Today, the world celebrates World Heart Day, a day which is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of good heart health. The heart is responsible for pumping blood around the body, allowing it to carry out all the functions necessary for survival. In today’s world in the face of sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets, a focus on heart health is even more important.
Many know that for a healthy heart, one should exercise regularly and have a healthy, balanced diet. However, allow us to use today as an opportunity to open your eyes to a few unexpected foods which may be beneficial for your heart.
A glass of red wine a day will keep your cardiologist away, according to several studies. The dark purple and black grapes which are used to make red wine have high levels of resveratrol, which regulates blood pressure and prevents arterial clotting.
Cecilia Oldne, Vice President, Marketing and Global Brand Ambassador, Sula Vineyards, also shared some interesting insights about wine and its connection to the heart, “Research has for long suggested that there is a strong connection between wine and its benefits for the heart. This is because there are various substances in red wine that are proven to be heart-healthy like resveratrol that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, prevents blood clots and protects the heart from inflammation. There are also antioxidants in red wine like polyphenols that helps protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart and helps prevent heart diseases like atherosclerosis. Of course, everything in moderation – my father who is a doctor says a glass or two a day. Wine is known to put a smile on your face as well – and we all know that happiness results in a longer life too!
Potatoes contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium which help lower blood pressure and keep your heart healthy. Remember to prepare potatoes in healthy ways; rather than frying them have them mashed, roasted or baked.
While green tea has been in focus lately for containing antioxidants, regular tea has also been found to promote health. Research has found that tea (be it green, white, black or herbal) helps your blood vessels function reducing the risk of cardiovascular attacks.
Excess oils are generally considered a no-no when it comes to healthy eating, but feel free to load up on oily fish like tuna, salmon, mackerels, sardines, herrings and anchovies. They contain Omega-3, which helps regular blood pressure, blood stickiness and inflammation. They can also lower abnormal levels of fat in the blood. Stick to two servings of oily fish a week or get your Omega-3 in the form of cod liver oil capsules.
Several research reports have shown that dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure, improve circulation and lower cholesterol.
Popcorn contains large amounts of polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory qualities and play an important role in preventing and reducing the progression of cardiovascular diseases.
According to a study conducted by Harvard, people who consume hot chilies are less susceptible to cancer and high blood pressure. Red chilies contain capsaicin which lower cholesterol levels and prevent arteries from contracting.
With inputs from Sula Vineyards.