Top 10 Foods for a Healthy Heart
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women today, claiming more lives than all cancers combined. For this reason, it is of upmost importance that we take extra great care of the organ that gives us life. While managing a healthy weight and getting regular exercise is crucial, what foods we fuel ourselves with is just as important. Eating a heart-healthy diet can reduce our risk of heart disease by up to 80%. Who wouldn´t want to adopt better eating habits with this statistic? Read on to see the 10 best heart-healthy foods.
Oats are full of everything that makes our hearts happy – omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. Rich in fiber, oats help lower the bad levels of cholesterol in our bodies, thus keeping our arteries clear.
Flaxseed & Chia Seeds
Both flaxseed and chia seeds are not only excellent sources of fiber, but also of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Add them to your oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal and you´re in for a heart-healthy breakfast!
Berries are filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which make them great for maintaining our cardiovascular health by minimizing the damage we do to our arteries.
The heart-healthy fats found in olive oil are called monounsaturated fats. These help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and thus reduce our risk of developing heart disease. Opt for extra virgin oils, as they are the least processed.
Walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts are especially rich with omega-3 fatty acids that are vital for good heart health as well as general physical and mental health. Rich with mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, nuts have all the ¨good¨ fats that you do want in your diet!
Stuffed with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, salmon helps to reduce blood pressure and prevent blood clots. It can also regulate our heart rhythms. Just be sure you choose wild salmon over farm-raised salmon!
Avocados are great sources of potassium, thus making them an excellent tool to help regulate blood pressure. Rich with monounsaturated fats (the good fats), this delicious veggie lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raises HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) in our bodies.
This leafy green is high in B vitamin, folate, which manages the amino acid responsible for promoting the narrowing of our arteries. It is also rich with potassium and fiber!
Legumes are excellent sources of fiber, calcium, and those good ‘ol omega-3 fatty acids. Add these to your diet by eating more chickpeas, lentils, black beans, and kidney beans.
Naturally free of cholesterol and low in saturated fats, soy products are good for both the heart and the body in general! They are great sources of protein and fiber and are high in heart-friendly omega-3s. Add some tofu to your salad or munch on soybeans – just be sure you don’t pack on the salt, as higher sodium levels aren’t what we’re after!