Tags: Health Topics | Heart Disease | anti-inflammatory foods | diet

Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Heart Health

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By    |   Wednesday, 29 July 2020 10:56 AM

Despite billions of dollars being spent on medications and surgeries to combat heart disease, it remains the No. 1 killer in the Western world. Cardiovascular disease, or more accurately coronary artery disease (CAD), kills more Americans each year than cancer and respiratory diseases combined, according to the American Heart Association. The latest statistics show that CAD accounts for 840,678 deaths, approximately one out of every three deaths, in this country annually.

In fact, an advisory issued by the American Heart Association stated that lowering one's intake of dietary saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fat reduced CAD by 30% — similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment. The switch to healthier oils was also associated with lower rates of death from all causes. Research shows that low-grade inflammation caused by poor dietary choices may be the underlying culprit in many chronic diseases, including heart disease. By switching to foods that reduce your risk of inflammation, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease, according to Allrecipes.

"This disease is the cause of heart attacks, sudden death and the need for stents and heart bypass operations," Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, FACC, founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity, tells Newsmax. "Many people believe that their fate is sealed because they may have a genetic predisposition to CAD, but research has demonstrated that the genetic contribution to CAD is 32%, leaving a full 68% in our hands. While it may be that our genes load the gun, it's really our lifestyle that pulls the trigger."

Here are eight heart-healthy foods to help reduce your risk of heart disease:

  1. Walnuts. Research shows that eating just an ounce of these nuts daily reduces heart disease risk by a full 35% and lowers overall cholesterol levels. That's because walnuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, folate, vitamin E and potassium, according to Allrecipes.
  2. Garlic. This pungent herb has a calming effect on inflammation. Much of the scientific research has centered around Kyolic aged garlic extract or AGE, because if its purity and consistency. Kahn says AGE's ability to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood clotting has been recognized for some time. "There have actually been a surprising number of studies testing the ability of aged garlic extract to halt heart disease progression," he notes. "For example, in a study published in 2016 that used baseline and follow-up CT angiograms of heart arteries, aged garlic extract reduced areas of plaque in heart arteries at the one-year follow-up."
  3. Pomegranate juice. Both pomegranate juice and its seeds have powerful antioxidant properties that improve the function of the so-called "good" HDL cholesterol. HDL acts like a vacuum, cleaning out the arteries and reversing CAD. Pomegranates can also reduce arterial damage and slow down their obstruction, says Kahn.
  4. Avocados. Eating avocados can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Because heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in this country, keeping your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check is important. Studies have shown that eating avocados reduces total cholesterol significantly and lowers triglyceride levels by a full 20%.
  5. Legumes. According to Allrecipes, the legume family, which includes lentils, beans, and peas, is high in fiber — which lowers cholesterol and inflammatory blood markers.
  6. Hot tea. Both black and green teat contain polyphenolic compounds that work to reduce overall cholesterol production. Research shows that drinking two or three cups daily can reduce both total cholesterol levels as well as lower the LDL, or "bad" cholesterol.
  7. Leafy green vegetables. Veggies like spinach, kale, and collard greens contain vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promotes proper blood clotting, according to Healthline. These healthful vegetables also help reduce blood pressure and improve the function of blood vessels.
  8. Berries. Colorful berries are excellent antioxidants and it's important to eat a variety of them to reap the full benefits. Blueberries, for example, contain anthocyanins, which have been shown to protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, which contribute to heart disease. One study, according to Healthline, showed that participants who drank a beverage made with freeze-fried strawberries lowered their LDL cholesterol by 11 points in 8 weeks.

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Despite billions of dollars being spent on medications and surgeries to combat heart disease, it remains the No. 1 killer in the Western world.
anti-inflammatory foods, diet
Wednesday, 29 July 2020 10:56 AM
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