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Best ways to improve your heart health

Best ways to improve your heart health What foods will help strengthen heart health (photo: freepik.com)

Good nutrition is of great importance to our body. And for heart health, our diet should contain enough nutritious and useful products, writes WebMD.

Cellulose

Oatmeal and bran cereal are a heart-healthy way to start the day. They are soluble fiber that helps lower the level of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Other good sources are beans and whole grains such as barley. You can also get it as a supplement, but it's best to eat a high-fiber diet.

Sterols and stanols

These nutrients are found in some fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. They block the body from absorbing cholesterol. Almonds, peanuts, olive oil and Brussels sprouts are good choices.

Also look for foods with added sterols and stanols, such as margarine, orange juice, and yogurt. Supplements can be a helpful way to lower cholesterol, but check with your doctor.

Garlic

By seasoning your food, you can protect your heart. People have used garlic medicinally for centuries, and studies of the supplement show that it can have a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Talk to your doctor before taking any pills, as they may increase your risk of bleeding and interfere with the medications you are taking.

Vitamin D

It plays an important role in keeping your heart healthy, but only a few foods contain it. Salmon and tuna are some of them. You can also find it in "fortified" milk and orange juice with added vitamin D. Researchers are still studying its use and whether supplements can help. Take them if your doctor recommends it.

Omega-3 fatty acids

They help keep arteries clear, normalize blood pressure, and control triglycerides (fats in the blood), which can increase the risk of heart disease. A great way to get this nutrient is to eat fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel twice a week. If your doctor says you need more omega-3s, try fish oil pills, but be sure to ask how much to take.

Green tea

Drink if you want to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Research shows that the chemicals it contains, called catechins, can lower cholesterol. If you're not a fan of this drink, it also comes in capsule form, but check with your doctor first.

Lycopene

You will get this chemical when you eat tomatoes fresh or cooked in a sauce. Research shows that it reduces the risk of heart disease, although exactly how it works is unclear. You can buy it as a supplement, but researchers believe it's best to get it from food.

Pectin

Fruits such as apples and strawberries contain this type of soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL cholesterol. While you can also take it as a supplement, health experts say it's best eaten with food.

Soy

Change your diet and add products made from this pea plant. Some options are edamame, soy milk, and tofu. They will help your heart if you eat them instead of meat with a high-fat content.

Pomegranate

This fruit is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep arteries clear and protects the heart. Some people like its tart taste, but if it's not for you and you want to take supplements, check with your doctor. Pills do not combine well with some medicines.

Folate

Eat foods that contain this nutrient and you can reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attack. You have a lot to choose from. Try dark leafy greens like spinach, or eat lentils, lima beans and asparagus. It comes as a supplement, but the American Heart Association says a diet rich in folic acid is the way to go.