Nutrition and prevention of coronary heart disease – Part 3
Classification of cardiac-friendly foods
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Hippocrates 460BC – 370BC
This quote by Hippocrates must not depart from our memories. We will have to memorise it, meditate on it, until we begin to practice it for our own benefit. In doing so, we must also bear in mind that the purpose of eating is not just to satisfy hunger pangs and massage the taste buds. We would have to come to terms with the fact that when we eat purposefully and right, it is possible to keep diseases at bay for the rest of your life.
In this second part of my article on heart healthy foods, I intend to present a classification of the different foods that can keep the heart healthy and functioning well throughout ones life. There are at least 25 different types of foods that are friendly with the heart and they will be classified into ten groups according to the nutrients that are in them.
The 10 groups of nutrients into which these 25 types of food will be classified are: antioxidants, phytosterols, polyphenols and phytoestrogens. Others are carotenoids, omega 3 fatty acids (unsaturated fatty acids), vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Here now is the list of the 25 heart healthy foods and the nutrients they contain according to the 10 categories of nutrients listed above. Furthermore, these foods will be presented in the following groupings: vegetables, fruits, grains/nuts, beans, fish and others.
Spinach, thick, dark green leaves that contains lutein, (a carotenoid), B-complex vitamins and folate. Also, there are minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium and like any other vegetables, there is fiber.
Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, it contains beta-carotene, vitamins C and E and folate. Minerals found in broccoli are potassium and calcium, with fiber.
Carrot contains alpha-carotene and fiber. Sweet potato, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E with fiber. Asparagus, beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins, folate and fiber. Red pepper, beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, folate, potassium and fiber. Tomatoes, beta and alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber.
Orange, beta and alpha-carotene, flavones, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber. Blue berries, beta-carotene, lutein, anthocyanin (flavonoid), ellagic acid (polyphenol), vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and fiber.
Cantalope, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. Paw paw, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, vitamins C and E, folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Brown rice, B-complex vitamins, niacin, magnesium and fiber.
Oatmeal, B-complex vitamins like niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin E, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and soluble fiber. Flaxseed, omega 3 fatty acids, phytoestrogen and fiber. Almond, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, phytosterols, magnesium and fiber. Walnut, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phytosterols and fiber.
Kidney beans, omega 3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and soluble fiber. Black beans, omega 3 fatty acid, B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and soluble fiber. Soy milk, isoflavones, B- complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phytoestrogens. Soy protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B-complex vitamins, potassium, magnesium, good quality protein, phytoestrogen and fiber.
Tofu, niacin, folate, minerals like magnesium, potassium and calcium
Tuna, omega 3 fatty acid, folate and niacin. Salmon, omega 3 fatty acid.
Green tea, contains catechins and flavonoids. Dark chocolate (unrefined cocoa), contains resveratrol and cocoa phenols. Red grapes (red wine), contains catechins and resveratrol. To prevent coronary heart disease and keep the heart in a state of wellness all the time, one has to choose from these 25 types of food daily. All these foods also support the heart in its function of pumping blood from the heart to all other parts of the body.
We must not overlook the other types of food that may hinder the heart and cause disease. The foods you should avoid as you improve upon your diet to make it heart healthy should include red meat, egg yoke, hydrogenated and trans fat, processed and packaged food that are high in sodium. Others are sausages, bacon, egg yoke, fried chicken, white bread and white rice, whole milk products like cheese and yogurt and refined pasta.
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