African-American adults are more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and are also more likely to die from heart disease, than Caucasians.
It is essential for African-Americans to be aware of what foods are good for the health of their heart.
When thinking about heath, it’s important to remember the best way to be healthy is to have a healthy lifestyle paired with a healthy diet. For example, smoking increases your risk of heart disease, while exercise can reduce your risk.
There are foods that are proven to improve heart health, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, fish and tea. Following are a list of the top 10 foods that will improve your heart’s health.
1 Oatmeal: Oatmeal is full of potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. It lowers bad cholesterol and helps keep arteries clear. Try to purchase coarse or steel-cut oats, which contain more fiber than instant varieties.
2 Nuts: Walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are great for your heart because they are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also increase fiber in the diet.
3 Olive oil: Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol. Use extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter when cooking.
4 Berries: Eating or cooking with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries will add anti-inflammatories into your diet, which will reduce your risk of heart disease.
5 Spinach: Spinach is full of lutein, folate, potassium and fiber. Also, eating at least two and a half servings of vegetables each day will cut your risk of heart disease.
6 Fish: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent blood platelets from sticking together and reduce a person’s risk of sudden cardiac death.
7 Cantaloupe and watermelon: These fruits loaded with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. In addition, these fruits can help improve the inflammation that contributes to asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes and arthritis.
8 Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A, healthy carbohydrates and potassium. Sweet potatoes also support good eyesight and help with weight control.
9 Avocado: Adding a little avocado to a sandwich will improve the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. It is full of good fat and good cholesterol.
10 Grapes/wine: An occasional glass of wine can improve good cholesterol, which is good for your heart.
Sources: Health articles on cnn.com and Webmd.com.