The heart is a vital organ the size of a fist that is protected by the sternum and is located slightly to the left of the chest. The heart plays an important role in the body by pumping blood through arteries and veins.1  Therefore, maintaining your heart health is very important.

Heart disease is one of the most lethal diseases in the world, and according to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, it is the second leading cause of death after stroke.2 The heart diseases can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor eating habits, alcohol consumption, a lack of physical activity, and tobacco use.3

Often, there are no symptoms of underlying vascular disease related to the cardiac system. A heart attack could be the first indication of a hidden illness. Some of the signs and symptoms of heart attack are pain or discomfort in the center of the chest, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.3 Various tests you can do to determine the condition of your heart health, such as electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) tests, cardiac stress tests, and echocardiogram tests.1

The use of basic drugs such as aspirin, statins, and beta-blockers are part of the management of cardiovascular diseases. Sometimes, surgical procedures such as heart implants are also needed. To reduce the risk of heart disease, could be done such as through physical exercise and eating healthy foods.1

Choosing healthy foods, such as reducing salt consumption and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, is another way to keep your heart healthy and avoid disease.3 It is recommended to avoid canned food and prioritize the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.3

 

Foods for the Healthy Heart4,5

Various types of nutritious food that you could consume to  your cardiovascular health. Here, we summarize several good foods to keep your heart healthy:

1. Dark green leafy vegetables

Vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, kale, and mustard greens are rich in vitamin K and nitrates, and contain minerals and antioxidants that can help reduce blood pressure and improve arterial function, thereby helping reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Oil from fatty fish

Tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines are types of fish that have fish oil, namely omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of heart disease help stabilize blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol levels.

3. Tomato

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as an increase in good cholesterol (HDL).

4. Olive oil

This oil is rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.

5. Garlic

This type of onion contains the compound allicin which can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and help inhibit the formation of blood clots.

6. Avocado

This fruit is rich in monounsaturated fat and potassium, and can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of metabolic syndrome.

7. Green tea

Green tea has been linked to several health benefits, from increased fat burning to improved insulin sensitivity. This type of tea contains polyphenolic compounds and catechins that can act as antioxidants to prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation, and protect your heart health.

 

References:

1. Matthew Hoffman. Picture of The Heart. WebMD. Last review on Juny 23, 2021. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/heart/picture-of-the-heart

2. Kevin Adrian. 8 Buah untuk Penyakit Jantung yang Patut Dicoba. AloDokter. Last review on January 10, 2020. Available at: https://www.alodokter.com/sehat-dan-lezat-buah-untuk-penyakit-jantung-ini-patut-dicoba

3. World Health Organization (WHO). Cardiovascular Disease (CVDs). WHO. Last review on Juny 11, 2021. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)

4. Rachael Link. 15 Incredibly Heart-Healthy Foods. Healthline. Last review on January 6, 2022. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods

5. Michael W. Smith. 21 Foods That Can Save Your Heart. WebMD. Last review on September 20, 2021. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/ss/best-ways-to-nourish-your-heart