Coronary heart disease is a major cause of death throughout the United States. According to the American Heart Association, 2,500 people die from heart disease every day. Heart disease occurs when plaque builds up on the artery walls. This reduces the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to your heart and can eventually cause the arteries to rupture. Contributory factors include: smoking, high levels of saturated fats, high cholesterol, high amounts of blood sugar, elevated blood pressure.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea is a good protector to have on your side in the battle against heart disease. Studies in Japan have revealed that drinking two to three cups of green tea daily may reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 32 percent in women and 22 percent in men. Green tea can also be taken in capsule form; the suggested daily dose is 300 mg to 400 mg.
Eat Plenty of Spinach
Spinach is one of the few foods that are known as super foods. This means it is packed with valuable nutrients and antioxidants. Spinach can help keep heart disease at bay and clean your arteries because it is high in potassium and folic acid, which are both main lines of defense against high blood pressure. Spinach is also rich in Co-enzyme Q10 (the only other plant source of this enzyme is broccoli). Co-Q10 helps to strengthen heart muscle. Lutein, also present in spinach, helps to reduce hardening of the arteries.
Reduce Fat Intake
If you use olive oil exclusively, this might just reduce your risk of heart disease by half. This is because, unlike other oils that are high in saturated fats and trans-fats, olive oil is high in monosaturated fats, which are healthier. Your daily diet should not include more than 7 percent saturated fat, no more than 1 percent trans fat and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol.
Add Garlic to Your Diet
Garlic can help prevent coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. Garlic contains abundant antioxidants that work to destroy free radicals--the particles that bombard cell membranes and alter genetic materials. Even more importantly, numerous studies have shown it to be effective in decreasing harmful cholesterol levels (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol levels (HDL), which makes the blood flow more freely and helps to lower blood pressure.
Eat Plenty of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are delicious to eat whether you prefer them cooked of raw, so it's good to know that they are also excellent for maintaining a healthy heart. They contain a chemical called lycopene, which has been shown to reverse the effects of damage due to high levels of LDL, sometimes within a matter of months. It also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.