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Heart Friendly Foods

Heart disease results when plaque builds up inside the arterial walls, which causes a
partial or complete obstruction of blood flow. This reduces flow of blood to heart and
may result in angina. Angina is a sensation of discomfort, pain, burning or pressure,
generally felt in the chest area.

Angina may be the first indication of heart disease. But many people with heart
disease often get no warning signals, until they suffer a full heart attack. Chest pain
should not been ignored, even when it is not permanent.

During a heart attack, the supply of oxygen to heart is cut off, resulting in tissue
death for a part of the heart muscle.

There are certain foods that
lower cholesterol and thus the risk of heart disease. The
following heart friendly foods are important for the health of your heart.

1.        Apples: Drinking 12 ounces of apple juice or eating two whole apples a day is
beneficial. Research has shown that phytochemicals in apples could help cut the risk
of death from heart disease or stroke in half.

2.        Onions: Eating half a raw onion a day raises HDL (good) cholesterol by an
average of 25 percent in most people.

3.        Legumes/Beans: One serving of dried beans/legumes a day can reduce
cholesterol by up to 10%. The fiber and other compounds present in legumes and
beans can lower cholesterol, blood clotting and improve blood-vessel function. These
are also a great source of folate, which keeps homocysteine levels (an indicator of
heart trouble), in check.

4.        Oats: Eating about one-cup of cooked oatmeal a day significantly decreases
blood cholesterol levels. Oats contain beta-glucans, a soluble fibe that is responsible
for cholesterol reduction.

5.        Walnuts: Eating walnuts can reduce your total cholesterol level by 12% and
LDL cholesterol level by 16%. Walnuts contain a type of fat called linolenic acid,
which lowers cholesterol and prevents blood clots.

6.        Olive Oil, Canola Oil: Of all cooking oils, olive oil contains the largest
proportion (77%) of monounsaturated fat and has powerful antioxidants, which
lowers LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL levels.

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