MATTERS OF THE HEART...

by - 10/13/2013

The heart is a very delicate organ. If it breaks down it won't give you an info that it is not functioning at its best, until you suffer a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Take care of your heart, it is very important.

Myocardial infarction commonly known as heart attack, is a condition whereby there is little or no supply of blood to a part of the heart, causing an injury to the heart muscle because of insufficient oxygen. This is caused by blockage of flow of blood in the coronary arteries, due to saturated fats and diets high in calories. Also food with high sodium content can also increase blood pressure. Many people consume a lot of salt, this contains sodium and excess consumption puts one at risk.

Below are a list of foods that are good and bad for the heart:

GOOD FOODS FOR THE HEART.

Teas: Tea contains antioxidants that help protect your arteries from injuries and lower blood pressure levels. Drinking at least two cups of tea everyday can lower the risks of heart attack by at least 40%. This may also help in shedding weight.

Beans: Eating beans regularly is good for the heart and you don't really need to eat a lot of them, many people don't really like beans, but at least one or twice a week will be cool for the heart. This may help in lowering cholesterol, it keeps cholesterol from being absorbed.

Fish: Consuming two or more servings of fish per week is associated with a 30% lower risk of developing heart diseases over the long term. Study shows fish especially "oily" kinds such as salmon contain omega-3-fats which lower levels of triglycerides in the blood that may contribute to blood clotting. This also lower blood pressure slightly and help prevent irregular heart rhythms.

Nuts: Nuts are full of vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats. Research suggests that people who eat nuts (which are legumes) two or more days in a week have lower incidence of heart diseases than people who eat them less often.

Tomatoes: An excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fiber. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which works with other vitamins and minerals to aid in disease prevention. Research suggests that the combination of nutrients in tomatoes may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Cooking may actually increase health benefits of tomatoes, because although cooked tomatoes have less vitamin C, their lycopene is more available and antioxidant activity is undiminished by cooking.
(Lycopene is a red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and red fruits and vegetables).

Bananas: One banana has about 422mg and about 12% of your daily recommended dose of potassium. The potassium in bananas helps maintain normal heart function and the balance of sodium and water in the body. Potassium helps the kidneys excrete sodium, thereby contributing to healthy blood pressure. This mineral is especially important for people taking diuretics for heart diseases, which combat sodium and water retention. Other good sources include sweet potatoes and spinach.

BAD FOODS FOR THE HEART.

Sugar: Sugar is very lovely and almost in everything we eat. Unless you are diabetic or hyperglycemic, almost everything we consume everyday has sugar in it. But we should avoid diets that have heavy sugar. Excessive amounts can cause diabetes, which in turn can cause heart diseases. You should keep sugary snacks and foods to an absolute minimum.

Foods with High Sodium content: Excess of sodium raises blood pressure, which in turn adds more stress on the heart. Food that is high in sodium, particularly salt (sodium chloride) that is added to food unlike sodium inherent in foods, may cause blood pressure to elevate, increasing the risk for stroke or heart attack.

Processed Meats: Processed meats are those meats that are served using nitrites, salts or other preservatives. Studies have found that the worst kinds of meat for the heart are processed meat. They comprise; sausage, bacon, salami, hot dogs including turkey and chicken. It is likely that the high levels of preservatives are part of the problem.

Animal by products: Most diary products are high in fat and ought to be consumed minimally. Foods to avoid include whole milk, cheese, cream and butter. With any type of diet decision, you should be realistic. A little addition of these diary products is not totally a bad decision, but you should keep consumption minimal.

Trans fat: Trans fat foods for example french fries. They make food taste good and last longer, but they are very bad for the heart. They raise the level of cholesterol. Trans-fats are also food naturally in small amounts in animal products such as beef, pork, lamb and the butter fat in butter and milk you eat will help too.

It is not easy to cut out out foods you enjoy just because of some medical reasons, but it is necessary to live a longer and healthier life. Nobody wants to die early or suffer heart attacks and heart diseases. So we have to check our diet and make some adjustments for a better, healthy, long life.

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