Heart disease kills more people in the United States than any other disease. But, while this statistic is surely unsettling, there’s hope for people to improve their heart health, simply by living healthier lifestyle and eating the right foods and following a healthy diet.
So what are the best foods for cardiovascular health? The following 10 nutritious foods sourced right from nature can help to build a strong heart and help keep health issues at bay. Read on for details!
Oats contain fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol. Oats soak up cholesterol in the digestive tract, like a sponge, keeping it out of the bloodstream and helping the heart stay healthy. Oats can be used to make oatmeal, oat muffins, and other healthy meals and snacks. When making oatmeal for breakfast, be sure to use pure steel-cut oats or rolled oats that don’t have any added sugar.
2. Dark Chocolate
Studies show that dark chocolate (pure chocolate without milk and with low sugar content) can support cardiovascular health and reduce risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols and flavonoids that can support cardiovascular health. When eating dark chocolate, make sure to choose raw, unsweetened chocolate, and consider adding it to whole-grain cereals and fruit-filled smoothies.
Blueberries contain anthocyanins, the substances that give plants their blue and red colors. These elements also help support healthy blood pressure. Add blueberries to cereals, smoothies, and even baked goods.
If you love tomatoes, then include them in as much of your food as possible because they’re full of heart-healthy potassium. Tomatoes also contain lycopene and antioxidants. To get the most nutrients out of tomatoes, be sure to cook them. Add them to whole-grain pastas, cheese-less veggie pizzas, and beans and rice dishes.
Nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and macadamia nuts are high in fiber, which is good for the heart. They’re also vitamin E-rich, so eat about a handful a day. Some nuts, such as walnuts, contain omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Citrus Fruit
For a healthy heart, eat citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits; and as an alternative, you can also juice with lemons and limes. Citrus fruits contain flavonoids.
Legumes (beans and peas) are a great source of protein that don’t bring along any unwanted and unhealthy fat, so they can benefit the body and the heart. A study of people who consumed legumes at least four times a week showed that participants reduced their risk of heart disease by as much as 22%. Legumes help regulate blood sugar, which is beneficial for anyone who wants to avoid heart complications.
8. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Opt for expeller-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil when making salad dressings or other oil-based foods. A Mediterranean diet includes at least four tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil a day. Extra-virgin olive oil is filled with beneficial monounsaturated fats.
Spirulina supports a healthy heart and healthy cholesterol levels as well as spirulina and give you an extra energy boost!
All of these heart-healthy foods are readily available in most grocery stores, health food stores, and local farmers markets. Many of them can also be grown for consumption at home, in a backyard or patio garden.
Too find the best spirulina or find additional health and fitness information, browse Nutrex Hawaii.