Winters are one of the favourite seasons for many people. We binge on hot snacks along with hot coffee and tea. Winter season comes with numerous festivals and celebrations. But the vulnerability of our heart also increases during the winter season. Incidence of human casualties due to heart disease and stroke increases during the winter season. Luckily, these conditions are also avoidable with a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of the best foods that can save your heart.
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- Black Beans
Mild, tender black beans are packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Folate, antioxidants, and magnesium can help lower blood pressure. Their fiber helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add beans to boost soups and salads.
Top food for heart health, it’s rich in omega-3s. Omega-3s are healthy fats that may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They may also lower triglycerides and curb inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week.
- Red Wine and Resveratrol
If you drink alcohol, a little red wine may be a heart-healthy choice. Resveratrol and catechins, two antioxidants in red wine, may protect artery walls. Alcohol can also boost HDL, the good cholesterol.
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- Olive Oil
This oil is a healthy fat made from smashed olives. It’s rich in heart-healthy antioxidants. They may protect your blood vessels. When olive oil replaces saturated fat (like butter), it can help lower cholesterol levels. Try it on salads and cooked veggies, or with bread.
A small handful of walnuts a day may lower your cholesterol. It may also protect against inflammation in your heart’s arteries. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, plant sterols, and fiber. The benefits come when walnuts replace bad fats, like those in chips and cookies.
Slivered almonds go well with vegetables, fish, chicken, and desserts. They have plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol. Grab a small handful a day.
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You may have seen these as an appetizer at an Asian restaurant. Edamame is the Japanese word for soybeans. Soy protein can help lower cholesterol levels. A cup of edamame also has 8 grams of heart-healthy fiber. To get that much fiber from whole wheat bread, you’d need to eat about four slices.
Eat tofu and you’ll get a great form of vegetarian soy protein with heart-healthy minerals, fiber, and polyunsaturated fats. It can take on the taste of the spices or sauces you use to cook it.
- Sweet Potatoes
Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes. With a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, these spuds won’t cause a quick spike in blood sugar. They also have fiber, vitamin A, and lycopene.