In the fast-paced life of today, where convenience trumps healthy home cooking (which is indeed arguably more time- and labor-intensive), the battle to protect the heart is harder than ever. The food choices we make can radically influence our heart health, energy levels, and hunger control. And keeping the pumper in tip-top shape while making choices that are delicious, healthy and suitable for the entire family has become a mammoth task. From fruits and nuts to beans and leafy greens, Pakistan's largest online food network, sooperchef has found out which foods are not only best for your heart but also the ones that you can in the dreadful summer heat.

Watermelon

You won't only Satisfy your sweet tooth while chomping on a juicy slice of watermelon: you would also be treating your body, more importantly, your heart, with a low-calorie treat that is rich in fiber and a grand supply of antioxidants, according to leading cardiologists. Studies show that watermelon is a wonderful source of lycopene: a compound directly linked to a lower risk for heart diseases and cancer. Watermelons also supply citrulline, which is helpful for the improvement of the quality and health of our blood vessels and may even prove beneficial for folks dealing with other illnesses like diabetes and erectile dysfunctions. The juicy red, summer treat is also a great source of vitamins like C and A, as well as healthy minerals like potassium and magnesium.

Tomatoes

Just like watermelons, Tomatoes are packed with a hefty dose of heart-healthy vitamin C and are have lots of lycopene in them. Making your own tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes, added with a little touch of oregano and chopped-up veggies for a gourmet, homemade pasta sauce is totally worth the try as it is filled with mega antioxidant power. Furthermore, Vitamin C also works as a potent antioxidant and protects our cells from cellular damage.

Read More: Here is How to Maintain Your Heart Valves Healthy

Yogurt

If you are looking for a heart-healthy sweet treat that would keep you cool during the summer heat and won’t clog your arteries, then go for a cup of yogurt with some strawberries in it: it will protect more than just your heart. Yogurt is a great source of protection against gum diseases, which can increase your risk of cardiac illnesses. In addition to minimizing the risk of cardiac diseases, gulping down low-fat yogurt will also help absorb potent antioxidants, vitamins, fiber , protein and probiotics that are advantageous to your general health, process of digestion, and well-being.

Collard Greens

Collard greens are low calories and pack a healthy nutritional punch of nutrients like vitamins K, A and C, as well as folate, manganese, calcium and dietary fiber and much more. These important nutrients ensure the normal clotting or our blood, help prevent calcification of our arteries and even provide protection to our bones from damages like fractures. These healthy greens have even been found to bind bile acids in the digestive tract, which helps lower the body’s cholesterol levels while also increasing the cardiovascular health at the same time with their anti-inflammatory tendencies.

Read More: Fasting During Ramadan is Healthy for Heart Patients

Peas

Peas are packed with fiber, and will also provide your recipe with a sweet burst of flavor and while adding bright colors to any dish as well. These tasty little greens are also helpful when weight management is under consideration, and this makes them a key ingredient to staying heart healthy. One cup of peas has less than 100 calories while loading an abundance of micronutrients as well as dietary fiber, and protein.

Beans

According to Georgia-based nutritionist Dr. Keith Kantor, a mere serving of half-cup of beans a day is enough to keep our heart in optimal shape. The Soluble fiber is a key cause of beans being beneficial to the human heart: the soluble fiber connects to the cholesterol in such a way that it keeps it from being absorbed in the gut and prevents any build up to unhealthy levels. Add some black, kidney, or white beans to your next salad for an extra dose of soluble fiber, going hand in hand with other nutrients like folate, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and B-complex vitamins -- all of which are crucial when keeping your heart healthy is under consideration.

read more: 5 Surprising Things That Hurt Your Heart the Most

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