Hello Steemians ! i hope you all are well! Today i am publishing a post on how to keep your heart healthy.
Stroke kills about 5 million people worldwide per year. It’s the leading cause of permanent disability in the U.S. And it’s a rapidly growing threat for middle-aged women in particular.
Here’s a scary statistic – every 40 seconds somebody in the United States suffers from a heart attack. This common but debilitating condition occurs when oxygen-rich blood supply is suddenly cut off from a section of your heart. Coronary heart disease, a condition where plaque builds up inside arteries which supply blood to your heart, is the most common cause of heart attacks. Plaque inside your artery may eventually rupture, leading to the formation of a blood clot which, if it’s large enough, can block blood flow and cause a heart attack.
By Dr. Mercola
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart becomes blocked. This is often the result of plaque build-up inside your arteries (atherosclerosis), which may rupture and form a blood clot that blocks blood flow.
If the blockage isn't cleared quickly, a portion of your heart muscle will begin to die and be replaced with scar tissue, which can cause severe problems in the future.
For instance, a previous heart attack (especially if a large area of your heart was damaged) is a risk factor for sudden cardiac arrest, which is caused by abnormal heart rhythms and can be fatal.
Fortunately, the major risk factors for a heart attack like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and being overweight can be controlled through diet, exercise, and sometimes medication. Naturally, what you eat can have a significant effect on your risk of heart attack. Which is why having a heart-healthy diet is crucial to keeping your ticker running smoothly.
Basic lifestyle changes can have a big impact in reducing stroke risk. In fact, according to research, stroke is 80% preventable by addressing lifestyle factors, including improving diet, stopping smoking, and getting regular exercise.
According to Food Revolution expert Michael Greger, MD, the best way to avoid suffering from a stroke is to eat a whole food, plant-based diet centered around vegetables, lentils, beans, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and nuts.
But to get the full benefits, plant-strong eaters must have a regular, reliable source of B12 — meaning B12-fortified foods or supplements.
Consuming a diet that rich in fruits, vegetables whole grains, fish, dairy products that are fat-free or low in fat, poultry, lean meats, nuts, eggs, legumes, seeds, soy products, and healthy fats can help your heart. You also need to limit the consumption of trans fats saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and alcohol.
Balancing your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is also key for heart health, as these fatty acids help build the cells in your arteries that make the prostacyclin that keeps your blood flowing smoothly. Omega-3 deficiency can cause or contribute to very serious health problems, both mental and physical, and may be a significant underlying factor in up to 96,000 premature deaths each year. You can do this by avoiding most vegetable oils and increasing your intake of small wild-caught oily fish (sardines and anchovies) or taking a high-quality krill oil supplement.
Aside from a heart-healthy diet, some specific foods have a protective effect on your heart. Here’s a list of foods you should eat.
1. Citrus fruits like Oranges:-
Citrus intake has been associated with lower stroke risk. According to a study of 70,000 women published in the journal Stroke, women who consumed the most flavonoids from citrus fruits over a 14-year period had a 19% lower risk of stroke than women who consumed the fewest.
Your morning glass of orange juice is bursting with flavonoids that are good for your heart. Studies have found that having orange juice can improve HDL cholesterol levels while lowering LDL cholesterol levels.10 But that’s not all – one study found that consuming orange juice daily can also lower your blood pressure. Interestingly, it was observed that commercial orange juice was more effective at this than natural orange juice. The researchers suggest that this might be because commercial products, which are concentrated forms of the fruit, tend to have a higher content of flavonoids, essential oils, and pectin when compared to natural juice.11
In fact, a Japanese study found that people who ate higher amounts of these fruits had lower rates of heart disease and stroke . Furthermore, a 2017 review suggests that grapefruits are linked to a decrease in systolic blood pressure . Several compounds in citrus fruits can improve markers of heart health.
For example, their soluble fiber and flavonoids may improve cholesterol levels by raising "good" HDL cholesterol and lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol and triglycerides .
And many of the flavonoids in citrus fruits, including one called naringin, are strong antioxidants that benefit the heart in several ways.
Garlic is a great choice for reducing stroke risk.
A few cloves of garlic can amp up the flavor of any dish. But did you know that this common spice is also great for your heart? According to research, it’s quite effective at lowering blood pressure. So how does garlic work? When garlic is crushed, a reaction is triggered that forms a compound known as allicin. This compound can dilate blood vessels and inhibit angiotensin II, a hormone that makes blood vessels constrict, leading to a reduction in blood pressure.9 So spice up your cooking with some garlic to please your taste buds and your heart!
CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS INCLUDE:
• Reduces artery plaque formation.
• Lowers blood pressure. Many studies confirm that systolic blood pressure drops by 10% on average in those who use garlic.
• Decreases LDL particles.
• Decreases LDL oxidation. This is the “holy grail” when it comes to damaged lipid and heart risk. I test all my patients for ox-LDL.
• Lowers triglycerides.
• Inhibits platelet aggregation.
• Increases fibrinolytic activity as garlic acts as a natural clot buster.
• Lowers blood sugar.
