This month in honor of American Heart Month, we’re calling out the top foods for your heart!
The song we’re all so familiar with as kids might very well be true, as eating beans regularly is good for your heart. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests having just ½ cup of cooked beans daily might help lower cholesterol. Researchers point to the rich soluble fiber content of beans, which forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract and combines with excess cholesterol to ferry it out of the body.
Beans are also a natural source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, both offering strong support against oxidation and inflammation, two key pieces in the effort to protect the cardiovascular system and heart.
Beans boast a low glycemic index and contain complex carbohydrates, which means they are digested slowly. This make beans a good choice for keeping blood sugar in check which helps to keep inflammation at bay.
Beans are rich in folate, which helps lower levels of homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is considered a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, and is found in between 20-40% of patients with heart disease. According to WHFoods, It has been estimated that consumption of 100 percent of the daily value of folate would, by itself, reduce the number of heart attacks suffered by Americans each year by 10 percent. For example, one cup of cooked navy beans provides 63.7 percent of the recommended daily intake for folate.
Beans are also a great source of magnesium, which is considered Nature's calcium channel blocker and helps the heart maintain a normal rhythm. When there is enough magnesium around, veins and arteries relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.