Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women. One in every four deaths in this county are caused by heart disease. Heart disease affects all races, although among Native Americans or Pacific Islanders it is second only to cancer.

Risk Factors and Causes

The primary causes and risk factors that cause heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Nearly half of Americans fit in at least one of these risk categories. Other risk factors include physical inactivity, excessive alcohol abuse, overweight and obesity, diabetes, and poor diet. Some of these you don’t have control over, but others you can take your cardiovascular health into your own hands.

Prevention Methods

There are many things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. It’s important to be physically active, and to exercise your cardiovascular system so that it can function under duress. Your heart is a muscle. Like the rest of your muscles, your heart also needs the proper fuel to function at its best. Poor diet contributes to diabetes and obesity, all of which combine to make it the most important aspect of control you have. Following heart healthy recipes will give you the best defense against heart disease.

Heart Healthy Recipe Requirements

The best heart healthy recipes will be those that include special nutrients for your heart. Vitamin K commonly found in heart healthy recipes with leafy greens helps protect your arteries and promotes proper blood clotting.

Dietary nitrates reduce your blood pressure, which decreases stiffness of your arteries and improves cell function within your blood vessels. Fiber found in whole grains and unsaturated fats found in avocados help reduce bad cholesterol.

Food with antioxidants like fresh berries or chocolate help protect oxidative stress and inflammation to combat development of heart disease. Omega 3 Fatty acids found in fish  have been shown to decrease blood triglycerides, improve arterial function, and can cause a healthy decrease in blood pressure.

Resistant starch found in heart healthy recipes with beans can decrease blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as reduce blood pressure and inflammation.

Walnuts have fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese. According to research, consuming walnuts can decrease your blood pressure, decrease oxidative stress and inflammation, decrease total cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Walnuts being in it is not only a sign of something tasty, it’s a sign of a heart healthy  snack recipe, and studies have shown that consuming walnuts regularly lowers your risk for heart disease.

Where to find Heart Healthy Recipes

You can find heart healthy recipes online, and set the criteria to only find recipes targeted for your heart on most of the recipe apps and websites out there. There are also great blogs and magazine articles containing many heart healthy recipes to choose from.

There are many cookbooks available online, in stores, and even at your local library, specifically designed for vascular health. This article from Women’s Day entitled “75 Delicious Heart-Healthy Dinner Ideas to Try Tonight” is filled with a stunning variety of heart healthy recipes that won’t leave you bored.