When it comes to diets, everyone has an opinion. Whether it’s an exercise routine or a diet pill they swear by, there is no shortage of opinions surrounding the word diet. But when you’re looking to improve heart health as opposed to lose inches; the rules of dieting become less of a debate. For the sake of simplicity, let’s break it down into the good and the bad. Here is a look at the best foods to eat when looking to improve heart health.
A couple of handfuls of blueberries or strawberries are one of the best snacks for a healthy heart. Berries are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanin. Berries have been found to help reduce blood pressure and can even dilate blood vessels.
While we are on the topic of fruit, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are loaded with vitamin C. Studies indicate that Vitamin C could help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Salmon is power house of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish like salmon and sardines are loaded with the good fat you need for a healthy heart. Omega-3 fatty acids have actually been shown to reduce the risk for atherosclerosis and can decrease triglycerides.
Tomatoes and red bell peppers are some of the best foods available for your heart. They contain lycopene, an antioxidant, which has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attack. Tomatoes are also full of potassium and low in sugar.
Soy milk, soy beans and tofu are all examples of soy products that provide your body with protein. Unlike many traditional proteins, soy products come without the extra fat and cholesterol. Soy is thought to reduce blood pressure and is loaded with fiber and vitamins.
Avocados are full of the heart healthy fats that have been found to reduce the risk for heart disease. Avocados are also packed with antioxidants and potassium. Avocados can have a lot of calories, however, so be sure to mix them in with other healthy options.
7. Cruciferous Vegetables
Kale, broccoli and other leafy greens do wonders for you heart. They are packed with carotenoids, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
8. Red Wine
Red wine contains resveratrol, which can lower the risk for heart disease. As with any alcoholic beverage, the benefits depend on moderation. Drinking too much red wine can actually increase your risk, so drink responsibly.
Lentils and peas are packed with protein. Much like soy products, legumes provide your body with protein without the unhealthy fat and cholesterol. It is believed that legumes may even help to lower blood sugar levels.
Pomegranates contain antioxidants like polyphenols that help prevent hardening of the arteries.