Heart Health Benefits- Boost nutrition, flavor and color in meals and snacks healthy diet can be good for your heart and your waistline. “You can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by eating certain foods daily,” says preventive cardiology dietitian, RD, LD. “There is a great variety of good fruits and vegetables for your heart health benefits.”
“Try to eat foods that are in their natural form, as they come from the ground,” recommending what she calls the “whole-foods diet.”
That Diet includes heart-healthy foods such as nuts, fish, whole grains, olive oil, vegetables and fruits, but don’t be afraid to treat yourself occasionally with a glass of red wine or a piece of dark chocolate. We suggests using this list as a guide to create meals and snacks with a healthy focus. A few simple swaps could make a big difference in your cardiovascular health.
Foods that are good for your heart
Eat fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.
A handful of healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts will satisfy your hunger and help your heart.
Berries are chock full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Try blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries in cereal or yoghurt.
Seeds. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestrogens to boost heart health benefits. Take them in ground or milled form to reap the most significant benefit. Chia seeds also provide omega 3, fiber and protein and can be eaten whole.
Oats are the comfort-food nutrient powerhouse. Try toasting oats to top yoghurt and salads or to add into a trail mix if you are not a fan of them cooked.
Legumes. Dried beans and lentils such as garbanzo, pinto, kidney or black beans, are high in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals and other good stuff. Veggie chili, anyone?
A 4-ounce glass of red wine can help improve good cholesterol levels.
Soy. Add edamame beans or marinated tofu in a stir-fry with fresh veggies for a heart-healthy lunch or dinner.
Red, yellow and orange veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes and acorn squash are packed with carotenoids, fiber and vitamins to help your heart.
Green veggies. Popeye was right spinach packs a punch! So does kale, Swiss chard, collard/mustard greens and bock choy. Use these sandwiches and salads instead of lettuce. Broccoli and asparagus are filled with powerful nutrients such as vitamins C and E, potassium, folate, calcium and fiber.
Fruits such as oranges, cantaloupes and papaya are rich in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and fiber.
Dark chocolate is good for your heart health. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the better!. Suppose you are a fan of milk chocolate. Start with at least 70% cocoa.
Diet for a Healthy Heart
Your heart is the center of your cardiovascular system. It is involved in many daily functions that bring your body to life. So having a healthy heart is vital to your overall health. Two of the simplest yet most important ways to help your heart health are Diet and exercise.
The foods you eat can affect your weight, hormones, and organs’ health, including your heart. So eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Choose healthy fats. Despite what you may have heard, some fats are good for you. When using fats for cooking, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Avocados are also a good source of monounsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are also healthy choices. Polyunsaturated fats are found in nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fats are found in fish, such as tuna and salmon. In general, you should try to avoid trans fats. Trans fats are usually processed foods and snacks such as crackers or snack cakes. If a food contains trans fats, look for “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredient label.
Go whole-grain. Whole-grain pieces of bread or portions of pasta are higher in fiber and complex carbohydrates. So choose them instead of white slices of bread or regular portions of pasta for sandwiches and meals.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. They contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are good for your body. They also add flavor and variety to your Diet
Prepare meat healthfully. Baking, broiling, and roasting are the healthiest ways to prepare meat and poultry. Trim any outside fat or skin before cooking. Lean cuts can be pan-broil or stir-fried.
Don’t forget beans. Dry beans, peas, and lentils offer protein and fiber. Once in a while, try substituting beans for meat in a favorite recipe, such as lasagna or chili.
Choose low-fat dairy. Go for fat-free or low-fat versions of milk, yoghurt, and cheese products.
Pack in the protein. Eat protein-rich foods, including fish, lean meats, skinless poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds, and beans. Try a diet. The dash an eating plan is a heart-healthy approach that lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol in your blood. Or try the Mediterranean Diet for another healthy approach to eating.
A healthy heart is central to overall good health. Embracing a healthy lifestyle at any age can prevent heart disease and lower your heart attack or stroke risk. You are never too old or too young to begin taking care of your heart. True, the younger you start making healthy choices, the longer you can reap the benefits. But swapping good habits for bad to promote good health can make a difference, even if you’ve already suffered a heart attack.
Choosing healthier foods and exercising are two of the best ways to contribute to good heart health. However, you can do several other things to lower your risk for heart disease.