A lot of people are switching to plant-based diets to promote heart health and avoid the risk of various heart diseases. Most plant-based foods are extremely low in fat and free of cholesterol, which makes them a perfect choice for you to add to your heart-healthy diet. However, eating certain plant-based foods can be especially good for your heart. Hence, we list some of such foods that you should add to your healthy meal prep plans.
Legumes or pulses are very popular for their health benefits. They carry high amounts of fiber, protein, and minerals. Replacing some processed meats and refined grains in your daily diet with legumes can help to control different risk factors associated with heart diseases.
Daily consumption of legumes can help to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Some studies also link these plant-based foods with weight loss and reduced risk of many other diseases. Some legumes to include in your plant-based meals are peas, lentils, and beans.
Avocados have an exceptional range of nutrients, which makes this fruit a superfood. They are a great source of fiber and monounsaturated fats, which are found to lower bad cholesterol and raise the levels of good HDL cholesterol.
Several clinical studies show the cholesterol-lowering benefits of avocados. In one study, overweight adults with high LDL cholesterol who ate one avocado a day observed a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels. So they can be a wonderful option to add to your heart-healthy meal preps.
Nuts (Especially Walnuts And Almonds)
Nuts contain an abundance of monounsaturated fats. Additionally, nuts like walnuts are high in omega-3 fats, which is a type of polyunsaturated fat that is related to heart health.
L-arginine, which is an amino acid present in nuts can help your body to produce nitric oxide that is found to regulate blood pressure.
Additionally, phytosterols in nuts have a structure similar to cholesterol. These compounds can help to lower cholesterol levels by blocking its absorption. Also, some minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium found in nuts can lower blood pressure thereby reducing the chance of heart diseases.
Whole Grains (Especially Barley And Oats)
Several studies and research link whole grains with reduced risk of heart diseases. The high amounts of fiber present in them can help to control bad cholesterol levels and maintain heart health.
If you want to follow a diet that can promote your heart health, then don’t forget to include the foods listed above in it. They can help to lower the chance of different heart diseases and keep your heart healthy.