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5 Heart-Healthy Foods That You Should Include in Your Diet

Sarah Williams

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Sarah Williams | January 29, 2014 | 0

Every year about 600,000 people (1 in 4 deaths) die from heart ailments in the United States, based on data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About 715,000 Americans experience a heart attack annually; 525,000 of these incidences were first times. Most of these incidences involved coronary heart diseases.

heart healthy foodHigh blood pressure is one of the health conditions that contribute significantly in the development of coronary heart disease. In fact, according to a Harvard study, 15 percent of deaths in the United States were linked one way or another to high blood pressure.  But worry not because you can always lower your blood pressure the easiest way: by eating.

So which foods should you be noshing on to lose weight and lower blood pressure? We compiled a list of foods that you should eat if to keep your blood pressure stable and to keep yourself generally healthy and free from heart ailments:

1. Blueberries. According to lifestyle and personal improvement consultancy AARP, consuming one weekly serving of blueberries can help lower your risk for high blood pressure. Berries (i.e. blueberries, raspberries and strawberries), just like a number of vegetables contain a pigment called anthocyanin which is type of bioflavonoid phytochemical, a free-radical scavenger and antioxidant. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Institute of Health, anthocyanin protects your body from diseases, inflammation and aging right down to the cellular level.

2. Potatoes. Those who are watching their weight had to forgo potatoes because it’s notorious for containing carbs and sugar. However, according to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medical professor Dr. Linda Van Horn in an interview with ABC News Go, eating lots of potassium-rich fruits and veggies like potatoes (and sweet potatoes), banana (a banana a day!), peas, orange juice and raisins and prunes, cantaloupes and kidney beans can cut down your blood pressure. She recommends consuming 2,000 to 4,000 mg of potassium a day.

3. Non-fat yogurt. Forbes.com lists non-fat yogurt first on its list of top foods that lower blood cholesterol. According to a study presented at the High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, people who consume non-fat yogurt were 31 percent less prone to develop high blood pressure, Forbes.com reported. These people had non-fat yogurt sharing 2 percent of their total daily caloric consumption.

4. Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate isn’t for everyone—people would more likely go for its sweeter counterpart. According to Reader’s Digest, dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which protects the cells from damage brought on by free radicals. Flavonoids can also lower the blood’s LDL cholesterol content by as much as 10 percent as well as help lower blood pressure.

5. Whole oats. According to the Journal of Family Practice, the consumption of whole oats could significantly reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure among people with hypertension. Hypertensive people were also found to have experienced a 9 percent reduction in blood cholesterol and 14 percent reduction in blood LDL cholesterol content.

Who says nutritious foods don’t have to taste good? Get a load of these blood pressure-regulating foods and minimize your risk of developing heart disease. Get more health food advice and tips from Learn2Serve.com, your premiere resource for anything food-related.

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