According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 4 Americans die of heart disease each year in the US.

Specialists say that in our country someone experiences heart attack every 40 seconds.

Increased blood pressure, high «bad» LDL cholesterol and smoking play the key role in heart problems development. About 49% of Americans have one or more of these three main risk factors. There is a wide variety of other conditions and habits, which are also able to boost hazards of cardiovascular diseases. They include diabetes, poor diet, excessive weight and obesity, lack of physical activity and alcohol abuse.

As you see, most of these risk factors are modifiable. For example we have ability to maintain healthy weight and perform at least 30 minutes of exercises every day.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

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Review your daily menu. Does it contain sufficient amount of healthy foods?

Your body needs minerals, protein, healthy fats and vitamins to maintain well-being and work properly.

Fortunately we know now, which foods are the best fuel for our body. It’s worth adding these healthy products to your menu to improve your heart working:

#1. Oatmeal – rich with soluble fiber, oatmeal can decrease LDL cholesterol level and avoid blood sugar spikes. Pay attention that benefits are available in steel-cut or course slow-cooked oats. Their instant variants often contain too much sugar and synthetic additives.

#2. Salmon – the American Heart Association recommends take two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week, as omega-3 fatty acids in this foods have powerful anti-clotting effect and were found to reduce risks of atherosclerosis and arrhythmia.

#3. Blueberries – all berries are full of fiber, ascorbic acid and antioxidants, which protect your body's cells from oxidative damage and may help control blood pressure.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

#4. Walnuts – owing to high content of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, walnuts are able to increase “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce the “bad” one.

#5. Pomegranate – it's a great source of heart-healthy polyphenols and anthocyanins, which help keep your arteries clean.

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#6. Legumes – chickpeas, black beans, lentils and other beans are high-fiber products, which make you feel full for a long time and keep under the control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In addition to this, antioxidants, folate and magnesium in the beans can help manage high blood pressure.

#7. Red wine – drinking alcohol surprisingly may bring you healthy benefits. Catechins and resveratrol, contained in the wine, can protect your artery walls and keep vessels unclogged. But don't overdo with alcohol, as its excessive consumption conversely leads to heart damage. It is recommended go for one glass of alcohol a day for women and two – for men.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

#8. Olive oil – being an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower hazards of heart disease.

#9. Spinach – this leafy green is a low-calorie source of folate, potassium and fiber, which can improve your heart working.

#10. Dark chocolate – cacao is rich in polyphenols, which have powerful anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties. At the same time these chemicals help maintain optimal blood pressure. Give preference to dark chocolate, which includes at least 70% of cocoa and contains less sugar.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

#11. Avocado – this creamy-textured fruit is well-known for its heart-healthy benefits, due to high content of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants and potassium. Avocado can lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerosis development.

#12. Tomatoes – both fresh and sun-dried tomatoes are full of vitamin C, potassium, beta-carotene and antioxidant lycopene, which helps decrease “bad” cholesterol and keep your vessels clean.

#13. Soy – tofu and soy milk are the great sources of protein, fiber and polyunsaturated fats. These elements have ability to avert hypertension and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

#14. Red beets – high in nitric oxide, beets can reduce high blood pressure and stave off blood vessels hardening.

#15. Flaxseeds – being full of omega-3 fatty acids, phytoestrogens and fiber, flaxseeds are especially good for your heart.

Credit: Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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