Some foods provide good heart health benefits, while other foods contribute to heart failure. More than 1 in every 10 Americans is being diagnosed with heart disease. Choosing the right heart healthy foods may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. To learn more about foods that are heart healthy, along with common misconceptions, I’ve put together this short article.
One of the first things any good heart healthy diet should emphasize is the amount of high-quality protein, fiber and vitamins you get each day. The American Heart Association recommends eating three to six servings of protein, vegetables and fruits per day. Eating a diet rich in nutrients reduces the risk of heart disease and other disorders. However, this doesn’t mean you have to turn your nose up at all carbohydrates or fats! Many different types of foods, such as nuts, seeds, beans and lentils, contain heart-healthy nutrients that can benefit the cardiovascular system and help you feel better.
There are several heart-healthy foods you can include in your diet that are abundant in antioxidants and nutrients, including almonds, salmon, walnuts, sardines, salmon, bananas, garlic, rhubarb, strawberries and tofu. There are also numerous nutrient-rich plants and herbs that are very good for you. For example, basil, berries, beets, carrots, artichokes, blueberries, caraway, chestnuts, kale, parsley, spinach, strawberries, walnuts, yellow squash and walnuts are all excellent choices.
Another vegetable that provides many heart-healthy benefits is the sweet potato. In addition to helping you feel full and keeping your weight in check, eating a diet rich in fat, fiber and potassium, will help you prevent many types of cancer. Even if you aren’t concerned with your weight, having adequate amounts of potassium can help prevent certain cancers from developing in your body. Keep in mind that sweet potatoes are full of vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. Add a slice of cheese to your sweet potato salad or baked sweet potato. Another excellent side dish idea is a baked potato topped with a nice piece of low fat sour cream.
Salmon is another popular choice, which provides many essential nutrients and minerals. The reason it is so good for lowering blood pressure is because it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat found in fish. It also contains a significant amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. If you eat at least one serving of salmon per week, you will be providing your body with one of the highest sources of calcium you can get.
Go For Nuts
One item that is often overlooked as a heart-healthy food is nuts. However, peanuts and almonds contain high amounts of fiber and protein. Also, you may have heard that almonds are loaded with antioxidants. These are called “anthocyanins,” and they are a type of flavonoid. Flavonoids can protect the body from the development of certain types of cancer. In addition, an abundance of these antioxidant-like substances has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease in some people.
Tofu is made from soybeans, which contain lots of heart-healthy nutrients. Eating at least one serving of tofu per week can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes. In addition, studies suggest that omega-3s found in this plant-based product can protect against stroke and heart disease, as well. Eat at least two to three servings of tofu per week for the best benefits.
Finally, consider a variety of nuts. Walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans and other types of nuts are packed with nutrients. Some studies even suggest that adding these nuts to your diet may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The good news is that nuts are high in fiber, so eating a handful a day may provide you with needed energy to help you overcome everyday stresses. Nutrient-rich foods from this group not only provide heart-healthy benefits, but they also provide plenty of fiber and protein to help you maintain a healthy weight.