• Anti-cancer. Lowers prostate cancer risk by 23%. Lowers lung cancer risk by 44%. Almost 1000 studies on garlic and cancer.
A human study found that regular garlic consumption resulted in a 50% reduction in rates of stroke.
High levels of lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, may be associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke.
According to an analysis published in Neurology, which followed more than 1,000 Finnish men aged 46 to 55, those with the highest lycopene levels were 55% less likely to have a stroke.
It is a powerful antioxidant that may lower cholesterol and inflammation as well as prevent blood from clotting.29 In one study, participants were able to significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase the resistance of LDL cholesterol to oxidation when they had 30 mg of tomato ketchup and 400 ml of tomato juice daily for 3 weeks.30 High blood pressure is another condition that tomatoes can help tackle, lowering blood pressure and improving the levels of nitrates in the blood. This gives your blood vessels a chance to function better.31 So don’t skimp on the tomatoes.
4.Potassium and Magnesium -rich foods
Eating more potassium-rich foods is associated with a significantly lower stroke risk.
In one study, a 1,600 milligrams per day increase in potassium intake was associated with a 21% lower stroke risk — and this amount didn’t even bring many study participants to the minimum daily recommendations.
But less than 2% of Americans reach the daily potassium intake because most people don’t eat enough unprocessed plant foods.
Potassium is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Greens, beans, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of potassium.
According to a meta-analysis of studies, higher magnesium intake is associated with a reduced risk of stroke.
Beans, leafy greens, and whole grains are all loaded with magnesium.
Pomegranates can do your heart a world of good. Studies have found that can it lower blood pressure and cholesterol.6 The oxidation of LDL cholesterol – which is the bad kind of cholesterol as opposed to HDL cholesterol – is a critical step in the development of heart disease. One study found that when patients with diabetes and hyperlipidemia had 40 g of concentrated pomegranate juice their LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels were significantly lowered while their HDL cholesterol levels weren’t impacted.7
6. Flax seeds
Lowering cholesterol and improving heart health: The fibre, phytosterols, and omega-3 content of flax seed may help boost heart health. If you are a vegetarian or don't eat fish, flaxseeds can be your best source of omega-3 fats. They are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a mostly plant-based omega-3 fatty acid .
ALA is one of the two essential fatty acids that you have to obtain from the food you eat, as your body doesn't produce them. Animal studies have shown that the ALA in flaxseeds prevented cholesterol from being deposited in the blood vessels of the heart, reduced inflammation in the arteries and reduced tumor growth . A Costa Rican study involving 3,638 people found that those who ate more ALA had a lower risk of heart attack than those who consumed less ALA .Also, a large review of 27 studies involving more than 250,000 people found that ALA was linked to a 14% lower risk of heart disease .
Numerous studies have also linked ALA to a lower risk of stroke . Furthermore, a recent review of observational data concluded that ALA had heart health benefits comparable to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two of the more well-known omega-3 fats .
Getting more greens into your diet could cut your risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 40 per cent, according to new research from Edith Cowan University.
Get your greens to protect against heart disease and stroke.
Researchers from ECU’s School of Medical and Health Sciences studied the diets of more than 1000 Western Australian women, focusing on nitrate intake derived from vegetables.
They found that over a 15 year period, those women who had the highest intake of nitrate from vegetables had up to a 40 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.
PhD student Lauren Blekkenhorst, said the research was built on her previous study that collated data from around the world on the measured nitrate concentration in commonly eaten vegetables.
Nitrate is a compound that is naturally present in the environment and is essential for plant growth.
“We found that leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, and kale had the highest amounts of nitrate, followed by radish, beetroot, and celery,” she said. “People get roughly 80 percent of their average nitrate intake from vegetables so they are the primary source.”
Nuts like pecans, almonds, peanuts, and walnuts can reduce LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol. However, do keep in mind that nuts are high in calories and should not be overindulged in. Aim for 50 to 100 g of nuts 5 times a week as part of a healthy balanced diet, where the total amount of fat that you consume is not greater than 35% of the energy consumed.
If you’re fond of yummy berries, know that they’re great news for your heart too. One study looked at the relation between the risk of heart attack and the consumption of strawberries and blueberries among women. Those who had the most quantity of these berries were 34% less likely to get a heart attack than those who had the least. Flavonoids known as anthocyanins present in berries are credited with being especially heart-healthy though other compounds may also play a part in their heart-protective properties. Have half a cup of strawberries or blueberries 3 or more times a week to reap their full benefits.13
Whole-grain foods are a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamins, trace minerals, phenolic acids, lignans, and phytoestrogens. Vitamin E and selenium are particularly concentrated in whole grains. Other trace minerals such as copper, zinc, and manganese are also found in the outer layer of grains. In addition, phytic acid, traditionally considered an antinutrient, may also function as an antioxidant. In particular, phytic acid has the ability to form chelates with a variety of metals, suppressing damaging iron-catalyzed redox reactions (12). Overall, whole grains are a potent source of numerous antioxidant compounds that may help to inhibit oxidative damage.
These helps to reduces the heart stroke in much great extent.
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