Heart Healthy foods also contain lots of nutrients and antioxidants which are beneficial for your overall health. Here is a list of 10 of the best heart-healthy foods you should include in your diet:
Top 10 Heart Healthy Foods
1. Salmon – salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, known to be good for your heart. Omega-3s can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels, both risk factors for developing heart disease and stroke. Including this fish in your diet at least twice a week will help protect you against these diseases. You can cook salmon in many different ways, such as baking, grilling, or poaching.
2. Avocados – avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health. They are also a good source of fibre and potassium, two nutrients that are important for maintaining healthy blood pressure. You can add avocado slices to salads or use them as a healthy spread on sandwiches and wraps.
3. Whole Grains – whole grains contain more fibre than refined grains and have been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Fibre helps reduce cholesterol levels and keep the arteries clear, both of which reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Try to include at least three servings of whole grains in your diet each day. Some examples of whole-grain foods include oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread.
4. Nuts – nuts are another good source of healthy fats, as well as fibre and vitamins. All of these nutrients are important for maintaining a healthy heart. Eating a handful of nuts each day has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. You can add them to your breakfast cereal or eat them as a snack.
5. Olive Oil – olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health. It is also a good source of antioxidants, which protect the arteries from damage. Use olive oil in place of other oils when cooking or in salad dressings.
6. Tomatoes – tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Lycopene helps protect the arteries from damage and also reduces cholesterol levels. Eat tomatoes fresh, in salads, or cooked in sauces or soups.
7. Dark Chocolate – dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce cholesterol levels. Choose chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa for the most benefit. eat dark chocolate in moderation as it is high in calories.
8. Green Tea – green tea is rich in antioxidants and has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. The catechins in green tea help to keep the arteries clear and reduce cholesterol levels. Drink green tea instead of coffee or sugary drinks.
9. Berries – berries are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. They are also a good source of fibre, which is important for maintaining a healthy heart. Eat a handful of berries each day or add them to your breakfast cereal or yoghurt.
10. Beans – beans are a good source of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. All of these nutrients are important for maintaining a healthy heart. Beans can be added to soups, stews, or salads, or eaten as a side dish. Try to include beans in your diet at least once a week.
These are just some of the best heart healthy foods you should include in your diet. Eating a variety of these foods will help reduce your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Remember to also exercise regularly and avoid smoking to further reduce your risk.
Heart Healthy Foods Recipes
1. Avocado salad: Combine two diced avocados, one diced tomato and one diced red onion in a bowl. Mix in half a cup of water, juice from half a lemon and salt to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy alone or on top of slices of dark bread.
2. Oatmeal with fruit: Start your day off right by cooking up a big pot of oats and mixing in chopped apples and cinnamon for sweetness. Top it off with non-fat milk for added protein, vitamins and minerals to keep you going all day long!
3. Egg scramble: Beat three eggs together with some fresh herbs like basil or thyme, add chopped peppers and onions, and pour the mix into an oiled and heated skillet. Cook until the eggs are firm, then serve on whole-grain toast or by itself.
4. Quinoa with vegetables: This delicious and healthy grain can be cooked in just minutes and is a great way to get in your veggies. Just simmer quinoa in water or broth, then stir in some sautéed greens, roasted red peppers and shredded chicken for a complete meal.
5. Sautéed salmon: Season fresh salmon fillets with salt, pepper and lemon juice, then cook them in a hot skillet with olive oil for three to four minutes per side. Serve over a bed of wilted spinach and steamed brown rice for a well-rounded dish.