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HeartSuperfoods: Nutrition to invigorate your heart

Superfoods: Nutrition to invigorate your heart

During the New Year’s festivities, one thing that must not be ignored is the health of our hearts.  So, we highly recommend Superfoods as the ultimate nourishment for your heart’s everyday well-being.

Introducing Superfoods

“Superfood,” or supreme nutrition, is food that possesses a wealth of highly beneficial nutrients. It is extremely good for the health as it contains low amount of sugar and saturated fat, but has high fiber as well as vitamins and complete minerals to satisfy the body’s needs without any additive.  When taken properly, it can help maintain the weight while reducing the risks of chronic diseases.  Importantly, good superfood should be easily obtained for regular consumption; so that it brings about the best results for your well-being.

Superfoods for the Heart

For superfoods that help nourish the heart and make it healthy, we would like to recommend the following: 

  • SUPERFRUITS: These are fruits that contain a wealth of nutrients – vitamins, minerals, fiber, and free radicals.  They are:
    • Avocado – This superfruit is very popular because it contains unsaturated fat and has high nutrition that includes fiber, vitamins, various minerals, as well as oleic acid.  Oleic acid, which is good fat, helps alleviate inflammation and fatty liver.  It increases the amount of good fat and contributes to weight loss by reducing the amount of insulin the body releases and makes you feel full easily.  This also effectively decreases the risk of heart diseases.
    • Dragon Fruit contains a lot of phytonutrients that are antioxidants: such as vitamin C, polyunsaturated fat, various types of vitamin B that burn carbohydrate, and carotene.  Importantly, dragon fruit has no complex carbohydrate, so it is easily digested and helps with weight loss.  It also improves the digestive system, reduces cholesterol, increases the body’s immune system, protection against bacteria as well as fungi, and supports the general bodily functions.

Eating common fruits helps reduce the risk of coronary artery diseases by 11%.  But, with the addition of these superfruits by 200 grams per day, the risk is reduced by up to 15%.

  • Almond is one of the high-value superfoods.  Including it in your daily diet will help maintain your blood sugar level; while reducing your cholesterol, effects of free radicals, and the risk of coronary artery diseases.  The brownish skin of almonds contains polyphenol which is a good antioxidant.  Consuming 28 grams of almonds per day lessens the risk of coronary artery diseases by about 16%.
  • Cacao is used for making chocolate.  It is full of phenol compound, an antioxidant that is more effective than red wine and green tea.  Phenolic compound, especially flavonoid, helps fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.  A meta-analysis of more than 575,000 population found that moderate consumption of chocolate (1 – 3 units per month), helps decrease the risk of heart failure conditions by up to 13%.  On the other hand, too much chocolate consumption (more than 1 unit per day) will increase the risk of heart failure by 17%.  So, moderation is recommended.
  • Whole Grains contain a lot of phytonutrients and fiber.  Together they combine to lessen fat absorption.  Fiber consists of polyphenol which helps fight free radicals as well as preventing inflammation, while other phytonutrients help maintain blood sugar level and the insulin responses – both contribute to weight management.  Brown rice and riceberry have low sugar absorption indices, and are therefore suitable for people who wish to control blood sugar level and body weight.  They also contain high level of antioxidants – such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and folate – all of which strengthen the heart and enhance your health.

Consuming 30 grams of whole grains every day helps reduces the risk of coronary artery diseases by 5%.  But, with 100 grams more per day, the risk is decreased by 17%.  However, any more than this has no additional benefits; so, it is recommended that you should eat whole grains in moderation.

