Continuing the education of heart health, your cardiovascular health starts in the kitchen. If you've been working on monitoring your heart health or just want to see more improvements with your body then be ready to whip up some amazing recipes with the ingredients listed below. As always, you're strongly advised to speak with your doctor before adding or changing anything in your diet! Without further ado, here are some foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet to keep your heart healthy:
Leafy greens are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens, Swiss chard and mustard greens are all high in fiber and low in calories. They can be eaten raw or cooked as part of a healthy diet that includes other fruits and vegetables.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, potassium and vitamin E. They're also high in fiber and folate--a nutrient that helps reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure. Avocados are also a good source of vitamins B6 and K, which can help fight heart disease by reducing inflammation. If the flavor isn't doing it for you, try adding it to toast or in a fruit smoothie to blend with the rest of your food!
Green beans, fresh or frozen (preferably fresh if you can)
Zucchini and yellow summer squash are also good choices, but they tend to be higher in carbs than other vegetables. If you eat them often, try substituting lower-carbohydrate options such as cucumbers or celery sticks with hummus for dipping.
Spinach and kale are good sources of iron and calcium--which help build strong bones--but can sometimes cause digestive issues if you're not used to eating lots of greens regularly. If this happens to you, try steaming them instead of sautéing them in oil; that way they'll still retain their vitamins without getting soggy from excess moisture content!
Grains are a great source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol. Whole grains include brown rice, quinoa and farro. Oats are also considered whole grains because they're made from whole oats rather than being refined into flour or meal.
Millet is another option for those looking for an alternative to wheat products in their diet. It's easy to prepare and tastes great when cooked with other ingredients like vegetables or beans for added flavor! You can even try making your own millet bread at home by following this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/millet-bread-recipe2/?oc=linkback
Nuts, fish and other seafoods
Nuts are a great source of protein, fiber and healthy fats. They're also high in monounsaturated fats (the kind that can lower LDL cholesterol).
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health because they help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel as well as other nutrients that support cardiovascular health.
Peanut butter is another good source of nutrients that can help with heart health: it contains monounsaturated fats that are known to decrease bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol levels; the fat found in peanut butter may also help prevent blood clots from forming inside your arteries, which could lead to heart attack or stroke if one breaks loose during exercise or other physical activity.*
Berries are a great choice for heart health. They're high in antioxidants, which can help prevent heart disease and stroke by fighting off free radicals and reducing inflammation. Blueberries are especially powerful because they're loaded with anthocyanins--a type of flavonoid that's been shown to improve blood flow, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Berries also have no cholesterol (which is good news if you've been told that high cholesterol runs in your family), plus they're rich in vitamin C-- so find your favorite berry and snack on!
There you have it, the best foods to eat for a healthy heart. Remember, these are just a few of many options available to you and your family. There are plenty of other tasty foods that can help keep your ticker ticking strong! Don't forget to speak to your doctor about changing your diet and play around with a few different recipes using the foods mentioned above!