Olive oil is a healthy oil that is good for the well-being of your heart. Firstly, it provides your body with healthy fats and secondly, it works to reduce your bad cholesterol. It can be eaten daily: add it to pasta, salads or just about any vegetable. Regular olive oil consumption has been shown to reduce your risk of a stroke by 41 percent.
2. Plant sterols
These can be found in fortified margarine or butter, milk, and orange juice. These compounds reduce cholesterol-filled oils because, like cholesterol, they travel to the digestive track, and their presence prevents cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Check the labels of yogurts, salad dressings, and snack bars because plant sterols are often added to these.
Nuts can help your heart reach optimal health because of their good fats. They contain monosaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and alpha-linoleic acid, which are all substances that lower bad cholesterol levels. Just a handful of walnuts, cashews or almonds can provide adequate nutrition. Eat them as a snack between meals or add them to your salad for that crunchy element.
Asparagus is a green vegetable that removes clots and decreases inflammation, helping to keep your arteries unclogged. Asparagus adds a lovely flavor to soups, salads or pasta, and can also be eaten by itself.
Broccoli is a great source of vitamin K, which prevents calcium from damaging the arteries. This vegetable lowers bad cholesterol levels and helps with the regulation of healthy blood pressure. Eat a cup of broccoli with your lunch or add it to salads or soup.
This yellow fruit is a rich source of fiber, polyphenols and antioxidants. Together, these three substances help prevent cholesterol buildup, reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol, and fight free radicals, respectively. This makes persimmons somewhat of a super-fruit. Enjoy it as a snack, add it to fruit or vegetable salads, or make marmalade or jam out of it.
Like nuts, this fish boasts a large array of healthy fats. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce triglyceride levels, decreases inflammation and increase good cholesterol levels. While salmon makes a delicious lunch or dinner option, fish like mackerel, tuna and herring also offer similar health benefits.
This yellow-colored spice contains curcumin, which works to eliminate fatty deposits and decrease inflammation, all beneficial for the health of your arteries. Add this bright-hued spice to couscous, rice or meat dishes. You can also drink some turmeric tea to reap its many benefits.
This delicious spice can add flavor to a piece of toast, sweet potatoes or can even be drunk as a tea. While it offers flavor, it also has health benefits, mainly by preventing plaque from building up on artery walls, reducing bad cholesterol levels by as much as 26 percent. You can start feeling the benefits by adding a few teaspoons a day to your diet.
10. Orange juice
A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is filled with nutrients and high amounts of antioxidants, which improve blood vessel function. The juice has also been found to reduce diastolic (resting) blood pressure. It’s recommended that you drink two cups a day. Drink it between meals with a snack, or first thing in the morning with your breakfast.
Spirulina is an algae rich in minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, antioxidants and proteins. It can be bought in powder form and added to a smoothie, or as dried flakes that can be added to salads. This superfood helps regulate healthy blood pressure and relaxes your artery walls. Regular consumption can help bad cholesterol drop by 10 percent and good cholesterol levels can go up by 15 percent.
A holiday favorite, cranberries are a fantastic source of potassium. These berries have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol. Regular drinking of cranberry juice has reduced the risk of heart disease by 40 percent. Cranberries taste delicious in pies, in salads, or as a snack, and their juice makes for a great morning drink.
This hot drink contains the antioxidant cetachin, which gives the drinker various health benefits. It stops cholesterol from being absorbed by the body and fights off obesity. Enjoy a cup or two at any time of the day.
Watermelon is a refreshing summer fruit, consumed on its own, as well as in fruit salads or as a beverage. This fruit contains much L-Citrulline, which is an antioxidant that stimulates nitric oxide production, helps widen the blood vessels and generally promotes good heart health.
When you eat whole grains you can lower your bad cholesterol levels. This is because of the high amounts of soluble fiber found in the grains. These fibers attach themselves to the bad cholesterol and prevent it from building up in the arteries. You can get plenty of whole grains in whole wheat bread, or in oatmeal (a delicious breakfast choice), or in cereals. You can also find it in brown rice.
This leafy green vegetable is rich in potassium and folate, which reduce the risk of developing heart disease by as much as 11 percent. Eating this vegetable fresh daily helps unclog the arteries and lowers high blood pressure rates. It adds flavor to salads and sandwiches, and is an easy-to-prepare side dish.
This fruit adds a rich flavor to fruit salads and smoothies. It is also rich in phytochemicals, which encourage nitric oxide production, helping to prevent your arteries from getting clogged up. Phytochemicals also regulate blood flow.
A well-known food for its healthy fats is the avocado. This fruit can reduce bad cholesterol by as much as 17% and also increase your good cholesterol. Avocados make delicious guacamole, go well in salads and on sandwiches and can even be added to warm vegetable side dishes.