Cardiovascular diseases are becoming a global health concern, leading to 17.9 million deaths each year worldwide*. Cardiovascular diseases refer to disorders relating to heart and blood vessels.
The primary factor causing such disorder is high levels of cholesterol. With high cholesterol, one can develop fatty deposits in the blood vessels. Eventually, this makes it difficult for enough blood and oxygen to flow through our arteries. These deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as LDL, is dangerous for our health. High levels of LDL may increase our risk of heart attack. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), sometimes known as good cholesterol, is essential for sustaining cardiovascular health.
HDL inhibits plaque accumulation and reduces the risk of heart disease by transferring excess cholesterol from the arteries to the liver for elimination.
In this article, we bring five superfood types that can increase HDL and help reduce the risk of developing any cardiovascular diseases.
Avocado: This versatile, creamy fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, which helps raise HDL cholesterol. Avocados are considered highly nutritious with multiple health benefits. It can be added to sandwiches and salads.
Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, are full of healthy fats and other vital nutrients. These nuts and seeds offer crunch and flavor while raising HDL cholesterol as snacks or a topping in our food.
Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil has been associated with increased HDL levels. This nutritious oil can be drizzled over salads or vegetables and used for cooking.
Beans and Legumes: Beans and legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans, are a fantastic source of soluble fiber and plant-based protein. They can help raise healthy cholesterol levels when added to dal or hummus.
Fatty Fish: Mackerel, sardines, and other fatty fish, common in many Indian coastal locations, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to raising HDL levels and reducing inflammation, these heart-healthy fats also improve general heart health. These fish add a delicious and nutrient-dense boost to grilled foods or Indian curries.
Adding these superfoods to our diet might have many positive health effects. It is essential to have a balanced diet overall. Regular exercise and avoiding processed foods high in trans fats and carbohydrates are crucial for heart health.
*Data Source: Cardiovascular diseases (who.int)