Foods That Will Help You Reverse Your Heart Disease
Allison Bush | Jan 11, 2013
The key to helping heal your heart is to choose foods that will reduce inflammation, which is one of the root causes of plaque build-up in your arteries. Here’s a list of good heart-healing, artery-clearing foods.
Figs are rich in fiber, which is good for losing weight, and potassium, which will help lower high blood pressure. They also contain a tremendous amount of plaque-fighting polyphenols. Try including them (fresh or dried) in salads, in smoothies, or freeze them for a sweet treat.
Walnuts & flaxseeds
Walnuts and flaxseeds are high in fiber and fat - but it’s the good, vegetarian omega-3 fat (alpha linolenic acid, ALA). Walnuts are also a great source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that keeps cholesterol from building up in plaque. Flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, which help fight the inflammatory disorder atherosclerosis. Be sure to grind your flaxseeds!
Oatmeal is packed with plaque-fighting antioxidants and beta-glucan, which belongs to a class of soluble fiber. Why is this important? Because this type of soluble fiber has the ability to soak up cholesterol and push it through the digestive system so that it’s not absorbed. This will help lower your LDL cholesterol levels.
Salmon appears often on health food lists, but it’s for good reason. Like other cold-water fish, including halibut and sardines, salmon is high in omega-3, DHA, and EPA. Fish oil reduces your triglyceride level, stabilizes plaque, and reduces inflammation. You should aim to have meals containing either salmon, halibut or sardines at least twice a week.
Lentils are a low-fat plant protein that are also a great source of LDL-lowering soluble fiber. Even more importantly, they’re one of the best sources of iron (especially for vegetarians). At 230 calories per cup, this legume will give you the most bang for your buck.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help lower your total cholesterol, your LDL (bad) cholesterol, and it may even help normalize insulin levels for tighter blood sugar control. The term “extra virgin” means that the olive oil has not been exposed to heat or other mechanisms that might deplete the oil’s nutrients. While this oil is a healthy fat, it’s still a fat, and should be used in moderation.
Among its many benefits, spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that help reduce free radical amounts in the body, as well as work to keep cholesterol from oxidizing.