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12 Foods For A Healthy Heart

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Oatmeal: Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal porridge. Oats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, calcium and soluble fibre. 

Almonds and Walnuts: While all nuts are healthy, almonds and walnuts provide nutrients like plant omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and magnesium. Have them in between meals. Red Wine: A glass of red wine can improve ‘good' cholesterol, thanks to the catechins and reservatrol (flavonoids) in it. 

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in beta and alpha-carotene, lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fibre. Luckily, we all eat loads of it.

Soymilk: Drink flavoured soymilk straight from the pack. It's rich in isoflavones (a flavonoid), B-complex, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phytoestrogens.

Spinach: Remember Popeye's favourite food. Well, it should be yours too. Rich in lutein (a carotenoid), B-complex, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and fibre, have it as a soup, as part of a salad or try palak paneer.

Papaya: A bowl of papaya is enough to give you much-needed beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. 

Black or Kidney Beans: Stir in some beans and give salads or soup a nutrient boost. And of course there is the all-favourite rajma. Beans are rich in B-complex, folate, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and soluble fibre.

Oranges: An orange a day can keep the doctor away, too.  Orange juice is a rich source of vitamin C, folic acid and B6, folate and fibre. 

Dark Chocolate: Can't resist some dark chocolate? Fear not. A truffle a day can lower blood pressure, but choose one with 70 per cent or higher cocoa content. Its rich in reservatrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids).

Fish: Salmon and tuna are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. So next time you dig into a grilled salmon, not only will you be doing your palate a favour but also your heart. 

Brown Rice: Time to give up polished rice and replace it with brown rice rich in B-complex, fibre, niacin, magnesium and fibre. Stir in a few chopped veggies (broccoli, carrots, spinach) for a healthy meal. 

(CLICK TO VIEW "BEAT THE HEAT" An Infographic to find some cool ways to avoid heat exhaustion)

(Photo Credits: Ritesh Sharma; MODEL: Neha Saini)

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 02-07-2012)