Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Healthiest Foods for Your Heart

10 Best Foods for Your Heart
From breakfast to dinner (and snacks in between) you're entire day can be heart-healthy! A healthy diet doesn't have to be bland or boring with these heart healthy foods that will leave you satisfied.

Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties - which contain more fiber and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.

Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.

"Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant.  But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Not a fan of salmon? Other oily fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give your heart the same boost.

Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. 

Avocados allow for the absorption of other carotenoids, especially beta-carotene and lycopene, which are essential for heart health.

Olive oil
Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease. 

Look for organic extra-virgin or virgin varieties and use them instead of butter when cooking.

Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono - and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fiber in the diet and like olive oil, they are a great source of healthy fat.

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Blackberries, cranberries and blueberries are especially great, but all berries are important for your vascular health.

Goji berries are a nutritionally dense fruit which contains all essential amino acids and is filled with powerful antioxidants that combat heart disease, boost the immune system and lower cholesterol.

Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They're packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.

Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.

Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast.

Soy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it's still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet.

Look for organic sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. But watch the amount of salt in your soy: some processed varieties like soy dogs can contain added sodium, which boosts blood pressure.

Laurel ♥

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