7. Chocolate: eating dark chocolate moderately can benefit your cardiovascular health since it is rich in flavonol, an anticoagulant which also stimulates the immune system to reduce the inflammation. Another benefit of the cocoa is the decrease of the blood pressure by its high content of epicatechin, compound which increases the nitric acid crucial to decrease blood pressure. 8. Tomato: is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fiber. They also provide us lycopene a nutrient that works in conjunction with vitamins and minerals for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. 9. Apple: Is associated with a lower risk of coronary death and cardiovascular disease due to its supply of antioxidants including flavonoids, which are key to decrease LDL cholesterol. They are also rich in pectin a form of soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels as well. 10. Berries: such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries among others are associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure and a decrease in LDL cholesterol. Its content of anthocyanin and ellagic acid increase the level of nitric acid levels, which relaxes the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. 11. Grenades: this fruit may help reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries and decrease blood pressure. Its content of polifenoles including anthocyanin (found in food blue, purple and red) and the tannins (including tea and wine) have antioxidant capacity. 12. Banana: this fruit brings up to 12% of the daily recommendation of potassium, a mineral which helps to maintain the normal functioning of the heart and the balance of sodium and water in the body. It also helps the kidneys to excrete the excess of sodium for a healthy blood pressure. 13. Popcorn: natural popcorn contain polyphenols/antioxidants which improve the health of the heart 14. Green tea: studies show people who eat 2 cups of green tea a day decreases up to 50% the chance of having a heart attack because of their content of antioxidants. 15. Wine: people who drink moderately 1 or 2 glasses of wine a day are less likely to suffer heart since it increases HDL (good cholesterol) cholesterol, also increases the production of estrogen, which equally is a cardiovascular protective. By: Dra. Mariamalia Escoto, Nutricionista de Salud Completa. Source: Eating Well. Our Top 15 Heart-Healthy Foods.
Effects and mechanisms of fruit and vegetable juices On cardiovascular diseases Many studies have demonstrated that some natural products have high antioxidant activity, as Vegetables, fruits, cereals, mushrooms, micro algae, wild flowers and herbs, which might be used to prevent diseases. There is a large amount of clinical evidence showing a reduction in the risk of many diseases to live a healthy life by eating fruit or vegetable juices, some of these diseases are cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease includes disorders of blood vessels and the heart, such as hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, coronary heart disease and many others. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the main not communicable causes of deaths, usually associated with metabolic disorders, including diabetes and obesity. Mechanisms of action of juice in cardiovascular diseases Through clinical studies, it was confirmed that after eating rich antioxidant juices daily, the oxidation of lipids in plasma decreased significantly (- 29%), while the antioxidant capacity of the plasma increased (+ 115%) after the intervention. In addition some diet managed to reduce tissue inflammation process, which if persistent is related to most chronic diseases, therefore, could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In Li et al. study, he assessed the effect of lycopene present in tomato juice on the protein-1 tactical chemo of monocytes (MCP-1) and the result showed that MCP-1 dropped sharply after the consumption of the juice. Possible adverse effects of juices It should be noted that the caloric content of the juice could complicate the health. Some commercial juices of fruit / vegetables contain too much sugar, which can increase the risk of increasing weight and diabetes. Regular consumption of beverages sweetened with sugar related to type 2 diabetes, and sweetened fruit juice was not a healthy alternative to prevent diabetes. In summary the effects of fruits and vegetables juices in cardiovascular diseases, is positive because they could prevent the increase of blood pressure and lipid levels improve. The main underlying mechanisms of cardiovascular protection include antioxidant effects, the improvement in endothelial function, inhibition of platelet aggregation, the anti-inflammation and the prevention of hiperhomocisteinemia. It is always important to consult with a professional to assess the issue. Edited by: Dr. Josue Cordero Reference Jie Zheng 1, Yue Zhou 1, Sha Li 2, Pei Zhang 1, Tong Zhou 1, Dong-Ping Xu 1 and Hua-Bin Li 1,3,* 1 Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition and Health, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China; firstname.lastname@example.org (J.Z.); email@example.com (Y.Z.); firstname.lastname@example.org (P.Z.); email@example.com (T.Z.); firstname.lastname@example.org (D.-P.X.) 2 School of Chinese Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; email@example.com 3 South China Sea Bioresource Exploitation and Utilization Collaborative Innovation Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China