Healthy Food for Healthy Hearts

Women sometimes have to deal with a lot of stress caused by work pressures, spouse/boyfriend issues, children, financial constraints etc. This can lead to mood swings, energy drain and tension, which is not good for the heart. One of the last things you want is stress over heart conditions, which is why you need to maintain your cardiac health. You can do this by improving your diet – here are five major foods for strengthening your heart:

Salmon is rich in omega-3, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and eating this fatty fish can help lower the risk of heart attacks by up to 33 per cent. Salmon can also lower the risk of arthritis and improve intelligence. Given these benefits, salmon should be an important part of your diet.

Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate can help improve cardiovascular health significantly. For chocoholics this is good news, as eating dark chocolate can lowers the risk of heart diseases and heart attack considerably. A study published in the Circulation Heart Failure journal states that women who eat one or two servings of quality chocolate weekly are at a reduced risk of heart failure by of up to 32 per cent. According to research, cocoa contains high quantities of flavanols, polyphenols and anti- inflammatory properties which protect the heart. For best results, choose dark chocolate that contains at least 75 per cent cocoa solids as they are rich in flavanols compound.

In the United States, about 90 per cent of women are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and one in four dies because of heart diseases. However, you can protect your heart by adding walnuts to your diet as they are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. According to a recent study, eating one to two ounces of fresh walnuts every day can improve blood circulation significantly in only eight weeks. Eating walnuts can also delay development of breast cancer and tumors among women.

Olive Oil
Olive oil can help reduce the chance of heart disease and significantly improve cardiovascular health. It contains monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) which promote HDL cholesterol levels (also known as good cholesterol) in the body while lowering LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol). This makes olive oil a good option for reducing the risk of heart disease.

The apple is one of the best foods for improving women’s cardiovascular health. A leading cause of death among American women is metabolic syndrome that causes high blood pressure, insulin resistance and high cholesterol, leading to heart diseases. A 20-year study by Iowa Women’s health revealed that women who eat apples regularly are at lower risk of developing coronary heart diseases.

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