10 Heart Smart Foods To Add To Your Diet
A healthy diet helps lower cholesterol, inflammation, blood pressure, and more, which in turn helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It takes a variety of foods to meet all your nutritional needs, so that means you have lots of choices. Just make sure you follow an eating pattern focused on whole foods that are low-fat and plant-based.
Learn to Love Leafy Greens - Think spinach, kale, mustard greens, beet greens, and more. According to a review in Nutrients, most studies have found that leafy greens help the heart because these easy-to-prep vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as heart-healthy fiber.
Enjoy Omega-3 Rich Fish - Reel in the salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and other oily fish twice each week to benefit your ticker. The oils they contain, called omega-3 fatty acids, appear to help slow the buildup of artery-clogging plaque—which can help protect you against heart attack and stroke, as well as heart failure and arrhythmia.
Go NUTS - This is nature’s nearly perfect snack food, with so many to choose from and so many benefits: protein, fiber, heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Just a handful! Though good for you, nuts do have a lot of calories, and it’s easy to over-indulge.
Sizzle with Healthy Cooking Oils - when you cook, you often need cooking oil, so pick oils that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—the good kind of fats that can help improve your cholesterol levels. A few recommendations from the American Heart Association: olive oil, corn oil, and canola oil.
Up Your Fibre Intake with Whole Grains - In addition to vitamins and minerals, many whole grains provide fiber, which lowers cholesterol, keeps you feeling full longer so that you don’t overeat, and helps control your blood sugar level—all good for your heart!
The Many Benefits of Beans - Loaded with protein, which gives you an alternative to animal sources like meat and dairy that are less artery-friendly, plus they’ve got plenty of fiber to help you manage your cholesterol and weight.
Embrace a Seedy Life - Another plant-based provider of protein and fiber, seeds come in many varieties—chia, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and more. These small but mighty powerhouses are packed with healthy fats and may lower your cholesterol, a key element of your heart health improvement strategy.
Can’t Say Enough About Berries - Colorful and sweet, berries are one of nature’s perfect foods and belong in any heart-healthy diet. Loaded with antioxidants and fibre. That fiber slows the absorption of sugar, so you can enjoy them without worrying about unhealthy blood sugar spikes.
Consume Plenty of Cruciferous Veggies - Eat your broccoli! And your cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. This family of vegetables ranks among the most heart-healthy. People who eat lots of these vegetables have healthier blood vessels, which could protect against heart attack and stroke.