Simple foods go a long way when it comes to heart health. Diets rich in fresh foods can decrease your risk of developing heart disease and reduce your risk of a heart attack. Foods filled with healthy fats and high in antioxidants are the best choice!
CNNhealth.com suggests these 10 foods for keeping your heart in the best shape it can possibly be:
1. Oatmeal — Full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate and potassium, oatmeal is fiber-rich and can lower your level of bad cholesterol and help keep your arteries clear.
2. Salmon — Another food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can reduce blood pressure and prevent your blood from clotting. With two servings of salmon per week, you can reduce your risk of a fatal heart attack by up to 1/3 (you can also substitute with other oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines).
3. Avocado — Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados lower bad cholesterol while simultaneously increasing your level of good cholesterol. Avocados also allow for the absorption of other carotenoids, which are essential for heart health.
4. Olive Oil — Another food filled with monounsaturated fat, olive oil can reduce bad cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties — they’re the least processed — and use them instead of butter when cooking.
5. Nuts — Almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are all full of omega-3 fatty acids and mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
6. Berries — Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
7. Legumes — Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
8. Spinach –Spinach is packed with lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber, thus reducing your risk of heart disease.
9. Flaxseed — Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast.
10. Soy — Soy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it’s still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet. Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal.
Sherman Health is focused on educating the community about being heart smart. Sherman’s HealthReach Classes place emphasis on healthy eating and lifestyles. Check out Eating Right the Mediterranean Way and Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids, two free classes designed to educate about the active, wholesome lifestyle.
Begin moving you and your family in a more heart healthy direction!