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25 heart healthy foods


Logo-NannaTHERE are at least 25 foods that you need to add to your menu list that you should eat regularly to ensure that your heart is healthy. Regular consumption of these foods will help to prevent heart disease.

The 10 classes of nutrients that I wrote about last week viz: water, antioxidants, phytosterols, polyphenols and phytoestrogens, carotenoids, omega 3 fatty acids (unsaturated fatty acids), vitamins, minerals and fiber can be sourced from these 25 different kinds of food.

Here now is the list of the 25 heart healthy foods and the nutrients they contain according to these 10 categories of nutrients listed above. Furthermore, these foods will be presented according to the following groupings: vegetables, fruits, grains/nuts, beans, fish and others.

A. Vegetables Spinach, thick, dark green leaves that contain lutein, (a carotenoid), B-complex vitamins and folate. Also, there are minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium and like any other vegetables, there is fiber.

Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, it contains beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and folate. Minerals found in broccoli are potassium and calcium, with fiber. Carrot, contains alpha-carotene and fiber. Sweet potato, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E with fiber. Asparagus, beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins, folate and fiber.

Red pepper, beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, folate, potassium and fiber. Tomatoes, beta and alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. B. Fruits: Orange, beta and alpha-carotene, flavones, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber.

Blue berries, beta-carotene, lutein, anthocyanin (flavonoid), ellagic acid (polyphenol), vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and fiber.

Cantaloupe alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. Paw paw, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, vitamins C and E, folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium. C. Grains/nuts Brown rice, B-complex vitamins, niacin, magnesium and fiber.

Oatmeal, B-complex vitamins like niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin E, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and soluble fiber. Flaxseed, omega 3 fatty acids, phytoestrogen and fiber.

Almond, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, phytosterols, magnesium and fiber. Walnut, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phytosterols and fiber. D. Legumes Kidneys beans, omega 3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and soluble fiber. Black beans, omega 3 fatty acid, B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and soluble fiber.

Soy milk, isoflavones, B- complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phytoestrogens. Soy protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, potassium, magnesium, good quality protein, phytoestrogen and fiber. Tofu, niacin, folate, minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium E. Fish Tuna, omega 3 fatty acid, folate and niacin. Salmon, omega 3 fatty acid. F. Others Green tea, contains catechins and flavonoids.

Dark chocolate (unrefined cocoa), contains resveratrol and cocoa phenols. Red grapes (red wine), contains catechins and resveratrol. Tips to changing your diet to make them healthy for your heart.

Changing your diet so as to improve your health at any time and to prevent whatever disease, does not have to be sudden and total. If you have to change all the food you have been eating in the last 40 years suddenly and totally, I am sure your system will revolt.

The idea is that the change should be gradual. According to the groupings of the heart healthy foods given above, the sources of the food you should eat to keep your heart healthy are vegetables, fruits, grains/nuts, fish, legumes and green tea. n practical terms, you need to eat more of nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseeds and its oil, almonds and avocados and cold water fish which are very good sources of omega 3 fatty acid.

Your proteins can be sourced from skinless poultry, fish, egg white and calcium from skimmed milk and other plant sources as listed above. You will get sufficient nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and the phytonutrients by eating a variety of the vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains.

There are a number of them, make sure you eat different ones daily and weekly, as you can afford. All the vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes are very rich sources of fiber and you can never go wrong eating such foods. Certain nutrients are particularly efficient in lowering cholesterol in circulation and they are found in the vegetables, fruits, fish, beans, nuts and seeds.

They include oatmeal, walnut, olive oil, fish and the phytosterol in flaxseed and wheat gem. The foods you should avoid as you improve upon your diet to make it heart healthy should include red meat, egg yoke, hydrogenated and trans fat, processed and packaged food that are high in sodium.

Others are sausages, bacon, egg yoke, fried chicken, white bread and rice, whole milk products like cheese and yogurt and refined pasta.

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