Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in India. While many studies indicate a strong link between diet and heart problems, a new research suggests six main food groups, when added to your diet daily, and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, combined the results of six different studies: one epidemiological cohort study, three prospective studies, one randomised control trial, and two standardised case-control studies. The results were collected from data spanning 20 years of over 2,40,000 participants from 80 countries. Researchers received information on their diet habits with food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) and created a healthy diet score through meta-analysis.
The findings suggested that a diet comprised of higher amounts of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, and whole-fat dairy foods is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality in all world regions.
As per the results of the study:
Fruit: Two to three one-cup servings daily
Vegetables: Two to three one-cup servings daily
Legumes: Three to four half-cup servings weekly
Nuts: Seven one-28 gram servings weekly
Fish: Two to three three-85 grams servings weekly
Dairy: 14 servings weekly of either one cup of milk or yoghurt or 42.5 grams of cheese
Fruits, when added to your diet, boost immunity, improve the gut and digestive health and provide fibre to reduce cholesterol in the small intestine.
Vegetables contain major electrolytes like phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and chloride that help to maintain healthy heart rhythms. Micronutrients in veggies are linked to improvement in specific conditions that contribute to heart disease and reduced blood pressure.Vegetables contain major electrolytes like phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and chloride that help to maintain healthy heart rhythms.
Legumes are the perfect source of protein for vegetarians. They help build and maintain healthy tissues, including muscles, organs, and blood cells.
Fish and seafood are great sources of lean protein, vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy fats. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies (among others) are especially great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which maintain normal heart rhythms, and support the elasticity of blood vessels.
Nuts as well as seeds have heart-friendly unsaturated fats that improve cholesterol levels. They reduce inflammation that could cause various heart diseases.
This study found full-fat dairy to be linked with better heart health when consumed in moderation. Fermented full-fat dairy products, like kefir, yoghurt, certain cottage cheeses, and farmer's cheese, are even better for the heart.