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Heart Healthy Foods

In honor of American Heart Month, let’s look at some heart-healthy foods. 

  • Berries are superfoods; they deliver the phytonutrients you need to fight heart disease.  So load up on blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and cranberries.  They contain high quantities of soluble fiber and powerful antioxidants. 

  • Leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and collard greens, contain high amounts of vitamin K, which acts as a clotting agent.  Leafy greens have been linked to a 16% lower risk of developing heart disease.

  • Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, and/or whole wheat, can benefit your heat because of the high fiber content they contain.  High fiber helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduces your risk of heart disease.

  • Nuts & Seeds - although high in calories, nuts should be consumed in moderation.  They have high levels of monosaturated fats and fiber, so they help reduce bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Seeds, such as sesame seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fiber.  They control overeating and excess calorie consumption, so they help you to feel fuller longer.  They are also anti-inflammatory; and systemic inflammation is the cause of most diseases.

  • Green tea is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so it protects your heart and reduces systemic inflammation.

  • Garlic contains a compound called “allicin”, which as been lined to lower blood pressure and reduced plaque build-up in the arteries. 

  • Tomatoes are rich in “lycopene”, which is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and reduces systemic inflammation.

  • Legumes help heart health and gut health.  They help proliferate good bacteria in the gut, due to “resistant starch”, which has been linked to decreased triglycerides and total cholesterol, so improving heart health.

  • Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat.  They have high levels of potassium, which supports heart health.  Consuming 5 grams of potassium a day may reduce your risk of a stroke by up to 15%. 

  • Olive Oil is a great source of monounsaturated fat and has been associated with heart health according to research.  It’s full of antioxidants that fight free radical damage and reduce inflammation. 

  • Brightly colored vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, and squash, contain carotenoids that act as antioxidants to protect cells and fight free radicals.  Bright vegetables also contain high quantities of fiber and vitamins A and C.   Eat the “rainbow” of vegetables. 

  • Edamame is rich in isoflavones and can help lower cholesterol.  It can also improve the overall health of your heart. In one study, eating 50 grams of soy protein every day decreased LDL levels by 3%.  Edamame is also high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. 

Love your heart by including any of these 12 heart-healthy foods to your daily diet.


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