Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide .Diet plays a major role in heart health and can impact your risk of heart disease.
In fact, certain foods can influence blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.Here are 15 foods that you should be eating to maximize your heart health.
How Heart Disease Affected My Family
You see, my great-uncle Burt was one half of the ice-cream company, Baskin-Robbins. And the other half was my grandpa, Irvine Robbins.We’re now pretty clear that ice cream is not a health food.
He gave up sugar and, amazingly, he even gave up ice cream. He started eating a lot more veggies, fruits, and whole foods.
Risk factors for heart disease
Type of fat eaten – saturated and trans fats increase blood cholesterol and heart attack rates.
High blood pressure(hypertension) – blood pressure is the amount of pressure within the arteries (blood vessels that carry blood around the body). High blood pressure, or hypertension, means that the pressure in the arteries is higher than normal. This may be because the arteries are less elastic, there is more blood volume, or more blood is being pumped out of the heart.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonols, which have been linked to thinning the blood and preventing clotting, which seriously decreases your chances of strokes and heart attacks.  Furthermore, the epicatechin found in dark chocolate is able to lower blood pressure and improve blood vessel health by boosting nitric oxide levels, a very important compound for a healthy heart.
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol.Other whole grains such as bread, pasta and grits are also good for the heart as long as they still contain the entire grain.
Women who consume high amounts of the flavonoids found in oranges and grapefruits have a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke (caused by a clot) than women who don’t get as much of these compounds, a 2012 study found. Beware of citrus juices that contain added sugar. And be aware that grapefruit products may interfere with the action of the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.
This includes almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamia nuts, all of which contain good-for-your-heart fiber. And leaner people are at a lower risk for heart problems. Look for varieties that don’t have a lot of added salt.
Long a favorite in Asia, green tea has grown more popular in the West and may bring with it significant health benefits. A 2013 study found that people who drank four or more cups of green tea daily had a 20% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke compared with people who “seldom” imbibed the beverage. Antioxidants known as catechins may be responsible for the effect.