Diet to protect the heart: reduce cholesterol and lose weight

Diet to protect the heart: reduce cholesterol and lose weight

Nutrition is essential for cardiovascular health: here are the best foods for the heart

Cholesterol and high blood pressure: 3 foods that keep them at bay

Adopting a varied and balanced diet, combined with regular physical exercise, is the first fundamental step to stay healthy and prevent many diseases, including heart disease. In particular, there are several foods that protect the heart by affecting key factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglycerides.

A diet aimed at taking care of our heart can only include fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, sardine and herring, among others, are foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have an indisputable cardiovascular benefit. An experiment involving 324 people, the results of which were published in Nutrition, revealed how consuming three weekly servings of salmon helped significantly reduce blood pressure. In addition, fatty fish helps you lose weight: keeping weight under control is undoubtedly essential to prevent heart disease.

Garlic has for centuries been considered an excellent natural remedy for many ailments: several studies have shown its real effects on the body, bringing to light significant beneficial properties. The merit is of allicin, the main compound contained within this food, which performs an important function at the cardiovascular level, as evidenced by a review published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. In particular, garlic can inhibit the accumulation of platelets, thus reducing the risk of blood clot formation and stroke.

Instead, the ability of the tomato to protect our heart is to be attributed to its richness in antioxidants. This food contains excellent amounts of lycopene, which acts against free radicals and fights cellular aging. Some studies, such as the one published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, have shown that a diet rich in this substance decreases the risk of heart disease and increases the levels of HDL cholesterol, considered "good" for our health.

Green leafy vegetables have many benefits, among which those that protect the heart stand out. Vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and lettuce are in fact rich in vitamin K: this substance, as evidenced by a study published in Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), Increases the elasticity of the arteries and prevents the accumulation of calcium on their walls, in addition to acting on blood coagulation.

Whole grains are also worth mentioning, which are often consumed in every diet to be able to lose weight: being very rich in fiber, they improve digestive function and increase the sense of satiety. However, these substances also act on LDL cholesterol, decreasing its levels in the blood and thus preventing the onset of heart disease, as evidenced by a review published in Current Atherosclerosis Reports.

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