6 Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods

– Heart disease accounts for nearly 1/3 of all deaths worldwide. Now, the thing is, your diet plays a major
role in heart health, which can impact your
risk of heart disease. So in this video I’m
looking at the six foods you should be eating to
maximize your heart health. (brightly tinkling chimes) Number one, leafy green vegetables. Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens are known for their high nutrient content, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In particular, they’re a
great source of vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promote proper blood clotting. They’re also high in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to
reduce blood pressure, decrease arterial stiffness,
and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels. Some studies have also found a strong link between increasing your intake
of leafy green vegetables and a reduced risk of heart disease. One analysis of eight studies found that increasing leafy green
vegetables intake was associated with up to a 16% lower
instance of heart disease. Another study in almost
30,000 women showed that a high intake of leafy
green vegetables was linked to a significantly lower risk
of coronary heart disease. Number two, berries. Strawberries, blueberries,
blackberries, raspberries, these are all packed
with important nutrients that are central to heart health. Berries are also rich in
antioxidants like anthocyanins which protect against the
oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the
development of heart disease. Studies show that eating lots of berries can reduce several
risk factors of heart disease. For example, this analysis
of 22 studies showed that eating berries was
associated with reductions in the so-called bad LDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and certain markers of inflammation. Number three, avocados. Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy
monounsaturated fatty acids, which are linked to reduced
levels of cholesterol and reduced risk of heart disease. One study looked at the effects of three cholesterol lowering diets in 45 overweight and obese people, with one of the test groups
consuming one avocado per day. The avocado group experienced reductions in bad LDL cholesterol, including low levels of
small, dense LDL cholesterol, which are believed to
significantly raise the risk of heart disease. Avocados are also a really
rich source of potassium, which is a really important
mineral for heart health. Now, eating one whole avocado provides 28% of the amount of potassium
that you need in a day. Number four, edamame. Edamame is an immature
soybean frequently found in Asian cuisine. Like other soy products, edamame is rich in soy
isoflavones, a type of flavonoid that may help lower the
LDL bad cholesterol levels and improve heart health. If combined with other
changes to diet and lifestyle, even slightly reducing
your cholesterol levels can have a big impact on
your risk of heart disease. In addition to the isoflavone content, edamame is also a source of
other heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants. Number five, extra virgin olive oil. A staple in the Mediterranean diet, the benefits of extra virgin
olive oil are well-documented. Olive oil is packed with antioxidants, which can relieve inflammation and decrease the risk of chronic disease. It’s also rich in
monounsaturated fatty acids, associated with improvements
in heart health, much like avocado. Observational studies
consistently show that those who consume the most
extra virgin olive oil have a 30 to 50% lower risk
of developing heart disease. Extra virgin olive oil
is also equally as good, if not better than coconut oil for cooking at high temperatures because of its high oxidative stability. So, really you can use
extra virgin olive oil for all sorts of dishes. Just make sure that it’s extra virgin, as that is the least refined and contains the most antioxidants. Number six, beans. Beans contain resistant starch, which resists digestion and is fermented by the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Now, according to some animal studies, resistant starch can improve heart health by decreasing blood levels of
triglycerides and cholesterol. Multiple studies have also
found that eating beans and legumes can reduce
certain risk factors for heart disease,
including blood pressure. Look, what you put on
your plate can influence all aspects of heart health, from blood pressure to inflammation to cholesterol and triglycerides. Including all these heart-healthy
foods that I’ve mentioned as part of a nutritious,
well-balanced diet will make sure that you keep your heart in good condition and reduce your risk of heart disease. Thanks for watching, make
sure to give this video a thumbs up if you found it informative. Don’t forget to subscribe to Healthline’s Authority
Nutrition YouTube channel by clicking the red Subscribe
button below this video. (bright music)

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Reader Comments

  1. Rosie Jase

    Olive oil doesn't have a high smoke point and is discouraged in cooking at high temps. For cooking at high heat, many in the culinary world opt for grapeseed oil or rice bran oil…..or even canola

  2. barbara suter

    Good basic and important info. But Joe, you need to slow down when you speak. You are swallowing many of your words which are too important for that to be happening.

  3. George Orwell

    #1 – Kale, spinach and other "greens" have Vitamin K1, which is an anti-nutrient. Animal food like eggs and dairy have Vitamin K2, which is the actual "K" Vitamin that helps your heart. The reason kale and spinach taste bitter is because that is the plant toxins. It is known as an Oxalate response. The other problem is while plants do contain a lot of "nutrients", those nutrients are not absorbed much in the body, which is why you have to eat a lot of them. Cellulose is extremely hard to break down in a human stomach because it isn't natural to the body. Cows require 4 stomachs, and upchucking 200 times to re-chew one feeding of plant cellulose just to break it down. Yet, we are told we can do something more magical than that with eating it once? I don't think so. Me thinks this is another vegan propaganda "authority" on nutrition.

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