Maintaining the right mix of lifestyle habits and eating a healthy diet are the best ways to achieve optimal fitness. Help minimize heart disease and promote a strong cardiovascular system by adding these anti-inflammatory foods to your diet:
- Nuts. Especially almonds, walnuts and cashews, nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Eat a moderate portion every day.
- Whole soy protein. If you substitute whole soy protein, such as edamame or tofu, for animal protein each day, you can lower levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid linked to increased risk of heart disease.
- Fresh garlic. This medicinal herb has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. Use one or two raw or lightly cooked cloves a day.
- Green tea. It provides EGCG, a polyphenol than may help to moderate inflammation and lower cholesterol. Substitute a cup of heart-healthy green tea for your morning coffee or afternoon soda.
- Soluble fiber. It has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. Beans, legumes and whole grains are good sources to add to your diet - aim for 1-2 servings per day.