10 Foods that Protect Your Heart
February is Heart Health Month here in the United States, and we are celebrating at Synergy by sharing our heart health knowledge with you. We encourage you to pay special attention to your heart this month. After all, it is a hard working muscle in your body. At times, we get caught up in daily routines and neglect the heart’s needs. However, by making heart healthy choices every day, you have the power to strengthen not only your heart, but your overall wellness.
A healthy diet is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart, but unless you know which foods to turn to, you may have a hard time getting the most out of your diet.
Here are 10 superfoods to help protect your heart:
This fish is a popular choice for heart health because it contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that aid in the prevention of blood clots, keep blood flowing throughout the body, and lower triglycerides that contribute to heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, aim for at least two servings of oily fish a week. The serving size is approximately 3.5 ounces, or about the size of a computer mouse.
Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios are another good source of omega-3. Nuts are a more economical option for getting omega-3 fats, and researchers say that snacking on about 5 ounces of nuts a week can help protect you from heart disease.
Fat-free/Low-fat Milk or Yogurt
Dairy products are known to be high in potassium, which helps in lowering blood pressure. When you choose fat–free or low–fat dairy, you get little to no saturated fat, a known factor in raising cholesterol levels.
Filled with antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C, raspberries and other berries are a healthy and tasty way to lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Hail to the hummus! The chickpea is a popular and versatile heart healthy food. These little wonders are a fantastic source of soluble fiber – the fiber known to lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL).
Oats contain fiber called beta-glucan that helps lower LDL. Having as little as one and a half cups of oatmeal is all it takes to help lower your LDL.
The reason these fruits have such a creamy texture is because of the “good” fats that are found in them. These fats help lower LDL and have anti-inflammatory function that protects arteries.
A common staple in Mediterranean diets, olive oil is said to be a healthy alternative to butter and other oils, and limits your intake of saturated fats, which raise your LDL and can cause fat build-up inside your arteries.
Yes … chocolate is on the list. Cacao, the plant that chocolate comes from, is rich in flavanols. These help lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and the antioxidants in chocolate help keep the “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your arterial walls.
The resveratrol found in grapes contributes to a healthy heart because it keeps blood platelets from sticking together, reducing the risk of blood clots and preventing damage to blood vessels in the heart.