19.9 C
Houston
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Foods That Help Beat Heart Disease

February is American Heart Month, a time when we can commit to caring for our most precious organ. Heart disease remains the number one killer in the Western world. Cardiovascular disease, or more accurately coronary artery disease (CAD), kills more Americans each year than cancer and respiratory diseases combined, according to the American Heart Association. The latest statistics show that CAD accounts for 840,678 — approximately 1 in 3 — deaths in this country.

“This disease is the cause of heart attacks, sudden death and the need for stents and heart bypass operations,” says Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, FACC, founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity. “Many people believe that their fate is sealed because they may have a genetic predisposition to CAD, but research has demonstrated that the genetic contribution to CAD is 32% leaving a full 68% in our hands. While it may be that our genes load the gun, it’s really our lifestyle that pulls the trigger.”

The American Heart Association says that simply lowering one’s intake of dietary saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fat reduces CAD by 30% — similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment.

Now is a great time to start including these heart-healthy foods in your diet:

  1. Eat a plant-based diet. One of the best researched ways to beat heart disease is paying attention to what we eat. “Study after study supports the fact that a rainbow colored, organic, plant-based diet can help keep us healthy and disease-free,” says Kahn.
  2. Enjoy garlic. Kahn says that the ability to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood clotting with aged garlic extract (AGE) has been recognized for some time. “There have actually been a surprising number of studies testing the ability of aged garlic extract to halt heart disease progression,” he notes. “For example, in a study published in 2016 that used baseline and follow-up CT angiograms of heart arteries, aged garlic extract reduced areas of plaque in heart arteries at the one-year follow-up.”
  3. Drink pomegranate juice. Both pomegranate juice and its seeds have powerful antioxidant properties that improve the function of the so-called “good” HDL cholesterol. HDL acts like a vacuum, cleaning out the arteries and reversing CAD. Pomegranates can also reduce arterial damage and slow down their obstruction, says Kahn.
  4. Eat nuts, especially almonds. Dr. Kevin Campbell, a leading cardiologist from North Carolina and the author of Women and Cardiovascular Disease, tells Newsmax that the healthy fats found in nuts put them high on the list of foods that are good for your heart. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and peanuts contain omega-3 fats, which have been shown to be heart healthy.
  5. Indulge in dark chocolate. Campbell says that many studies show that dark chocolate containing at least 60% cacao benefits the heart. “Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, and these have been shown to reduce inflammation — a known contributor to heart disease,” he says. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that consuming dark chocolate reduced heart attacks and strokes for people at high risk for CAD.
- Advertisement -

© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Newsmax

Latest news

Indiana Senate passes bill to allows attorney general to step in if prosecutor won’t and prosecute some crimes

It may fly in other parts of the country, but Indiana lawmakers are...

Reject the arguments for staying in Afghanistan

The momentum to keep American troops engrossed in a 20-year civil war has been...

Newsom embarks on COVID vaccine roadshow as recall numbers rise

Faced with a near-certain recall vote, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has embarked on an...

The people oppose the Democrats’ voting bill

The Nov. 4, 1944, edition of The Saturday Evening Post featured a series of...

Related news

Optimism about return to normal grows following vaccine news

The news that the coronavirus vaccine may stop transmission of the virus is...

Signs vaccine is working as COVID-19 deaths drop faster in nursing homes than in general public

Targeting coronavirus vaccines to nursing homes appears to have resulted in lower COVID-19 deaths...

North Carolina bars allowed to open indoors for first time since March 2020

Bars in North Carolina will be able to conduct business indoors for the first...

FDA says Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine is safe and effective

The Food and Drug Administration reported Wednesday that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine...

Study Finds Effective Treatment for Migraine Triggers

Anyone who gets frequent...

Lupus More Deadly for Some Minorities

More Asian and Hispanic...

Study: Exercise, Not Testosterone, Boosts Male Heart Health

Testosterone levels tend to...