March 27, 2015 01:46 ET Advocates Healthy Eating to Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwired - Mar 27, 2015) - At the 64th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology from March 14 to 16 in San Diego, California, Thaminda Liyanage from The George Institute for Global Health, Renal and Metabolic Division, Australia, presented findings from his recent research on the most likely effects the Mediterranean diet has on vascular diseases [Source:] . His study concluded what nutritional experts have long been pointing out -- that healthy eating patterns can aid in preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including strokes, and heart attacks. The findings are supported by, a renowned dietary supplement provider that has long been a proponent of healthy eating habits to optimize the effect their premier products can have on the blood pressure, metabolism, and overall energy levels of consumers.

Making dietary switches is easier than one might think: Even small and simple changes in our daily food choices can have positive long-term effects. It is not even necessary to stick to a regimented eating schedule, the main idea is to cut down on red meats, sugar, and saturated fats [Source:] and replace them with the following super foods that are healthy and can make a big difference towards maintaining a healthy heart:

Salmon and other fatty fish contain large quantities of omega-3 fatty acids which studies have shown to decrease triglycerides and lower the risk of atherosclerosis (artery-clogging plaque) and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). The American Heart Association recommends eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acid at least twice a week. Omega-3 fatty acids are also available as dietary supplements like fish-oil, flaxseed oil and algae oils.

Berries like blueberries and strawberries provide compounds known as anthocyanins (gives plants their red and blue colors) and flavonoids (antioxidants) that may decrease blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. A recent study involving women aged 25 - 42 who ate more than three servings of blueberries or strawberries a week had a 32% lower risk of heart attack. Try this great recipe for Lemon-Blueberry cupcakes.

People have sometimes avoided nuts in the past because they are higher in fat, but many studies show that people who consume nuts daily are leaner. And leaner people are at lower risk for heart problems. Many nuts, almonds, walnuts and peanuts are rich in healthy fiber, omega-3's, Vitamin E, which help lower bad cholesterol, as well as L-arginine, an amino acid essential for growth, a healthy immune system, and hormone secretion. The body also uses L-arginine to manufacture nitric oxide, a compound that makes arteries more flexible through a process call vasodilation. One quarter cup of roasted mixed nuts can supply up to 800mg of L-arginine.

Nuts, along with chocolate, dairy products, meat, fish and poultry are among the top sources of L-arginine. Because L-arginine is also critical to wound recovery, increasing the amount in your diet can be especially beneficial when recovering from illness or injury. L-arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that it can be obtained through diet but consumption may need to be increased through an L-arginine supplement.

Dark Chocolate
Studies show that dark chocolate may be heart-friendly. In fact, one study showed that daily chocolate consumption could reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attack and stroke in high-risk groups. These findings relate to chocolate made with at least 60% cocoa - dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids called polyphenols, which may help clotting, inflammation and blood pressure. Choose the purest dark chocolate you can find and avoid chocolate with sugary fillings like caramel or nougat, the added fat and sugars may erase the benefits you get from the chocolate.

Go Green
Green vegetables are super health-promoting foods. When it comes to your health, you can't go wrong with vegetables and green vegetables will give an extra boost to your heart. They are high in carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that frees your body of potentially harmful compounds. Broccoli, kale, and spinach are especially good for you.

It is clear that healthy living, including an active lifestyle and a healthy diet can make a big difference in your overall health and the way you feel.

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