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Health

Seven Heart-Friendly Foods

When it comes to eating, a little bit of everything is the key, say experts. Our body needs all foods in moderation. Some help cure bowel problems, some help control diabetes and some keep eye problems at bay. Here are seven foods you should include in your diet to have a healthy heart.

Apples

Apples are a good source of vitamins and minerals like iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium as well as vitamins A, B and C. "These help in strengthening blood vessels," says Nutritionist Sneha Trivedi, . They also have a low glycemic index, making it safe for diabetics to consume.

Garlic

Garlic contains aicin, a powerful antioxidant. Other than that, "It helps lower the bad cholesterol," says Trivedi. This means it prevents your arteries from getting clogged. So use this condiment in your curries, stir-fries and more.

Fish

"Oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that help to maintain the integrity of blood vessels by keeping them healthy and elastic," says Nutritionist Sushila Sharangdhar. These acids also improve our immune system and help in increasing the good cholesterol or HDL levels. "It also reduces the chances of blood clots," Trivedi adds.

IF YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN, DO NOT WORRY. TAKE ONE OR TWO FLAX SEED OIL CAPSULES. IT CONTAINS SOME MORE VALUABLE HEART PROTECTING INGREDIENTS BESIDES OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS.

Olive oil

Due to the mono-saturated fats present, olive oil helps in lowering the amount of bad cholesterol. "It is also rich in antioxidants that increase the elasticity of arterial walls," says Trivedi. This in turn prevents heart-related problems.

Wheat

"Wheat is a very good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals," says Trivedi. It helps in reducing the amount of bad cholesterol. Fibre binds with the cholesterol and helps in eliminating it from our body. Other sources of fibre are: oats, barely, bajra, ragi, jowar and other whole grains.

Dairy

Milk and milk products are a good source of fatty acids. They are also a good source of antioxidants and polyphenols. "Polyphenols protect blood vessels and lower blood pressure, thus preventing cardiovascular diseases," says Sushila.

Greens

Green leafy vegetables like spinach and fenugreek are a good source of vitamin B-complex and niacin. "These protect the blood vessels from clots and prevent hardening of arteries," Sushila says. Other sources of B-complex vitamins are berries, citrus fruits and bell peppers.

A healthy diet and moderate exercise will go a long way in maintaining a healthier heart and a happier you!

See Also:

Happiest People Less Likely to Have Heart Disease
After accounting for known heart disease risk factors, the researchers found that the happiest people were 22% less likely to develop heart disease over the 10 years of follow-up than people who fell in the middle of the negative-positive emotion scale.

Heart Protection with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help support the health of the cardiovascular system, maintain triglyceride and cholesterol levels and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, possibly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in men. In addition, they assist in promoting a healthy brain function, controlling mood levels and supporting healthy joints and muscular mobility.

Beans Linked to Low Cholesterol

Orange Juice May Be Good For Your Heart

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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