Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are still a major cause of mortality worldwide and are a serious health problem. Various factors that contribute toward CVDs include hypertension, tobacco use, physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus, obesity and overweight, alcohol, dietary factors and psychosocial aspects such as stress, anxiety and depression. Nutraceuticals and diet are very important for prevention of CVDs. The potential of nutraceuticals or functional food in mitigating risk of CVDs is discussed. Functional food with health related properties include fruit and vegetable, fish, legumes, nuts, soya protein, coffee, tea, chocolate, animal based functional food. In addition, some diet plans have shown the potential of reducing the incidence of CVDs. This includes the Mediterranean, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Okinawan and vegetarian diets. This chapter examines the risk factors of CVDs, including hypertension, tobacco usage, physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus, overweight and obesity. The chapter also brings to the fore, functional foods with properties related to health and effect of dietary patterns in the treatment and prevention of CVDs.
Part of the book: Functional Foods