Healthy nutrition reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is especially important that you replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat, eat little salt and provide plenty of vegetables, fruit and sufficient fiber. Seven good ideas for your heart.
1. Fresh herbs
Fresh herbs are an excellent alternative to salt in a meal. Dill, for example, does very well with fish and with a few leaves of basil every pasta becomes a real treat. Your heart and blood vessels are especially happy when you use fresh herbs instead of salt, fat and other unhealthy flavors. Prof. Victor Guetta, director of Invasive Cardiology Unit at Sheba Medical Center says “The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are good for your heart. In addition, many herbs also have other health-promoting properties. Double profit then.”
2. Salmon and tuna
Feeding (fatty) fish once a week is associated with a lower risk of heart disease mortality, according to research. Studies with supplements containing fish fatty acids also show that EPA and DHA reduce the risk of death from heart disease and can lower blood pressure. Salmon is a good choice, tasty with fresh herbs and lots of vegetables. White tuna is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. For tuna in tins, opt for the water version instead of oil.
3. Olive oil
Saturated fat should be replaced as much as possible with unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat is known for the favorable health effects and significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil consists for about 70 percent of monounsaturated fatty acids. And is also rich in vitamin E. The beneficial effect of olive oil on your heart is mainly in lowering LDL cholesterol.
4. Walnuts and almonds
You should actually eat a handful of unsalted nuts every day, because nuts contain in addition to vitamins and minerals also a lot of unsaturated fat. There are strong indications that eating unsalted nuts is protective against cardiovascular disease and also has a positive effect on your cholesterol. Walnuts are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Almonds are also a fine choice. They also contain potassium and sodium, which makes them not only good for your cholesterol, but also for blood pressure.
5. Edamame and tofu
Chances are that your edamame beans and tofu are not on the table very often, but heart-technically that would be smart. The (ground) soy beans have a high nutritional value. They are rich in protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and fiber. Edamame are also a very suitable snack: boil the frozen edamame in salted water for a few minutes or steam the beans. Tofu is of course a great meat substitute.
6. Barley and oats
Whole grain products are also good for your heart. Eating it is related to, among other things, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Barley and oats have an additional plus. These cereals contain beta-glucan, a soluble cereal fiber that absorbs a lot of moisture in the intestines. In passing they also bind some cholesterol, bile salts and fatty acids. Because of the binding of cholesterol, the cholesterol level of the blood decreases, and in particular the unfavorable LDL cholesterol level. You can go anywhere in both barley and oats. Both cereals are very suitable for breakfast. Barley can also easily be added to a soup or stew and oats are especially good in all kinds of sweet dishes and baked goods.
7. Cherries and blueberries
People who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain forms of cancer. Which substances are exactly responsible for this is not entirely clear yet. Probably it is a combination of substances. Varying in fruit is therefore always a good choice. However, do not forget to regularly eat cherries and blueberries if they are in season. These fruits are full of anthocyanins: antioxidants (flavonoids) that are thought to protect the blood vessels.