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The Best and Worst Foods For Your Heart

Before we take a look at some of the best and worst foods for your heart, let's make one point clear: a healthy heart is useless without several other well functioning organ systems.

A strong heart can only keep you healthy if the following parts of your body are functioning properly:

  • Nervous system (cerebrum, midbrain, spinal cord, vagus nerve, and sensory fibers)
  • Respiratory system (nasal passageway, nasopharynx, oropharynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli)
  • Digestive system (digestive tract, liver, gall bladder, and pancreas)
  • Blood vessels (arteries, arterioles,capillaries, venules, and veins)

Assuming that all of the above components in your body are functional, some of the best foods for your heart and blood vessels are:

  1. Green Vegetables

    Romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, arugala, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens, sesame leaves, basil, parsley, mint, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, green onions, leeks, spinach, zucchini, and Asian greens like bok choy, are the very best foods for your heart and blood vessels. These green vegetables supply a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that can nourish the cells of your cardiovascular system. And just as important, these green vegetables have virtually no chance of harming your heart and blood vessels.

  2. Foods That Are Naturally Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Raw walnuts, freshly ground flax seeds, purslane, wild salmon, anchovies, lake trout, fresh seaweed, organic eggs from birds that are raised in a free range environment, and high quality fish oil are all naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are well tolerated by the masses. Undamaged omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in both clinical and epidemiological studies to reduce one's risk of cardiovascular disease.

  3. Foods That Are Naturally Rich In The Full Vitamin C Complex

    Acerola cherries, black currants, tropical guava, grapefruit, green and yellow kiwis, lychee, longans, oranges, cantaloupe, papaya, persimmons, goji berries,and red currants are all naturally rich in the full vitamin C complex, which includes compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that can help to protect your heart and blood vessels against damage created by free radicals. Flavonoids can also help to support healthy widening of your blood vessels during times when an area of your body needs increased blood supply.

The worst foods for your heart and blood vessels are those that are concentrated with unhealthy fats and/or sugar/refined carbohydrates. The following foods will reliably create cardiovascular disease if consumed on a regular basis:

Food
Concentrated Source Of
Unhealthy Fat
Concentrated Source Of
Sugar And/Or Refined Carbohydrates
Donuts
Yes
Yes
French fries
Yes
Yes
Soda/Pop
-
Yes
Margarine
Yes
-
Shortening
Yes
-
Ice Cream
Yes
Yes
Processed Cheese
Yes
-
Tempura
Yes
-
Meat Cooked At High Temperatures
Yes
-
Store-Bought Cookies
Usually
Yes
Potato Chips (Not Baked)
Yes
Yes
Pretzels
-
Yes
Cake, Muffins, Pastries
Usually
Yes
White Bread, Bagels
Sometimes
Yes
Chocolate Bars, Candies
Sometimes
Yes

With regard to foods that are bad for your heart and blood vessels, please keep in mind that the quantity that you are exposed to over time is an important factor in considering their long term effects on your health. Having an ice cream cone once every couple of months or a few store-bought cookies once every several weeks is not going to significantly raise your risk of developing cardiovascular disease if your overall diet and lifestyle are health promoting. Occasional indulgences may even contribute to good health over the long run if you allow yourself to fully enjoy them, by yourself or with family and/or friends. My point is this: don't allow stress that can come from not following your ideal diet 100 percent of the time hurt your health more than the occasional dietary indulgence can.

A discussion about healthy and unhealthy foods for your heart and blood vessels cannot exclude the thoughts and emotions that you regularly choose to experience.

Just as eating French fries a few times per week can cause your heart and blood vessels to become fatty, chronic fury and pettiness are likely to contribute to cardiovascular disease over the long haul.

And just as eating lots of green vegetables can help keep your heart and blood vessels strong and vital, consistently choosing to feel grateful and compassionate can promote a healthy cardiovascular system.

For more information on how your emotional state can affect your health, including the health of your heart, please feel free to view:

Emotional Stress: How Chronic Emotional Stress Can Ruin Your Health.

 
 

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Best & Worst Foods for Your Heart

Many of the foods listed in the "worst" table are also high in acrylamide, poisonous and very detrimental to the heart and digestive tract and blood vessels etc.

 

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