoflavones contained in edamame (they have the most of them of all soy products) play into the hands of the good HDL cholesterol by lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol. And to a remarkable degree of up to 12.9 per cent, according to an evaluation of 38 clinical studies.
Avocado For Healthy Blood Vessels
The trendy fruit avocado is full of healthy fats and is also rich in potassium. Eating an avocado every day helps reduce the rate at which lousy LDL cholesterol oxidizes in the blood, according to a study by Penn State University (USA)found in 2019. Oxidized LDL is even more harmful, it is said, and is a significant contributor to plaque buildup in the arteries, which in turn promotes atherosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels).
The consumption of avocados can counteract this—overweight people who are changing their diet benefit, particularly from the effect. The heart is also happy about the extra portion of potassium (a quarter of the daily requirement) that the delicious food brings with it. If there is a lack of this vital mineral, this becomes noticeable through cardiac arrhythmia and dangerously high blood pressure.
Walnuts For Super Heart Protection
Hardly a month goes by without a study coming out that, for the umpteenth time, declares walnut the #1 brain and heart food. To avoid citing one survey after the other, the most recent one that made the headlines this November is reported here. The researchers found that just a handful of walnuts (30 grams) a day is enough to reduce inflammation levels in the body, which are jointly responsible for developing cardiovascular diseases. In numbers, this means that the mortality rate in this regard was 23 percent lower for walnut lovers than for nut spurners. The nut friends are also clever, by the way. According to a study by Andrews University (US state of Michigan), Healthy snacking improves reasoning and critical thinking.
Salmon Ensures Healthy Arteries
In recent years, word has been spreading about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids for health, especially those from oily fish sources. Salmon is one of the best suppliers of valuable nutrients. Again, just two to three small portions per week are enough to benefit from the heart-strengthening effect of this food. A clinical study of 324 overweight adults showed that diastolic blood pressure dropped significantly after eight weeks.
The diastolic blood pressure value represents the lowest pressure in the vascular system. It supplies the coronary arteries (arteries that surround the heart in a ring and provide the heart muscle with blood). If this is permanently increased, there is a risk of a heart attack in the worst case. To be considered an average weight, a healthy person100 grams of fish a week is enough to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes by 19 per cent.
Cherries Lower Blood Pressure
Eating cherries is good for the heart – or rather: the heart likes eating cherries. Why? There are substances called anthocyanins in cherries (and especially in sour cherries). These are flavonoids, which on the one hand, provide the beautiful red color and, on the other hand, bring the bad LDL cholesterol to its knees – with an immediate effect, as a large-scale cherry study in 2018 showed.
It turned out that a single dose of cherry juice (100 percent fruit) of 300 millimeters lowered diastolic blood pressure after just two hours. However, it returned to baseline six hours later. It’s still worth continuing because, after a four-week cherry cure, the blood lipid levels in the overweight subjects improved significantly. It is also remarkable that the small fruits reduce stress and enhance sleep quality by lowering the cortisol level ( the stress hormone par excellence) in the urine. All properties of the food benefit the heart.
Chilies Protect Against Heart Attacks
Another piece of good news for all friends of spicy cuisine: If you eat four chili peppers a week, you reduce the risk of dying of a heart attack by a whopping 40 per cent. You provided, of course, that you also follow a healthy lifestyle. This was discovered by Italian scientists, who caused quite a stir with their chili heart study published in 2019 . The fact that almost 23,000 men and women took part and that the study period was more than eight years suggests that there may well be something in what at first glance appears to be a very daring thesis. Chili is good food for a healthy heart.
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