Eat Your Heart Out: The 10 Best Heart-Healthy Foods

Your heart is like the motor of your body. And like any motor, it has to be cared for, with the right ingredients going in to keep things at peak performance. And with heart disease remaining the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, adding a few heart-healthy substitutions to your daily diet is an easy way to start changing your lifestyle for the better.

10. Coffee
That’s right, coffeeholics, rejoice! Your favorite morning pick-me-up aids in natural fat burning and can even boost metabolism by 3-11%. In doing so, it becomes easier for your heart to do its job pumping on and on. Further research suggests moderate coffee consumption (1-3 cups/day) reduces the risk of a stroke, particularly in women.

9. Apples
The saying is right: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” on top of keeping your heart smiling. The fiber in apples blasts plaque buildup in your arteries and keeps further cholesterol from solidifying in its walls. Chomp away at the fruit as a lunch companion or an afternoon snack.

8. Sweet Potatoes
Topping the beta-carotene charts, sweet potatoes take vitamins A, C, and E and help reduce the risk of heart disease while delaying the bodily effects of aging. Low calorie, try baked sweet potato fries as a side, or pop in the microwave for a mindless meal.

7. Tomatoes
Rich in potassium and a great source of the antioxidant lycopene (a carotenoid believed to help keep blood vessels open and strong), tomatoes in any form will help fight your chances of a heart attack. On top of being low in sugar and high in folic acid, roasted tomatoes in garlic and olive oil is a spectacular side dish to pair with your next entree.

6. Oatmeal
There’s hardly a healthier way to start your day than with a bowl of hot oatmeal. A fantastic source of fiber, oatmeal lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Avoid instant oatmeal, however, which tends to hide a lot of refined sugar, instead opting for steel cut or whole oat groats (a fancy name for oatmeal’s kernels).

5. Soy
Soy comes in a ton of varieties, from classic tofu to soy milk you can stir into that morning cup of Joe. It delivers an almost incomparable protein boost (half a cup can provide nearly 20% of your daily dose) while remaining low in sodium and cholesterol, common elements in many animal product alternatives.

4. Garlic
Not only does garlic make for killer flavoring, its cholesterol-reducing antioxidants lower blood pressure and increases overall blood flow. Keep it fresh, though. Processed garlic provides the same heart help, but not nearly to the same degree as full cloves nabbed in the produce section.

3. Red wine
The perks of an evening glass go beyond relaxation. Red wine contains the compound polyphenol resveratrol, an antioxidant that help clears bad toxins from blood and makes your heart’s job easier. The key here, though, rests in sticking with only one glass.

2. Seeds & Nuts
Nearly any kind of nut is your heart’s best buddy. From almonds and pistachios to a pinch of peanuts, most pack your heart’s necessary fiber and magnesium punch. Some, like walnuts, also carry the essential body fat, omega-3. As long as you avoid the kind with added salt, you’ve got a go-to, heart-healthy snack.

Likewise, sprinkling flax or chia seeds onto the foods you already eat delivers the same benefits of fiber and omega-3 acids. They’re a simple topping for salads, yogurt parfaits, fruit spreads, or even blended into a smoothie.

1. Salmon
Nothing compares to the levels of healthy, fatty acids you get from fish oils. Their omega-3 content goes hand-in-hand with lowering blood pressure and regulating good and bad cholesterol. Experts advise incorporating salmon (or other omega-3 rich fish like tuna and mackerels) into your diet at least 2-3 times a week. They work great as sandwiches for lunch or as the centerfold of a dinner pasta spread.

A specialist from ICE, Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence, says eating a healthy diet low in cholesterol, salt, and saturated fat can help you avoid heart disease. Combined with moderate exercise and lower stress levels, a heart-friendly diet will go a long way in keeping you at your best. And, with most of these delicious foods, your taste buds will thank you, too!


*Our content is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis of individual problems or circumstances, nor should it be implied that we are a substitute for professional medical advice. Users / readers are always advised to consult their Healthcare Professional prior to starting any new remedy, therapy or treatment. Your Wellness Group accepts no liability in the event you, a user of n-gage and a reader of this article, suffers a loss as a result of reliance upon or inappropriate application of the information.

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