12 superfoods that can save your heart
You can protect your cardiovascular health not only by getting rid of bad habits such as smoking and alcohol, or by exercising regularly, but also by consuming some healthy foods.
12 superfoods to help protect your cardiovascular health;
When you add these to foods instead of salt and fat, you're making a heart-healthy choice. They add flavor without the bad stuff. Spices and other foods are delicious ways to eat heart-smart.
Mild, tender black beans are packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Folate, antioxidants, and magnesium can help lower blood pressure. Their fiber helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add beans to boost soups and salads.
A top food for heart health, it’s rich in omega-3s. Omega-3s are healthy fats that may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They may also lower triglycerides and curb inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week.
This oil is a healthy fat made from smashed olives. It's rich in heart-healthy antioxidants. They may protect your blood vessels. When olive oil replaces saturated fat (like butter), it can help lower cholesterol levels. Try it on salads and cooked veggies, or with bread.
A small handful of walnuts a day may lower your cholesterol. It may also protect against inflammation in your heart’s arteries. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, plant sterols, and fiber. The benefits come when walnuts replace bad fats, like those in chips and cookies.
Slivered almonds go well with vegetables, fish, chicken, and desserts. They have plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds may help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol. Grab a small handful a day.
Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes. With a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, these spuds won't cause a quick spike in blood sugar. They also have fiber, vitamin A, and lycopene.
Sweet and juicy, oranges have the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin. They also have potassium, which helps control blood pressure. In one study, 2 cups of OJ a day boosted blood vessel health. It also lowered blood pressure in men.
A warm bowl of oatmeal fills you up for hours, fights snack attacks, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time -- making it useful for people with diabetes, too. Oats’ fiber can help your heart by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). Best results come from using steel cut or slow cooked oats.
This shiny, honey-colored seed has three things that are good for your heart: fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Blueberries are simply brilliant when it comes to nutrition. They’ve got anthocyanins, those blood vessel-helping antioxidants. Those antioxidants give the berries their dark blue color. Blueberries also have fiber and more than a handful of other great nutrients. Add fresh or dried blueberries to cereal, pancakes, or yogurt.
Dark Leafy Greens
Your parents were onto something when they told you to eat your greens. They’re full of vitamins and minerals. They’re also high in nitrates, a substance that helps to open blood vessels so oxygen-rich blood can reach your heart.
You’ll find them in veggies like: Lettuce, Spinach, Bok Choy, Mustard greens and Arugula.