However, the expert shared that five foods could be especially potent at staving off the major killer.
Dr Kassam said: “If I was going to point out individual food or drinks that are worth emphasizing in a plant-based diet, I would suggest swapping refined grains (white bread, white rice, white pasta) for whole grains.”
Packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, whole grains can help keep your cholesterol levels, weight and blood pressure in check, the Mayo Clinic explains.
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The doctor said: “Adding a tablespoon of flaxseeds a day to the diet can lower blood pressure – a key driver of heart disease.”
A study, published in the National Library of Medicine, found that around four tablespoons of flaxseeds per day were able to significantly reduce a high blood pressure reading.
Furthermore, some research papers also suggest that alpha-linolenic acid, which is found in flaxseeds, might benefit people who already have heart disease.
Dr. Kassam said: “Eating 30 grams of nuts a day has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Another potent ingredient hiding in the small foods is fiber, which can help block some cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream.
As cholesterol is considered one of the precursors of heart disease, keeping the fatty substance in check could consequently benefit your risk.
The expert said: “Soya foods, such as tofu, tempeh, edamame and soya milk are heart healthy and have a US Food and Drug Administration health claim to support this, in part due to the cholesterol-lowering effect.”
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“Soya products are a good option for replacing foods that are high in saturated fat such as meat, full-fat cream and dairy products,” Heart UK states.
Dr. Kassam said: “Beetroot juice and hibiscus tea are two drinks that have been shown to lower blood pressure and hence are good for heart health.”
Beetroot juice is rich in nitrate (NO3), which has the potential to reduce blood pressure.
The doctor added: “The nutrients in plant foods help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels low and keep our gut bacteria healthy.
“These are all important aspects of reducing the risk of heart disease.
“In general, a healthy plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by at least 25 percent compared to a typical Western diet.”
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