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World Heart Day: A checklist of foods that will keep your heart healthy

This World Heart Day, include these healthy foods in your diet plan to ensure your heart is in good shape.

fitness Updated: Sep 29, 2017 09:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
For a healthy heart, avoid biscuits, muffins, cakes, white bread and white refined flour.
For a healthy heart, avoid biscuits, muffins, cakes, white bread and white refined flour. (Shutterstock)

Eating heart healthy foods and inculcating them in your diet plan does not need to be a complicated procedure. Make a list of all the foods we have mentioned below, and include them in your regular diet. This shall ensure that you eat healthy and boost your heart health.

According to Dr Sundeep Mishra, professor of cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, “High-salt diets increase blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, like heart failure. Researchers found that people who consumed more than 13.7g of salt daily had a two times higher risk of heart failure compared to those who consumed less than 6.8g.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum of 5g per day. Unsaturated fatty acids are also responsible in lowering bad cholesterol levels in the blood which can contribute to lower risk of heart disease. One should avoid biscuits, muffins, cakes, white bread, white refined flour, and buttered popcorn.”

Eat foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna and flaxseeds. (Shutterstock)

Having a healthy diet is not only good for your heart, but also helps reduce your waistline and keep it in check, amongst various other benefits. So start off with an improved diet this World Heart Day, and ensure a more productive life.

The following are foods which are beneficial for the heart:

1. Consume fish which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and trout are good examples.

2. A bunch of nuts (almonds, walnuts) as snacks on a daily basis help fill your stomach and at the same time are good for the heart.

3. Berries contain heart-healthy phytonutrients and also soluble fibre. Strawberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries and raspberries are tasty and nutritious berries to have which you can include while having cereal or yoghurt.

Papaya is high in potassium and magnesium and hence, builds heart health. (Shutterstock)

4. Oatmeal is a healthy and good way to kick off the day.

5. Kidney or black beans contain a lot of fibre and minerals.

6. Flaxseeds comprise omega-3 fatty acids and phytoestogens which help boost heart health. “Flaxseeds are (small brown seeds) high in fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower total blood cholesterol. One can also grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot, cereal,” says Dr Mishra.

7. Colourful vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes contain carotenoids and vitamins that help in keeping the heart healthy.

8. Trust Popeye when it comes to spinach. Inculcate it in your diet by including it in sandwiches and salads.

9. Oranges and papaya are high in potassium and magnesium and hence, build heart health.

10. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, and help lessen your LDL levels while they increase the HDL cholesterol in your body.

11. Can’t control your sweet tooth? Well, dark chocolate is healthy way of going about it, although make sure that it’s at least 70 % cocoa.

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