Eating the right foods is important to living a healthy life and to our overall wellbeing. The cliche saying health is wealth is all shades of truth. In Nigeria today, Heart problems are one of the causes of ill health and poor quality of life, and rising death rates. Heart-related topics such as hypertension are no longer for the elder people alone but also for young people as a lot of people in their early to mid-thirties and late twenties suffer heart-related conditions now more than ever.
Satisfying your craving and still maintaining good health should be one of your priorities.
Here are some heart-healthy Nigerian foods you can add to your meal throughout the day to boost your overall heart and health;
Bitter-Leaf Soup/Obe Ewuro/Ofe Onugbo
Bitter-leaf soup as it is popularly called is highly nutritious and delicious and it’s one of the best foods for a healthy heart. Leafy green vegetables like bitter leaf reduce the effects of bad cholesterol by almost 50% and significantly improves good cholesterol. Research shows that bitter leaf is effective in reducing LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) making it a potential ally in the fight against heart disease
Ewedu is a very common and popular soup and one of the most-known Nigerian foods, especially among the Yorubas. It’s rich, and its dark green vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. It’s a common first soup for babies among the Yoruba, easy on the stomach, and quite nourishing.
This soup is also rich in iron and is great as a source for building blood and combatting conditions like anemia. You can’t go wrong with this food as far as the heart is concerned
READ ALSO: Health Benefits Of Amala – Yam Flour
Unripe Plantain Flour
Unripe plantain flour contains low-starch content as compared to other swallows which makes this healthier. The fiber contents in this unripe plantain help reduce cholesterol which helps you maintain a healthy heart. Diabetics often switch to this staple, allowing them to enjoy swallows in moderate portions
Plantain flour is one of the Nigerian foods that are iron-rich with lots of other minerals great for maintaining heart health. Potassium controls blood pressure and heart rates, thereby reducing the occurrences of hypertension and heart attacks.
Unripe plantain contains serotonin, which increases the dilation of the arteries and also improves blood flow out of the heart
This is one of the best heart-friendly foods you can get. It can be added to a salad, taken as a snack, or used as garnishing or dip. They are fat-rich foods that contain healthy monosaturated fats. Avocados reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol) within the body and increase HDL(the good) cholesterol.
Avocados help maintain healthy cholesterol levels because it is linked to reducing LDL and increasing HDL. Consider using full names Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL).
Zobo (Hibiscus Drink)
Zobo is one of the ultimate drinks in Nigeria. It’s available in almost every kiosk or street corner in Lagos and other states. It can also be made at home for more convenience. Roselle flowers, also known as Ishapa in Yoruba, are a local herb and vegetable. The zobo drink (unsweetened) helps to reduce blood pressure in at-risk patients.
Common street zobo may not be as effective because it might contain sweeteners and other unhealthy additives. It is always best to get your leaves yourself and boil some zobo.
This dark green vegetable is rich in potassium, magnesium, and folate alongside other vitamins and minerals. Spinach is also one of the most common vegetables, even across continents. You can prepare this as vegetable soup, stir-fry, salads, and garnishing on rice and pasta. This leafy green vegetable is packed full of delicious goodness.
Try adding any of these heart-healthy foods to your shopping list and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If at any point you need to speak to a doctor or reach out don’t hesitate to click here.