The heart is one of the most important organs in the body, responsible for pumping blood and nutrients to all other organs. It requires a steady supply of nutrients and oxygen to function correctly therefore, hat we eat has a direct impact on our heart health. Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help your heart function properly and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Here are 7 foods that are good for heart health:
- Fatty Fish
Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, and oysters are an excellent source of DHA and EPAomega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, lower triglyceride levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fatty fish per week to reap the benefits.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds are rich in unsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Eating a handful of nuts or seeds per day can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients. Eating berries regularly can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Each different berry contains different micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), so it is important to consume a variety of berries in your diet.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. Eating a dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) in moderation can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Whole Grains
Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice, farro, whole grain bread, and even popcorn are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whole grains are sources of both insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber in particular helps binds to cholesterol and help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains can also help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are especially high in potassium – an important electrolyte that can lower blood pressure which promotes strong muscular contractions. Potassium is also lost in sweat, and it’s estimated that < 0.015% of American adults meet their daily potassium needs of 4.7g/day. Eating a diet that is rich in leafy greens can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Avocado is a good source of unsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium. Eating avocado in moderation can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Poor nutrition can lead to the buildup of cholesterol and other substances in the blood vessels, which can cause blockages and lead to heart disease (one of the leading causes of death worldwide). Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Incorporating fatty fish, nuts and seeds, berries, dark chocolate, whole grains, leafy greens, and avocado into your diet can have a significant impact on your heart health and overall well-being. It is vital to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you need help with your diet and nutritional needs, please reach out to our Registered Dietician Nutritionist at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (317) 218-3928. We would love to be part of your fitness and nutrition journey.
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