Actually, there are many ways to be able to maintain heart health. Routine exercise and live a healthy lifestyle are some of them. One way to live a healthy lifestyle is to eat healthy foods every day, especially those that are good for the heart.
Speaking of healthy foods that are good for the heart, phytonutrients are the answer. You can find this nutrients in vegetables and fruits, which are beneficial to nourish the heart and help it work optimally. For plants, phytonutrients are beneficial to protect it from germs, fungi, and pest. While for humans, this compound can help the body work properly.
Here are some foods with phytonutrients, which are good for heart health:
Beans. Beans are one of the foods with high phytonutrients. In addition, beans are also rich in fiber and water content, so that makes you full quickly. This can prevent you from consuming lots of calories. These foods also contain antioxidants, which can prevent cell damage due to exposure to free radicals.
Whole Grains. Whole grains such as wheat, brown rice and corn consumed as the main source of carbohydrates, can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. This is because grains contain protein, fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium.
Grape. Grapes can prevent heart disease and hypertension. This is because grapes contain fiber and flavonoids that are good for preventing heart damage.
Berries. Various berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, can be a healthy snack that is good for the heart. This is because the berries contain fiber and antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of heart attack. However, further research is still needed on the effects of berries on heart health.
Apple. Apples can reduce bad cholesterol in the body and help regulate blood sugar, so it can indirectly reduce the risk of heart disease. Besides containing phytonutrients, apples also contain other compounds that are good for the heart, namely epicatechin. This compound is an antioxidant that can help reduce high blood pressure.
Garlic. One way to maintain heart health is to maintain blood pressure so that it is not too high. This means you need to limit salt intake, because it can increase blood pressure. Well, garlic might be the solution, because it can be used as a substitute for natural salt which can add a savory taste to food, without affecting blood pressure.
Green Tea. Routine consumption of green tea every day can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, do not consume excessive green tea too, because it can increase the risk of kidney stone disease. Consuming green tea every day is good, but you also need to increase your consumption of water, to avoid the risk of dehydration and the urinary system remains smooth.
Those are some healthy foods that are good for the heart. Keep in mind that eating lots of healthy food does not guarantee you are free from the risk of heart disease. Especially if you don’t keep up with regular exercise, get enough sleep, and manage stress. In addition, it is also important to avoid smoking, so that the heart and body as a whole remain healthy.
Cleveland Clinic. Accessed 2019. 12 Heart-Healthy Foods to Work into Your Diet.