Eating for heart health is as much about what you do eat as it is about limiting certain foods and ingredients. A healthy meal plan full of fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables and heart-healthy proteins can help lower your risk of many serious and chronic health conditions, including heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Here are some of the best superfoods to eat to your heart’s content:
Best Superfoods for a Healthy Heart
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Especially an important B vitamin called folate that is helpful for heart disease prevention.
Blueberries, strawberries, goji, and acai berries are all superfoods thanks to their flavonoids, which can lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels, helping with circulation.
Olives and Olive Oil
The heart-healthy benefits of olive oil are well documented. Olive oil has shown to reduce blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides while increasing good, heart-protective cholesterol.
Fatty Fish and Fish Oil
Salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which help maintain a healthy heart. If you don’t eat much seafood, fish oil is another option to get your dose of omega-3.
Beans and Other Legumes
Beans and other legumes benefit cardiovascular health because they are high in fiber, plant protein, and other micronutrients, but low in fat, free of cholesterol, and low on the glycemic index.
Mixed Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fat, protein, and other nutrients. Snacking on unsalted nuts several times a week may help reduce the risk of having a heart attack.
Citrus fruits contain many compounds that help keep your heart healthy. Oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, and kumquats are all excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients.
Eating whole instead of refined grains can help protect your heart. Some examples of healthy and unprocessed whole grains include brown rice, buckwheat, oats, barley, quinoa, rye, and spelt.
Add Color to Your Plate for Heart Health
Eating a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables is a fundamentally healthy way to eat. While more vegetables and fruit is always a good idea, focusing on eating a variety of colors will increase your intake of different nutrients to benefit various areas of your health, including heart health.
Red Fruits and Vegetables
Red fruits and vegetables are nature’s powerhouse on nutrition and benefits. Healthy red foods include tomatoes, red pepper, red onions, radish, red beans, beets, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, watermelon, rhubarb, red apples, cherries, and pomegranate.
Orange and Yellow Fruits and Vegetables
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are packed full of nutrients that help our heart and body in many ways. Healthy orange and yellow foods include pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, citrus fruits, and peppers.
Green Fruits and Vegetables
Green fruits and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Healthy green vegetables and fruits include leafy vegetables such as kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, bok choy, and arugula. As well as broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, zucchini, edamame, green beans, celery, cucumbers, peas, avocado, kiwi, green grapes, and green apples.
Blue and Purple Fruits and Vegetables
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that may help protect cells from damage and could reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Healthy blue and purple food includes eggplant, purple cabbage, beetroot, radishes, purple carrots, black olives, blueberries, blackberries, passionfruit, purple grapes, purple plums, prunes, and dark cherries.
Brown and White Fruits and Vegetables
While not as brightly colored, white and brown fruits and vegetables promote a range of health benefits and should be part of a healthy diet. Great white foods to eat include cauliflower, garlic, shallots and onions, leeks, parsnips, white beans, turnips, lychees, bananas, white peaches, and white nectarine. Examples of healthy brown foods include potatoes, lentils, mushrooms, dates, and pears.
Best Superfoods to Promote Heart Health – About Dedication Health
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