Superfood กินบำรุงหัวใจให้ฟิตรับปีใหม่

  • Fish, both sea and fresh water, is an excellent source of protein.  It has good fat with the ability to prevent stenosis and blood clots.  Fish also has high level of vitamin B12 that strengthens the heart.  Both sea and fresh water fishes have high omega 3.  A hundred gram of siriped catfish contains 2.1 grams of EPA and DHA.  A study published in JAMA showed that when a human body received sufficient amount of omega 3, the risk of an acute heart failure is reduced by 10%.  So, we recommend a regular diet consisting of salmon, tuna, or fresh water fish – such as siriped catfish or striped snake-head fish.  However, if that is not possible, then taking fish oil capsules is another option; but you should consult a doctor for this and should not take more than 2 grams per day.  It is also important to choose from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that the fish oil is not contaminated.
  • Green Vegetables – such as spinach, water spinach, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) etc. – are superfoods with very many benefits because they contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, carotenoids, and polyphenol. They help reduce blood pressure and, thus, prevent damage to various tissue cells.  They also regulate the flexibility of the arteries.  So, green vegetables contribute to the health of the arteries and the heart.From studies, examples of vegetables that have impact on the heart are:
    • Beetroot: A type of vegetables whose underground roots are usually used in cooking. A random study on the effect of beetroot with a high content of nitric oxide found that cyclists who ate beetroot one time, 2 hours before cycling tended to have the ability to exert 6% more energy – with an increase of VO2 max by 4%, while taking 3% longer to feel fatigue.
    • Banana Blossoms: These are easy to find in this region, and are void of pesticides that may be found in general green vegetables.  Banana blossoms are a source of excellent nourishment, containing vitamins A C and E, various minerals – such as phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants.  They are good for the digestive tract, and are suitable for people who wish to control their weight.
    • Chia Seeds: These are one of the oldest types of plants.  They are popular because of the nutrition value, containing high fiber (20% of the daily needs), protein, and alpha-Linolenic acid – about 75% of seeds’ oil, the highest among all vegetables.  A characteristic of chia seeds is low sugar index.  Therefore, they are suitable for people who wish to control their blood sugar level as well as their weight.  Chia seeds expand in water, increasing in volume without additional calories yet fulfilling the appetite for longer.  The seeds also are rich in fiber which helps with the digestive system.  Importantly, our body can convert the good fatty acid from chia seeds into 5.5% of omega 3.  This helps reduce the risk of heart diseases.

In all, consuming 100 grams of vegetables daily will help lessen the risk of coronary artery diseases by 3% and heart failures by 4%.  But, if this is increased to 400 grams every day, the risks will be further reduced to 12%.

  • Plant-Based Protein: Plant-based protein is a source for fiber protein and phytosterol, which contains antioxidant and has the ability to reduce blood pressure as well as LDL cholesterol, along with preventing blood clots.  It is found that consuming 100 grams of plant-based protein more daily will help lessen the risk of coronary artery diseases by about 10%.

Superfood กินบำรุงหัวใจให้ฟิตรับปีใหม่

  • Sources of Protein from Animals (Meat, Milk, Eggs)
    • Eggs are an important source of protein.  Egg yolk contains natural xanthophyll and carotene that have the ability to fight inflammation.  Consuming one 55-gram egg daily is beneficial for the arteries and brain in the long run.  A study has found that consuming 1 chicken egg every day does not increase the risk of coronary artery diseases or stroke, even though choline in the egg is converted to TMAO, which is found in stroke patients.  But this chemical is not the cause of a stroke.
    • Milk or dairy products are a source of minerals – such as calcium, vitamins, and protein that are beneficial to the heart and cerebral vessels.  Fermented dairy products, in particular, can help decrease the risks of metabolic syndrome, stroke, and coronary artery diseases – whose mortality rate can be reduced by 4%.

      Importantly, fresh milk does not increase any risk of coronary artery diseases and, as studies have found, it reduces the risk of stroke by 5% when we drink 500 grams of milk more daily.
    • Meat. Protein from fish or chicken is recommended, avoiding red meat and processed meat; as the latter contains additives that cause inflammation – being agitated by nitro-amine, iron, or saturated fat.  Consuming processed meat 100 grams more daily will increase the risks of coronary artery diseases and stroke by about 15%, while escalating the risk of a heart attack by 25%.


In any case, a diet of superfoods is a prevention measure and must be combined with proper exercises, to ensure good health is maintained.  However, if you are already suffering from a heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol, you must take your medication and follow your cardiologist’s advice.

Source: Dr. Anusith Tunhasiriwet, Cardilogist, Bangkok Heart Hospital

Reference : 

Bechthold, A., Boeing, H., Schwedhelm, C., Hoffmann, G., Knüppel, S., Iqbal, K., de Henauw, S., Michels, N., Devleesschauwer, B., Schlesinger, S., & Schwingshackl, L. (2019). Food groups and risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. In Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (Vol. 59, Issue 7, pp. 1071–1090). Taylor and Francis Inc. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2017.1392288

Bhuyan, D. J., Alsherbiny, M. A., Perera, S., Low, M., Basu, A., Devi, O. A., Barooah, M. S., Li, C. G., & Papoutsis, K. (2019). The odyssey of bioactive compounds in Avocado (Persea Americana) and their health benefits. In Antioxidants (Vol. 8, Issue 10). https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8100426

van den Driessche, J. J., Plat, J., & Mensink, R. P. (2018). Effects of superfoods on risk factors of metabolic syndrome: A systematic review of human intervention trials. In Food and Function (Vol. 9, Issue 4). https://doi.org/10.1039/c7fo01792h

Yusni Igirisa, Yusni Podungge, & Siti Choirul Dwi Astuti. (2021). The Benefit of The Banana Heart Ball Food for Postpartum Mothers. EMBRIO13(1), 22–27. https://doi.org/10.36456/embrio.v13i1.3304

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