1. Oats for beta-glucans
Oats contain beta glucans, a soluble fibre that dissolves inside the digestive tract and may have a beneficial effect on bad cholesterol. Choose wholegrain oats for the full fibre benefits, along with a variety of phytochemicals that will improve your health.
READ MORE: Whole Grains Can Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
2. Legumes for protein
People who regularly eat legumes appear to have a lower risk of heart disease than those who consume then less than once a week. Legumes, are packed with protein, which help control blood sugar levels. This, in turn, helps lower the risk of contracting heart disease, a complication of diabetes. Click here for some healthy recipes involving legumes.
READ MORE: Two Women Share The Shocking Ways They Discovered They Had Diabetes
3. Salmon for omega-3s
Salmon and other fatty fish such as canned tuna and anchovies are rich in omega-3s (EPA and DHA), which have been found to inhibit plaque build-up and lower the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat. It also lowers some types of fat in your blood. Click here for delicious salmon recipes!
4. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for mono-unsaturated fats
There’s an easy way to help reduce your risk of stroke and dying by 30 per cent, and that is having at least four tablespoons of olive oil a day. It’s a good source of mono-unsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. mono-unsaturated fats.
This highest quality version of EVOO is made by cold pressing oil from the olive fruit, and has been found to have the most effect on heart health, which is likely due to it being richer in nutrients. Here are some tasty olive oil recipes to try.
READ MORE: Domestic Diva Awards 2018: Whip Up Super Flavourful Dishes With These Top Oils And Sauces
6. Oranges for pectin and potassium
The pulp and pith of oranges contain the soluble fibre pectin, which appears to neutralize a protein that causes heart-tissue scarring. The potassium in oranges helps keep blood pressure under control.
READ MORE: How To Cook Diabetic-Friendly Meals
7. Nuts for fibre, vitamin E and omega-3s
Vitamin E works to lower bad cholesterol, and certain nuts like walnuts are high in omega-3s to help maintain a healthy heart. Some people avoid nuts because they’re high in fat, but studies show people who regularly eat nuts are slimmer than those who don’t.
READ MORE: Chef’s Secrets: How To Make A Hearty Mushroom Soup Thickened With Walnuts
8. Leafy greens for magnesium, fibre, folate, potassium, vitamin E and lutein
Increasing the amount of leafy greens you eat will keep your magnesium, and potassium levels topped up, as well as providing plenty of heart-healthy vitamins, fibre and antioxidants. Kale, in particular, contains a compound that seems to protect the arteries from plaque.
READ MORE: These Are The Most Nutritious Vegetables You Can Eat
9. Garlic for allicin
Garlic may reduce blood pressure and plaque build-up. Researchers found that plaque growth was slowed by 50 per cent in people who took garlic extract compared to those who didn’t.