10 foods that your heart needs: It’s all about the Heart – (part 2)!!!

As discussed in the first post, here we will go in detail about the remaining foods that are certainly good for the heart and can work wonders.

It is also important that you start by picking the foods that you like the most – if you do not favor oats say for example, you can skip on the oats and pick food items that you prefer more. It is all about building tolerance and taste. A lot of these food choices are delicious and great tasting but in that case the amount of serving should remain low.

It may be said that too much of a good thing is not always great!!
For the second part – we start with a food that is hardly considered as tasty or healthy (if you did not know it before, you can know it now)
  1. Chocolate:

A lot of foods may sway your opinion to the other side but chocolate actually is good for the heart. It is easy to forget that it actually grows on plants and is normally not the sweet thing that you often come into associate with it. Since it is the preferred choice for desserts – it is often sweetened enough. The harmful part of eating chocolate thus than comes from the added sugar and not just the chocolate alone.
The benefits of moderate dark chocolate consumption (without additives, including milk, sugar and others) include but are not limited to providing you with high numbers of antioxidants. The presence of antioxidants ensures that your blood formation remains fluid, it prevents the platelets from sticking together ensuring that there is smooth blood flow in the arteries.

It also helps build the good cholesterol – the key is thus exploring the “dark side” of chocolate as well rather than just sticking to sweet chocolate.
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  1. Margarine and Butter alternatives:

Although butter is great – it is not the healthiest food that can grace your dinner table. A healthy alternative margarine with plant sterols is the best way to move ahead.

Plant sterols are capable of reducing cholesterol absorption hence making them great for your body. Studies have shown that women who have higher intakes of sterols in their diet have reduced blood cholesterol by 3% over a few months period.

  1. Garlic

It may not be actually good enough to banish vampires but it surely packs a punch when it comes to keeping blood pressure in control.

It is probably and I admit one of the hardest thing to acquire taste of (and you may not like the smell of it as well) but it is a really great vegetable that must be part of your diet.

It is good in preventing and lowering cholesterol, reducing and controlling blood pressure and providing better blood health in general. A recent research also showed its effectiveness in preventing cholesterol from sticking to the walls of arteries and veins.

  1. Olive Oil:

I am a big believer of Mediterranean diet and the role that olive oil plays in that. Olive oil is full of monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which lower LDL cholesterol level.
Olive oil offers a great replacement for other vegetable based oils or fat in food. You can even use it in Salads to get more flavor and taste from the salads.
Equally good for frying all the vegetables and meat that you want!!

10. Avocado

A lot has been written about how good avocado is – but it still is not enough to do justice with what Avocado brings to the table.
They are rick in monosaturated fats – a particular fat that helps raise HDL cholesterol (the good one) and decrease the LDL cholesterol (the bad one). They also contain beat-sitosterol – the fat absorbing cholesterol removing substance.
They are though high in terms of calories and require careful intake monitoring. There are loads of recipes which offer exquisite and unique flavors of the fruit – the trick is to choosing those which you can use regularly without fear of having too much.

How to manage the intake of these helpful foods?
Chocolate is hard to resist – I give you that. It is one of those foods whose cravings are the most dreaded. Since it is involved in many baking products along with chocolate bars that are everywhere, it offers continuous stimuli that can impair even the best of judgments. The key is realizing that dark chocolate is totally different from its other more available varieties and in moderation is a much healthier alternative.
If you can introduce it steadily in the diet – it offers great value.
An Avocado Olive oil salad with beans seems like a perfect combination for lunch. The best part is you will be able to control your calorie intake along with the fact that you will not be going for ready-made options for lunch which will save immensely on the calorie count.

These are not just the only foods that are good for the heart – there are other many which are similar and offer great benefits for the heart. Hopefully we will be able to list more as well.

Give your heart a great chance to thrive and survive – enjoy healthy living; it is not as difficult as it is made out to be!!!

Photo credit: Chocolate Reviews / Foter / CC BY-ND Photo credit: RenaudPhoto / Foter / CC BY-SA