Heart Healthy Food: 10 Delicious Choices
08 Feb 2017

Heart Healthy Food: 10 Delicious Choices

 

In recent years cardiovascular disease accounted to 1 in 4 deaths in the US. In Canada alone every 7 minutes a life is taken by heart disease. February is heart awareness month and here are my ten heart healthy food choices:

1. Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel, and Tuna are the best fish choices for cardiovascular health. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to decrease triglycerides, reduce plaque build up in the arteries and can prevent irregular heartbeat. If eating fish seems too fishy for you try using flax seeds, chia seeds, canola oil, nuts or avocados. People who eat fish two or more times per week get the most benefits

 

2. Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Peanuts, Pecans or Hazel nuts are full of powerhouse nutrients to fight against heart disease. They contain fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids, which together can lower the risk for heart disease. As little as a ¼ cup of nuts four times a week can get you the results you want

 

3. Legumes, Lentils, Kidney Beans, and Pinto Beans are high in fiber and protein. Studies show that people who consumed legumes and beans four or more times per week significantly lowered their risk of heart disease. Adding a ½ cup of beans to any meal or snack can help control blood sugars levels and will satisfy your hunger at the same time

 

4. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, polyphenols, and anthocyanin will improve blood flow to the heart and reduce blood pressure. You can get the benefits of this fruit by either eating it whole or by drinking pomegranate juice

 

5. Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries or Raspberries are low in calories and high in flavonoids. In a recent, study participants who ate one serving (¾ cup) per day increased their HDL (good cholesterol), and reduced their blood pressure

 

 

6. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and Lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can decrease LDL (bad cholesterol), blood pressure and also will help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating them raw or cooked in sauces are all good ways to get those nutrients

 

7. Grapefruits, Oranges, Clementines, and Pomelos are high in flavonoids and vitamin C. In a recent study women who consumed these types of fruit reduced their risk of a stroke. Take note that grapefruits have been known to interfere with some cholesterol lowering medications

 

8. Broccoli, Spinach, and Kale are all considered “super foods”. They are loaded with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants to prevent plaque from building up in the arteries

 

9. Oatmeal, Barley, Bran and other whole grains are high in fiber, which can lower cholesterol levels. Studies show that people who eat a high fiber diet reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity

 

10. Dark Chocolate and Red Wine both contain polyphenols that can reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate must contain at least 60-70% of cocoa will have the highest amounts nutrients. One glass of red wine per day is sufficient to get the health benefits

 

 

Remember that February is heart awareness month and has Valentine’s Day, so the best gift for your loved ones is to include these foods in their meals all year around! 

Let me know your questions below! Here’s to eating well.

Tracy Satov

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Photo Credit: slaskietrendy.pl

 





Tracy Satov

Registered Dietitian

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