If there’s one part of the body that deserves care more than any other, it’s that ticker of yours. Our heart is, of course, vital for our health. Even minor problems with the heart can lead to chronic conditions that need to manage for the rest of your life. Whether you’ve been given a scare, a recommendation from your doctor, or you simply want to make sure that you’re giving your heart the care that it deserves, here are some of the heart-healthy foods that you should start to push a little closer to the center of your diet.
It’s more than just a fad. Avocados really are very good for you, and this includes being great for your heart. While saturated fats should be reduced in your diet as best as possible, monounsaturated fats are actually pretty good for your heart, able to reduce cholesterol levels, and promote better heart health in general. There are a host of other benefits of avocados, which are also rich in minerals such as potassium, which can reduce your blood pressure. There are a ton of ways to take an avocado, but you mostly want to stick to those that don’t involve cooking the fruit too much, as that can reduce some of its nutritional potency.
Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are quickly rising up the ranks of those foods considered something of a “superfood” due to their high content of minerals and vitamins. One of the vitamins that these leafy greens, including spinach, kale, collard greens, and more, is rich in is vitamin K, which is great at improving blood clotting properties and also reduces stiffness in the arteries, which can prevent cholesterol from restricting the vessels. The nitrates that are also in these leafy greens have the same effect. As such, dark leafy greens, which can easily be used in all manner of salads, smoothies, and accompaniments to all kinds of dinner dishes, have been linked with a lower chance of heart disease.
One of the most well-balanced vegetables you’re likely to find, asparagus has a ton of health benefits. Fried asparagus and other types lose some of the nutritional value, so you typically want to go with any recipe that keeps the asparagus whole, like asparagus orzo. One of the biggest health benefits of asparagus is the high amount of potassium, which can lower blood pressure by reducing salt content in the blood and by relaxing the walls of blood vessels. It’s also fiber-rich, which is good for reducing the chances of heart disease, as well as diabetes and high blood prewssure.
Oats are fantastic for your heart due to their abilities to, amongst other things, reduce the circulation of cholesterol. In particular, it targets low-density lipoprotein (also known as ‘the bad cholesterol’), the substance that otherwise can build up on the walls of the arteries, one of the leading causes of heart disease. It also prevents LDL from solidifying in the first place. It’s also a great way for people to get fiber if they are living with celiac disease or any other form of gluten insensitivity. Get a good idea of how much rolled oats to eat per day and try to make it a more common part of your diet. There are lots of different ways to eat oatmeal for breakfast, especially with fruits and other taste accessories, so it’s not too difficult to make a regular thing.
If you’re looking for something to go with your oatmeal, or to make your morning smoothie delicious, then why not partner it with another food that’s know to be great for your heart? In this case, we’re looking at berries. Some of the very best berries include blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and strawberries. They’re a great source of fiber, but they’re also high in antioxidants. Aside from helping to reduce heart disease, antioxidants have been linked to all manner of health benefits such as reducing the chances of cancer and even helping to fight off the signs of aging. Berries are also some of the fruits that are lowest in fat, so they’re a nice easy way to add some sweetness to your diet without feeling too guilty about it.
There are some meats that can be very good for your heart, too. Oily fish tends to typically be a lot better for your health than other kinds, and nowhere is this more true than with salmon. The biggest nutritional draw of this seafood, in particular, is the high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent heart disease in a number of ways, such as reducing your blood pressure slightly and improving the function of the cells lining the walls of the arteries and reducing the level of triglycerides, which can slow the formation of plaque on the walls of the arteries. You only need to eat a couple of servings of salmon a week to enjoy the benefits of it.
If you need a staple for your dinners, some food that you can have a larger portion of to go with your meat, sauce, salad, or otherwise, then brown rice is one of the best things you can put on your plate as a replacement for white rice, pasta, potatoes, and so on. As well as providing fiber, brown rice is also rich in magnesium, which can reduce both the chances of stroke and heart disease. Unlike many other staples used in dinners, brown rice also reduces your risk of diabetes due to the fact that it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike after you eat it, unlike white rice.
If you want to take good care of your heart, then you need to start with what you eat. Ensuring good health in other areas of your life, such as exercise, good sleep, and keeping stress at a low, are also important, but a bad diet can undermine all of it.
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