Cardiovascular health has been shown by numerous health studies to improve when a person undertakes aerobic actions. Exercising has the effect of increasing the amount of blood that is flowing through the body. As the heart is required to continuously pump at a higher rate for the length of the event; this helps the heart as it will become used to the increased rate and pressure, and will be less likely to malfunction in the future. It is recommended to exercise at a moderate intensity for around 150 minutes every week. What is important to note, is that just as the body requires food to burn as energy, certain food groups also have significant benefits for the heart. This article explains the benefits of these blood pumping superfoods. | Forest Medical Calibration Services
Blackberry and Raspberry
Blackberries and raspberries contain powerful antioxidants and anthocyanins, which are responsible for their vivid colours. These phytochemicals are able to neutralize free radicals in the body and thus prevent certain diseases such as cardiovascular disorders.
One study (2) showed that blackberries and raspberries ranked first and second among the fruits, to counter the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, the high level of which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In addition, these fruits are rich in ellagic acid, capable of reducing plaque deposits in the arteries (3).
The exceptional content of omega-3 in mackerel makes it essential for heart health. These fatty acids, especially those of marine origin, would prevent cardiovascular disease (4-6) by acting on the elasticity of the vessels, fighting against the formation of blood clots, and especially by reducing the blood triglyceride level (7–9). To fully benefit from the virtues attributed to these fatty acids, however, we must avoid over-cooking them.
Small tropical berry, the passion fruit contains many insoluble and soluble fibres (10–11), especially in its peel and seeds. These have the property of decreasing the blood glucose and cholesterol levels, two factors having an impact on the cardiovascular risk. In addition, the passion fruit contains several antioxidants such as cyanidin and lycopene, both of which are beneficial for the health of the heart (12): research has shown that a diet supplemented with passion fruit peel extracts can prevent hypertension, an important risk factor for heart problems.
Almond and Walnut
Several studies suggest that high phytosterol content of almonds (about 34 mg to 30 g almonds) would decrease the concentration of “bad” cholesterol in the body (13). In addition, the vitamin E it contains (half of the daily recommendation for 30 g of almonds) would help fight against cardiovascular disorders by preventing the formation of clots in the blood. Nuts, thanks to their high content of antioxidants and omega-3 are also beneficial for the health of the heart. They mainly contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, some of which in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3. These fatty acids are in fact “good fats” for cardiovascular health since they reduce the level of blood lipids.
Regular consumption of legumes results in a variety of beneficial effects such as better control of diabetes (14) and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. But chickpeas seem to stand out: low calorie and low glycemic index, they have antioxidant properties thanks to their copper and manganese content
A study has also shown that a diet containing chickpeas for 16 days led to a decrease in blood levels of cholesterol total and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) compared to the control group (15).
Forest Medical Calibration Services
As we specialise in medical calibration services, we can provide all the help you need to keep your home blood pressure monitor in good condition and working at its very best, ensuring that you can continue to receive accurate results and stay well informed about your health. Whether your monitor requires a repair or you simply wish to make sure it is in full working order and giving you accurate readings, we can provide the help you need.
Our service is fast and convenient for you, so you are not left without your vital medical equipment for long periods of time. We aim to complete the calibration and checking of your equipment within 24 hours, and if required, we can repair it free of charge. If you have any concerns about your home testing equipment, send it to us and let us help you keep an eye on your heart health with our medical equipment testing services.
Five Heart Healthy Foods – Medical Calibration Services – Sources:
- World Health Organization. Media Center – Cardiovascular Diseases, WHO. [Accessed June 25, 2014].
- Heinonen IM, Meyer AS, Frankel AN. Antioxidant activity of berry phenolics on human low-density lipoprotein and liposome oxidation. J Agric Food Chem. 1998; 46: 4107-4112.
- Yu YM, Chang WC, et al. Reduction of oxidative stress and apoptosis in hyperlipidemic rabbits by ellagic acid. J Nutr Biochem. Nov 2005; 16 (11): 675-81.
- Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, LJ Appeal; American Heart Association. Nutrition Committee. Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2002 Nov 19; 106 (21): 2747-57. Full Text
- International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL). Recommendations for Intake of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Healthy Adults, Great Britain, 2004. [Accessed January 22, 2010]
- Omega3 Fatty acids for cardioprotection. Lee JH, O’Keefe JH, et al. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Mar; 83 (3): 324-32. Full Text
- Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular diseases. Lavie CJ, Milani RV, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009 Aug 11; 54 (7): 585-94. Review.
- Benefits of fish oil supplementation in hyperlipidemia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eslick GD, Howe PR, et al. Int J Cardiol. 2009 Jul 24; 136 (1): 4-16. Review.
- Fish oil and the management of hypertriglyceridemia. Mattar M, Obeid O. Nutr Health. 2009; 20 (1): 41-9. Review.
- Chau CF, Huang YL. Characterization of passion fruit seed fibres – a source fibre source. Food Chemistry 2004; 85: 189-94.
- Yapo BM, Koffi KL. Dietary fibre components in yellow fruit passion rind-a potential fibre source. J Agric Food Chem 2008; 56: 5880-3.
- Arab L, Steck S. Lycopene and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2000 June; 71 (6 Suppl): 1691S-5S.
- Strahan TM. Nuts for cardiovascular protection. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004; 13: S3
- Venn BJ, Mann JI. Cereal grains, vegetables and diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004 November; 58 (11): 1443-61
- Zulet MA, Macarulla MT, et al. Lipid and glucose utilization in hypercholesterolemic rats fed a diet containing heated chickpea (Cicer aretinum L.): a potential functional food. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1999 November; 69 (6): 403-