10 Best Foods for Women's Heart Health
Photo © Augustine Fou
This article was submitted by Top 8 Home Remedies, a website covering the health benefits of foods and home remedy solutions to common ailments.
Heart health should be of the utmost importance for women everywhere. Today, heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in the United States, and in the U.K men are affected by heart disease more than women. Luckily, there are things women can do to protect themselves from heart disease and improve their heart health. One of the best things a woman can do for her heart health is to include heart-friendly foods in her diet.
Who is at risk for death due to poor heart health? More people than you would think. There are some risks that cannot be overcome, namely genetics (family history of poor heart health) and having type-1 diabetes. Luckily, all of the other risk factors are preventable or changeable. These include the following: type-2 diabetes, smoking, overuse of alcohol, poor diet, high blood pressure, high-stress levels, and obesity.
All of the preventable risk factors can be treated with home remedies. Some heart-healthy foods can improve not only a woman's heart but other areas of her body as well! Now, let's take a look at some of the best heart-healthy foods for women that can both help to prevent and treat heart conditions.
Berries of any kind are great for improving heart health, but blueberries are one of a kind! This is in part because they are full of antibiotics and vitamins. One of the healthiest vitamins they contain is vitamin C, which works hard to improve heart health. Blueberries also contain flavonoids, which help to improve blood pressure and prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries. This makes the blueberry a triple threat-- it can lower blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and improve heart health.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits all well known for being rich in vitamin C. What is less well-known in citrus fruits is they also contain vitamin P, which can help to prevent capillaries (small blood vessels) from becoming weak. By eating citrus fruits, your blood vessels can stay strong, which is essential for heart health, since blood travels through the heart.
Who doesn't love dark chocolate? Knowing that it's great for heart health is one excuse to eat more of this food. However, it is only essential in moderation; this means eating no more than an ounce of dark chocolate a day. This small amount of chocolate can work to prevent heart disease, as it lowers the build-up of bad cholesterol in the arteries. It can also reduce insulin resistance, which can help women who are suffering from type-2 diabetes.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, including spinach and kale, are full of healthy vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and iron. They also contain high amounts of fibre. All of these vitamins and minerals work to support heart health. They can also leave a woman feeling fuller, even though these veggies are low in calories. It is best that a woman eats 1/2 cup of dark leafy greens a day for optimal heart health.
The key ingredient in fish is omega-3. This natural chemical works to lower high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which are both keys to having a healthy heart. Some fish work better to improve heart health than others. For example, salmon is one of the best fish out there for your heart. Try to eat fish about four times a week for the best results.
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yoghurt, contain potassium. This natural mineral helps to lower blood pressure. By choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy products, women can also get the added bonus of lowering their bad cholesterol levels. Full-fat dairy products can raise bad cholesterol levels, which is why it is so important to choose low-fat options.
When cooking food in oil, opt for olive oil over vegetable oil; it's much healthier, and the taste isn't much different. Olive oil contains healthy fats, also known as unsaturated fats. These types of fats help to lower bad cholesterol levels. This keeps the articles from getting clogged up and keeps the heart, healthy.
As mentioned earlier in this article, drinking in excess can hurt a woman's heart health. However, drinking red wine in moderation can improve heart health. This works because it helps to raise good cholesterol levels, combat high levels of bad cholesterol, which can often lead to a weak heart. By drinking a glass of red wine once a day, women can work to improve their heart; of course, do not drink more than this, or you may do more harm than good.
Seeds, like fish, also contain omega-3. Unlike fish, they have the added bonus of being high in fibre. Eating seeds is also a great way for vegetarians and vegans to take in healthy amounts of omega-3 and protein. Some seeds to help improve the heart include sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Whole grains are rich in fibre, which is great for heart health. When most people think of whole grains, they might think about whole wheat bread, but whole grains are much more than that! Some other sources of whole grains include brown rice, oats, and whole cornmeal. Try exchanging your refined grains for whole grains to see results.
By implementing these dietary changes now, they can work to improve your heart health not only now but for years to come.