Studies have shown that 70 per cent of heart disease cases are preventable with the right diet. Heart-healthy foods provide your body the nutrients it needs to prevent damage to the cells, promote healthy arteries, and improve your blood pressure – effectively stopping heart disease in its tracks.
Oatmeal: Certified heart-healthy food, oatmeal contains soluble fibres that help lower LDL cholesterol. It also reduces your risk for elevated blood pressure and prevents the hardening of the arteries.
Carrots: According to the British Journal of Nutrition, eating more deep-orange-coloured fruits and vegetables is linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease. Because of their rich beta-carotene content, carrots specifically have been found to lower the risk of CHD by 32 per cent. An added bonus for the ladies: if you eat carrots, you’ll significantly reduce your chance of having a heart attack!
Whole grains: Studies show that people who eat whole grains tend to have a lower risk of heart disease than people who don’t. In fact, in one Harvard study, researchers found that people who ate a high-fibre diet full of whole grains had a 30 per cent lower risk of heart disease. Why, you ask? Whole grains contain antioxidants, phytoestrogens and phytoserols, all of which protect against coronary disease.
Salmon: Whether smoked, grilled or pan-seared, this tasty fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to improve the metabolic markers for heart disease. A 2010 review article in Current Atherosclerosis Reports concluded that omega-3-rich fish – like salmon – help protect against heart disease and reduce mortality in patients with congestive heart failure.
Red bell-peppers: Add a little spice to your life with these red super foods. Unlike green peppers, red peppers contain a big dose of lycopene, which makes them a fantastic dietary choice to promote heart health. They’re also filled with cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre and Vitamin A and C, antioxidants proven to help the cardiovascular system.