Wednesday, October 18, 2017 14:48

Specific Foods That Strengthen The Heart

Posted by on Saturday, December 19, 2009, 10:29
This news item was posted in Heart | Cardio category and has 0 Comments so far.

Although most studies look at the effects of a single vitamin, mineral or phytochemical, some researchers have studied “whole” foods. Some of the findings are surprising and suggest that there are many tasty ways to keep the heart beating strongly for a long time.

Putting it all together  the healthy diet:

The heart-healthy foods mentioned above are just a few of the many that can help to lower the total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and blood fats, raise the helpful HDL, control oxidation damage, “thin” the blood and otherwise protect the heart.

When people ask me about the best heart foods, I tell them to eat a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, plenty of whole grains and smaller amounts of fish, nonfat dairy products, low fat meat and occasional nuts and seeds. In other words, a diet rich in the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and grains, fiber and beneficial phytochemicals.

By eating these foods, you’re eating less fat and cholesterol. A great deal of research suggests that this type of diet can lower the cholesterol and blood fats by some 20 percent. Since the risk of heart disease drops 2 percent with every 1 percent drop in total cholesterol, adopting a low fat, high fiber, high complex carbohydrate diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 40 percent.

Nutritional therapy is a long-term preventive and treatment strategy. It will not, however, stop a heart attack in progress. And in some cases, CHD may have advanced too far and will require other treatments.

When selecting a nutritional healer, remember that there is no widely recognized school of nutritional therapy and no standards or training for nutritional healers. Fortunately, it’s hard to go wrong if your diet is based on a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains, with smaller amounts of low-fat protein and dairy products.

  1. Brewer’s yeast. This largely overlooked substance, not found in the typical kitchen, can lower the total cholesterol and LDL while raising the helpful HDL. In one study with normal and high cholesterol patients, 11 healthy volunteers were given brewer’s yeast. Eight weeks later, 10 of the 11 people with normal cholesterol levels had even lower total cholesterol levels and increased HDL levels. Among the 15 volunteers with high cholesterol, eight enjoyed the same beneficial results.
  2. Garlic. Cholesterol levels tend to rise after a meal, as the body assimilates the cholesterol, fats and other substances in the food. This is especially true after a meal filled with fat and cholesterol. But adding as little as two ounces of garlic juice to a fatty, cholesterol laden meal can actually lower the cholesterol by up to 7 percent.Another study found that 600 mg of garlic powder a day could push the total cholesterol down by some 10 percent,31 which translates into a 20 percent decrease in the risk of heart disease. Other research has supported these findings, reporting that garlic can lower both total and LDL cholesterol while raising the HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Garlic’s cholesterol lowering powers also have staying power. A 10 month study found that eating three cloves of garlic (or the equivalent in supplements) a day keeps the cholesterol down for extended periods?  And because it contains ajoene and other substances, garlic also helps to keep the blood “thin” and free of potentially deadly blood clots. My favorite garlic supplements are the original AGE (Aged Garlic Extract) capsules, first brought to my attention years ago by Charlie Fox of Wakanaga of America, makers of Kyolic Garlic.
  3. Ginger. Ginger shares heart-helping attributes with its cousin garlic. Ginger interferes with the long sequence of events necessary for blood dots to form. This helps to prevent clots that can lodge in narrowed coronary arteries and set off a heart attack.
  4. Green tea. Popular in Asia for centuries, green tea helps to keep blood pressure under control. The tea contains Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) and other substances that protect the body against the dangers of oxidation, while helping to keep the harmful LDL cholesterol down and the helpful HDL cholesterol up. They also assist in keeping blood pressure under control.
  5. Oat bran. One of my favorite anticholesterol foods, oat bran lowers cholesterol in many people and protects against other diseases.
  6. Onions. Onions contain adenosine and other “blood thinners” that help to prevent the possibly fatal blood clots. In addition to “thinning” the blood, onions can help keep the coronary arteries open and clear by increasing the 11Db. Eating half a raw onion every day can increase HDL by 20 to 30 percent. Although we can’t say for sure that a one point rise in HDL equals a two point drop in the risk of CHD, we do know that most people’s HDLs are too low and should be increased.
  7. Prunes. Although best known for their beneficial effects on sluggish bowels, prunes also help to protect the heart. In both human and animal studies, prunes had a mild cholesterol lowering effect.
  8. Soy. Long popular in Asia, soy and soy-based foods, such as tofu, have proven to be heart protectors. If you put people with high cholesterol on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, their cholesterol levels usually drop. But if you replace the animal protein in the diet with soy protein, they will drop significantly lower. In fact, one study showed that soy protein could “cancel oulf’ the effect of 500 mg of cholesterol deliberately added to the daily diet. Although soy can lower cholesterol levels in those with normal levels, it works best in people with elevated cholesterol.
  9. Wine. For decades, doctors have been baffled by the “French paradox.” We’re confused by the fact that the French eat a high fat diet but have much less heart disease than Americans. The French also smoke more than Americans do and are probably just as stressed. What protects French hearts? It seems that drinking moderate amounts of wine may raise the beneficial Hl)L while lowering the harmful LDL. Wine also helps to reduce the stress that increases the risk of heart disease and works to keep the blood thin and clot free. The active heart-boosting ingredients in wine include the phenols. Like vitamins C, E and A/beta carotene, the phenols are antioxidants. (Of course, drinking any kind of alcohol can be dangerous. If you don’t drink, don’t start now. If you do drink, only drink in moderation.) If you already use alcohol and are not a problem drinker, one glass of wine with dinner will be helpful.

Putting it all together  the healthy diet:

The heart-healthy foods mentioned above are just a few of the many that can help to lower the total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and blood fats, raise the helpful HDL, control oxidation damage, “thin” the blood and otherwise protect the heart.

When people ask me about the best heart foods, I tell them to eat a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, plenty of whole grains and smaller amounts of fish, nonfat dairy products, low fat meat and occasional nuts and seeds. In other words, a diet rich in the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and grains, fiber and beneficial phytochemicals.

By eating these foods, you’re eating less fat and cholesterol. A great deal of research suggests that this type of diet can lower the cholesterol and blood fats by some 20 percent. Since the risk of heart disease drops 2 percent with every 1 percent drop in total cholesterol, adopting a low fat, high fiber, high complex carbohydrate diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 40 percent.

Nutritional therapy is a long-term preventive and treatment strategy. It will not, however, stop a heart attack in progress. And in some cases, CHD may have advanced too far and will require other treatments.

When selecting a nutritional healer, remember that there is no widely recognized school of nutritional therapy and no standards or training for nutritional healers. Fortunately, it’s hard to go wrong if your diet is based on a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains, with smaller amounts of low-fat protein and dairy products.

food for heart

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply