Feeding the Heart

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At Best Doctors we go to great lengths to promote correct diagnosis, treatment plans and prevention. We help analyse medical cases and give second opinions to thousands of patients every year all over the world, many whom are suffering from critical diseases including cardiovascular related medical issues.

Our experts bring such an incredible amount of experience and case analysis to the second medical opinion process and currently 10% of cardiovascular cases review result with a change of diagnosis and a staggering 33% of cases are recommended a change in treatment plan[1].

The first heart cells begin to beat when a foetus is as young as 4 weeks old and this organ continues to develop into one that will play a vital role in our quality of life.  During a lifetime the average heart will beat 3 billion times and will pump an average of 3.8 million litres of blood through the body[2].

Taking care of this incredible organ should be a maximum priority and what we feed our bodies, and ultimately our heart, can have a great impact on our cardiovascular health. In order to promote the importance of eating well and the incredible effects that it has on preventative, Best Doctors has compiled a list of the most recommendable foods for the heart.

1. Popcorn: Unless doused with copious amounts of butter, sugar or salt, popcorn can be considered a very healthy snack. Popcorn is actually a whole grain and those who ingest more whole grains tend to keep a healthier BMI and are at lower risk for heart disease. In addition, popcorn provides the body with polyphenols – and in huge amounts. Polyphenols are antioxidants that research have linked to playing a part in helping improve heart function and health. The University of Scranton conducted research that surprisingly concluded that popcorn has more polyphenol than both cranberries (the top fruit source of this antioxidant) and kidney beans (the highest vegetable source of this antioxidant).

2. Whole grains: Studies have proven that a diet full of fibre lowers the risk of heart disease. The key is to ingest foods that are high in soluble fibre like barley (not beer!), oatmeal, chickpeas, okra, eggplant and beans. When the body digests fat it creates bile acid from cholesterol. Soluble fibres actually bind to the bile acid during the digestive track. However, as our bodies are not capable of digesting fibre, the bile acids that have bound to the fibre are later expelled from the body.

3. Raisins: While they are a wonderful healthy snack, the antioxidants contained in raisins also help fight the bacteria that produce inflammation and gum disease. People with gum diseases are twice as likely to develop heart problems in the future.

4. Fish, particularly salmon: Dieticians recommend eating at least two servings of fish a week and that “oily” fish like salmon and tuna can help lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease by 30%. The omega-3 fats found in oily fish help lower blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms. In addition, they assist in lowering triglyceride levels in the blood and in turn reducing the risk of blood blotting.

5. Nuts: These crunchy treats are absolutely loaded with monounsaturated fats and have a low level of saturated fats – making it a healthy snack when ingested in moderation. Medical professionals suggest eating nuts, in their various assortments, two to four times a week. Common nuts that can boost caring for the heart include walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, etc.

6. Tomatoes: This round, juicy, red fruit (yes it is a fruit!) has an outstanding combination of vitamins and minerals that make it a true super-food. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C, A, fibre, potassium and lycopene. Lycopene specifically works to help aid disease prevention and studies suggest that this food can help prevent cardiovascular disease. In fact, dieticians recommend that if at risk for heart disease to eat their tomatoes cooked. Although cooking a tomato can lower its levels of vitamin C, the lycropene becomes more accessible.

7. Chocolate: Dieticians do not recommend every type of this taste of heaven – instead they specify that flavanol-rich dark chocolate has blood thinning effects. Not only does blood thinning boost our immune system by reducing blood density, it also keeps blood vessels vibrant and healthy, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

8. Red Wine: As long as it is kept in moderation, red wine can be good for the heart. Web MD explains, “resveratrol is found in the skins of red grapes and has been shown to be a potent biological agent that may offer protection against cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

9. Bananas: Everyone knows that bananas are great at helping sort out a muscle cramp but this fruit’s high potassium levels (12% of the recommended daily dose in 1 banana), can help kidneys discard excess sodium. By helping the body keep its balance between sodium and water, normal kindly function can be maintained and sodium excess will be extracted more efficiently.

 

 

 

[1] Best Doctors Second Medical Opinion Data. Accumulated until March 2017.

[2] Arheart.com

Sources:

WebMD

Health.com

Eating Well

Greatist.com

 

 

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