Cochin Cardiac Club

Health Blog by Dr.Uday Nair


A strong heart can only keep you healthy if the following parts of your body are functioning properly:
  • Nervous system (cerebrum, midbrain, spinal cord, vagus nerve, and sensory fibers)
  • Respiratory system (nasal passageway, nasopharynx, oropharynx, trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli)
  • Digestive system (digestive tract, liver, gall bladder, and pancreas)
  • Blood vessels (arteries, arterioles,capillaries, venules, and veins)

Assuming that all of the above components in your body are functional,here are some foods for a healthy heart........Bon Appettit!!!!

1.Oatmeal.(Indian names-Jui,juee,zui)

Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. 
A diet that includes oatmeal may help reduce high blood pressure. The reduction is linked to the increase in soluble fiber provided by oatmeal. Oats contain more soluble fiber than whole wheat, rice or corn.
New research suggests that eating oatmeal may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. 

The soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a considerable amount of water which significantly slows down your digestive process. This result is that you'll feel full longer, i.e. oatmeal can help you control your weight.

2.Avocados.(Indian names Kulu Niispati or Makhanphal).

Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. 
The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.
Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.


They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids. Regular intake of walnuts in the diet help to lower total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood.


Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whatever berry you like best—are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Berries are packed full of nutrients, vitamins and other natural compounds that are believed to protect our memories, slowing cancer growth and reducing the risk of other diseases. These compounds include phenols, tannins, flavonoids, antioxidants (which give them their bright colours), vitamin C and resveratrol.
One of the compounds commonly mentioned are antioxidants, which may have a role in reducing some diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. They are also suggested to benefit our brains, as they protect the cells from damage from free radicals.


Spinach is an excellent promoter of cardiovascular health. The antioxidant properties of spinach (water-soluble in the form of vitamin C and fat-soluble beta-carotene) work together to promote good cardiovascular health by preventing the harmful oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is a danger to the heart and arteries. Magnesium in spinach works toward healthy blood pressure levels.

6.Olive oil(Zaytoon oil)

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol) levels. (1-3) No other naturally produced oil has as large an amount of monounsaturated as olive oil -mainly oleic acid.

Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they're the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking.


The risk of developing diabetes or heart disease is lower when legumes are regularly eaten instead of protein foods that are high in fat, such as meats and cheeses and other whole-milk dairy produces, and refined carbohydrates that are low in fiber, such as baked goods made with sugar and white flour.

If you replace some of the meat in your diet with legumes, they can help you avoid heart problems. Vegetable-based proteins such as beans, lentils and soybeans are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than animal-based protein

Rawas or ravas machli)

While the Omega-3 Fatty Acids help reduce cholesterol, maintain flexibility of arteries and veins and strengthen cardiac muscles, the essential amino acids repair damages to the cardio-vascular tissues. They help reduce the blood pressure too, as they lower cholesterol level and prevent hardening of walls of arteries and veins, thereby considerably reducing the chances of heart attack.
Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.


Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart.Flax has been found to help reduce total cholesterol, LDL levels (the bad cholesterol), triglycerides. Flax helps to reduce clotting time and thereby reduces the chance for heart attacks and strokes. Regular intake of flax protects against arrhythmias and helps keep the arteries clear and pliable.


Research suggests that soy may help to prevent heart disease by reducing total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and preventing plaque buildup in the arteries, which could lead to stroke or heart attack. These health benefits are also mainly attributes to the soy isoflavones and saponins. The soy isoflavone genistein may increase the flexibility of blood vessels, whereas saponins may have potential to reduce blood cholesterol.


Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.  Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.
The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.
12.Sweet Potato.(Shakar-kandi)

They are a source of potassium, one of the important electrolytes that help regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Like the other electrolytes, potassium performs many essential functions, some of which include relaxing muscle contractions, reducing swelling, and protecting and controlling the activity of the kidneys.
They are high in vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies.  Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function.
13.Asparagus.(Shatwar or Halyan or Sootmooli)

Folate, a B complex vitamin, is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and is found in abundance in asparagus (one cup contains 66% of the RDA of folate). Firstly, it is involved in a biochemical event called the methylation cycle, which allows for the proper transcription of DNA, the transformation of norepinephrine to adrenalin and the transformation of serotonin to melatonin. Secondly, folate regulates the amino acid homocysteine, which in high levels can be a strong risk factor in heart disease. And finally, B vitamins such as choline, biotin, and pantothenic acid manage our blood sugar levels by effectively metabolizing sugars and starches.
14.Broccoli (Hari Phoolgobhi)

Broccoli also contains magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.The carotenoid lutein may also slow down or prevent the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stoke. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

15.Red bell peppers.(Simla Mirch)

Red bell peppers contain lycopene, which is a carotene that 
helps to protect against cancer and heart disease.Bell peppers have also been shown to prevent blood clot formation and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes probably due to their content of substances such as vitamin C, capsaicin, and flavonoids.  Although chili peppers contain a higher amount of those substances, bell peppers should still be promoted especially for individuals with elevated cholesterol levels.

