Certain superfoods are great for keeping your heart healthy while others are not. Some can help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and slow the formation of plaque — to prevent heart disease. But some, taken in large doses, can actually aggravate a heart condition or interact with heart medication. The superfoods are:
1. Chia seeds contain the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids of any plant-based food. That’s good news for your heart, because omega-3 fatty acids help people with high cholesterol by lowering triglycerides in the blood, and also lower the risk of abnormal heart rhythms.
2. Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids found in meat, including lysine, an amino acid essential for tissue growth and repair. Because whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, it is recommended to get up to 3 servings per day.
3. Fatty fish, such as salmon, lake trout, sardines, anchovies, and herring, are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help control high blood pressure, reduce irregular heartbeats like atrial fibrillation, and decrease your risk of stroke and heart failure.
4. Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, goji, and acai berries are all superfoods thanks to their flavonoids, which can lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels, helping with circulation. Strawberries and blueberries also contain high levels of a compound that can help widen the arteries and prevent plaque buildup. And citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, contain a lot of vitamin C, which can lower your risk of heart disease.
5. Potatoes have a bad reputation for being high in calories. But white, red, purple, and sweet spuds are rich in potassium, fiber, calcium, and B vitamins like B6 and folic acid (folate). These can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Cook potatoes with the skin on, since it contains the highest amount of nutrients.
You can always monitor all your cholesterol levels by checking for lipid profile. It gives you an idea of total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides as well.