6 of the Best Foods for Your Heart

If you’re trying to be healthy, you’re striving daily to eat the best foods for your heart. There are many options out there–too many to count!

With all the choices available, we’ve chosen our top favorites to share with you!

best foods for your heart

6 of the Best Foods for Your Heart

Chia Seeds

Though tiny, these seeds have come to the forefront of best foods for your heart for a good reason. Chia seeds are packed with omega 3 and are totally plant based.

They are also relatively low in calories compared to granola when mixed in yogurt. A spoonful contains about 60 calories.

Oatmeal

best foods for your heart

Steel cut and rolled oats are the best go-to oats when looking for a heart healthy oatmeal choice. Instant oatmeal often has added sugar and flavors.

Oatmeal gets its reputation as one of the best foods for your heart by reducing blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol buildup is extremely dangerous for your heart and can lead to heart disease or stroke.

Oatmeal can be mixed with berries, which are another heart healthy choice filled with antioxidants to combat free radicals and keep your blood pressure down.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a naturally low calorie food with a low sugar content to boot. Flavorful cherry or roma tomatoes go great in salads to add that kick of flavor you need to keep lunch interesting.

These small fruits are high in potassium and help lower blood pressure by reversing negative effects that sodium causes to your blood vessels.

One of the lesser known facts about tomatoes is that they are abundant in lycopene–an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks. Lycopene helps reduce “bad cholesterol” as well.

Dark Chocolate

best foods for your heart

Who said chocolate was all bad? Various studies have found that dark chocolate that contains at least 60%-70% cocoa can lower blood pressure and the risk of strokes for those that are prone to them.

Antioxidants found in dark chocolate also help prevent bad cholesterol (LDL), but increases good cholesterol (HDL) that helps your blood vessels stay healthy and clear.

Nonetheless, dark chocolate is still chocolate and is high in sugar and calories. Eating it in moderation to satisfy that sweet tooth is the key to making this a heart healthy treat. Too much of it leads to adverse effects on your heart and weight.

Broccoli

Your mom always told you to eat your broccoli–and for good reason. Broccoli is extremely healthy for your heart and for your gut.

Broccoli is high in fiber, which helps your digestive system stay on track and break down food efficiently.

Like some of the other foods on this list, broccoli has plenty of antioxidants that help you fight off free radicals. They also open up blood vessels and promote healthy blood flow.

Salmon

best foods for your heart

Salmon is a delicious heart healthy food that can be baked, broiled, barbecued, or seared. Fish are rich with omega 3 fatty acids, or “good” fat. Omega 3’s are so great because they decrease the risk of plaque buildup and lower LDL levels.

Omega 3 fatty acid reduces inflammation in the body as well. This includes arteries and blood vessels, meaning blood pressure and risk of heart disease may be lessened.

Salmon also contains the important amino acid l-arginine. L-arginine produces nitric oxide in the body and dilates blood vessels, allowing better blood flow.

Resources

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/best-foods-for-heart-health/yams

http://www.prevention.com/content/which-healthier-chia-seeds-or-flax-seeds

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614

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