It is estimated that 1 in 4 Australians will die due to Cardiovascular Disease. The heart plays a very important role in our body. By pumping blood it helps deliver nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Making sure that we take care of this magnificent organ is our duty. Here are 5 foods that will assist your heart.
The use of garlic as a food and medicine dates back 5000 years. This amazing culinary food is used in many cuisines throughout the world to add flavour. However, this small bulb contains plant chemicals that may help reduce bad cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and has the ability to get rid of plaque in the arteries. This makes garlic a very powerful ally when it comes to supporting the health of your Heart. (1)
Omega 3, particularly from the oil of fish has been shown to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system. This essential fatty acid is proven to help lower triglycerides in the blood which are associated with an increased risk of ischaemic heart disease. Our body does not make Omega 3 (hence it being called an ‘essential’ fatty acid) so we require it from our diets regularly. Ensure you have adequate amounts of foods rich in this essential nutrient by consuming oily fish and from plant sources such as flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds. (1)
Rich in B vitamins, protein and minerals, oats are one of my regular favourites as a breakfast meal. It is due to its fibre content that oats can support the health of your heart. Rich in a water-soluble fibre, known as Beta-Glucan, oats have the ability to lower lipids, reduce atherogenesis (hardening of the arteries) and may help reduce blood pressure. (1)
Yes!! Dark chocolate, how exiting is this! I don’t mean the milky, high sugar chocolate that we get form the confectionary section – I mean the pure Cocoa, which you can get form the health section. What makes this food good for your heart health is its antioxidant content, a type of polyphenol called as flavanol. Studies have shown that flavonols have positive effects on cardiovascular health, by decreasing LDL (also know as bad cholesterol), cholesterol oxidation, reduce the aggregation of platelets in blood, as well as support the interior of the blood vessels. (1)
Green tea has several health benefits from fat burning to assisting in regulating blood sugar. Like garlic, green tea has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits. Rich in antioxidants, green tea protects the body form cellular damage, reduces inflammation and protects the heart. An epidemiological study based in Japan showed that the consumption of green tea may reduce the risk of heart disease. (1) Drink green tea daily to help support your heart and your overall health.
Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & Natural Supplements An evidence-based guide [3ed]. Chastwood, Australia: Churchill Livingstone.