Cardiovascular disease is among the biggest killers in the UK. It is an umbrella term for any conditions that affect the heart and circulatory system.
A number of factors can raise your risk for cardiovascular disease. Some are beyond our control such as age and family history with the condition.
With this in mind, gastroenterologist Doctor Saurabh Sethi revealed three foods you can add to your diet to help keep your heart healthy and slash your risk for heart disease.
In a TikTok video, he said: “Three foods I always advise my patients with heart disease to incorporate into their diet regularly. The third food on this list is the best one.”
These foods were:
This includes strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.
Dr Sethi explained: “These are high in antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health according to this published study.”
He referenced a study published in Frontiers in Nutrition journal in 2021.
It found that a type of antioxidants called anthocyanins could help prevent cardiovascular disease.
The study said: “In conclusion, this study updated and extended current clinical and epidemiological evidence about the protective roles of purified anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich berries on cardiovascular health.
“Our results suggested that regular consumption of either purified anthocyanins or anthocyanin-rich berries could prevent cardiovascular diseases through their lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory properties.
“We also propose that anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich berries should be taken into consideration when formulating cardioprotective diets in the future.”
The study in question was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2017.
A team of researchers followed more than 210,000 study participants who filled in food questionnaires every four years.
Over a period of several years the authors documented 14,136 incident cardiovascular disease cases, including 8,390 coronary heart disease cases and 5,910 stroke cases.
“Total nut consumption was inversely associated with total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors,” the study said.
“Consumption of peanuts and tree nuts (two or more times a week) and walnuts (one or more times a week) was associated with a 13 percent to 19 percent lower risk of total cardiovascular disease and 15 percent to 23 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease.”
Not just a tasty way to add some flavour to your dishes, garlic could hold the key to good heart health.
“And finally, garlic has been shown to have beneficial effects on heart health such as reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels,” Dr Sethi added.
One 2017 study, from the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, revealed that eating garlic could lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
It said: “We conclude that the beneficial effect of garlic preparations on lipids and blood pressure extends also to platelet function, thus providing a wider potential protection of the cardiovascular system through its major effects on cholesterol reduction.”
If you have any concerns about your heart health you should speak to your GP.