16.Dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate is good for your heart. 
Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. 
17.Red Wine

Red wine has been shown to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease thanks to the resveratrol and other anti-oxidants it contains.Resveratrol has been found in studies to lower LDL cholesterol, while another ingredient in red wine, saponins, also have cholesterol lowering properties.


Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free. 
A study found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.

An orange packs over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong anti-oxidant effects. 
Regularly consuming vitamin C retards the development of hardening of the arteries. 
The alkaloid synephrine found under the orange peel can reduce the liver's production of cholesterol.  Whereas the anti-oxidant fights oxidative stress that is the main culprit in oxidizing the LDLs in our blood. 
A high intake of flavonoids and vitamin C has been known to halve the risk of heart diseases.
Studies have shown that a flavonoid called hesperidin in oranges can lower high blood pressure.
20.Brown rice.(bhura chawal)

Brown Rice is one of the world’s healthiest foods out there today. It is an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of both selenium and magnesium.Selenium is important to various metabolic pathways including your immune system. Some studies have even found a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and the risk of cancer. Selenium can induce DNA repair and synthesis to damaged cells. Selenium also pairs with vitamin E to prevent heart disease, decreasing pain from rheumatoid arthritis, and reduces the risk of asthma.The oils in it lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

The lycopene in tomato prevents serum lipid oxidation, thus exerting protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The regular consumption of tomato has proved to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. These lipids are the key culprits in cardiovascular diseases and lead to deposition of fats in the blood vessels.
Daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the risk of developing hypertension.
22.Acorn squash

It contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, folate (folic acid), and 15% of the omega three fatty acids necessary to good health. It is also a good source of fiber. With all of these vitamins and minerals acorn squash has many health benefits.
Folate in acorn squash is important for a healthy body as it works to reduce homocysteine which is a byproduct of metabolism. Homocysteine can damage blood vessel walls. In this way it helps prevent heart-attacks and strokes. It is also a factor in colon health. Folic acid is also important for brain health, combining withVitamin B12 to prevent nerve damage and brain shrinkage.

The high amounts of vitamin C in cantaloupes are also a source of many health benefits. As most people know, vitamin C is great for improving the function of the immune system, meaning that your body won't be as susceptible to infection and viruses.The compound called adenosine found in cantaloupes has the ability to thin the blood, which can prevent clots in the cardiovascular system. Furthermore, the folate found in cantaloupes has also been linked to the prevention of heart attacks.


Research has shown that beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks.


Bananas have good amount of potassium. Many people do not know about the benefits provided by potassium in bananas.
Potassium is essential for many important functions of the body. We need potassium to maintain our blood pressure in a healthy range. Inadequate intake of potassium with our diet can cause high blood pressure.
In addition, potassium is needed for the heart to contract properly. The pumping action helps convey the blood throughout the body. 
Some studies reveled that eating bananas as part of a regular diet can reduce the risk of developing stroke.It is recommended that people taking hypertensive medications consume 2 bananas a day.


Onions aids in thinning of the blood, which in turn prevents the red blood cells from forming clumps. These blocks could lead to heart disorders or cardiovascular diseases.
To help keep your blood free of clots, and make the most of the health benefits of onions, eat them both raw and cooked


The dietary fiber in zucchini helps lower cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol for digesting fat. 
Furthermore, the high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the body's blood vessels, thus hampering the onset of atherosclerosis.
A one cup serving of zucchini contains over 10% of the RDA of magnesium, a mineral
proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. 
Zucchini also provides folate, a vitamin needed to break down the dangerous amino acid homocysteine, which - if levels in the body shoot up - can contribute to heart attack and stroke.
Along with magnesium, the potassium found in zucchini helps lower blood pressure. 


Though traditionally overlooked as just a garnish, parsley is a giant amongst other herbs in terms of health benefits, and in such small amounts too. 
Homocysteine, an amino acid that occurs in the body, threatens the body's blood vessels when its levels become too high. Luckily, the folate (or vitamin B9) found in parsley helps convert homocysteine into harmless molecules. A regular garnish of parsley can help ward off cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.


Celery is from the same family with parsley and fennel, the Umbelliferae family.The ribs of celery are crunchy and are often used to make soup or salad. It has a salty taste, so celery juice is a good mix with the sweeter fruit juices. Depending on variety, some may taste very salty.
This humble pale juice has been shown to effectively and significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Drinking celery juice every day for a week significantly helps lower blood pressure. A compound called phtalides help relax the muscle around arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally. To be effective, drink the juice for one week, stop for three weeks, and start over.

30.Kale(type of gobi)

Kale is not only one of the more beautiful cruciferous vegetables, but it also one of the most nutritious.The high fiber content of kale lowers our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because many of these bile acids are coupled with fiber, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid to digest fat, and therefore requires more cholesterol to so, ultimately lowering the amount of cholesterol within our bodies. 

Please Note-

  • Eating healthy can be fun if you take the time to make smart choices. Eat plenty of whole-grains, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts, seeds and beans to ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs.

  • Even if you don't have any signs, symptoms, or family history of heart disease, it is important to eat a heart-healthy diet.

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