These days, the typical ‘rat race’ of everyday life seems to frequently stand in the way of being able to cook a healthy meal at home. Simply put – not many of us have the time!
It’s sad but true – fast food and convenience options often win the day, with most of us struggling to find the time to fit in breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We all seem to forget that the food choices we make can drastically affect our heart health, energy and appetite control.
In this article we will be taking a look at a great selection of healthy foods for the heart (my top choices!)…
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Put Down The Haribo – Pick up The Watermelon
Put down that bag of chewy gelatin-filled disasters – if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth AND look after your heart why not try a couple of slices of fresh watermelon?
A top source of antioxidants and fiber, it also contains high levels of lycopene – which has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease and cancer.
Watermelon is also a top provider of vitamins C and A, along with potassium and magnesium.
Like watermelon, tomatoes are rich in lycopene as well as vitamin C, and are easy enough to throw into any old dish!
I often find that simple pasta is a good way to go – there are so many easy sauces that can be made with fresh tomatoes and oregano. Tinned tomatoes are always a quicker and cheaper option, but stick to fresh if you can!
Do You Like Avocados?
I only ask the question as I am not the biggest fan of this food…but it is a great choice for heart health at the end of the day!
Avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and are a good source of potassium. Now, potassium is a pretty awesome mineral when it comes to heart health because it is particularly good at controlling your blood pressure.
On top of this they contain high levels of carotenoids which are often linked with a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Eat up ALL of Your Greens Please!
You always used to hear your mum bang on about them often enough during dinners…and this was for a reason!
Collard greens are pretty awesome!
They have a tiny calorie count and are very high in vitamins K, A and C, as well as folate, manganese, calcium and fiber. These vitamins and nutrients allow your blood to clot normally therefore helping to prevent calcification of your arteries.
They taste pretty good too! 🙂
Such as simple little snack – I’m often amazed at the amount of people who choose to ignore the health benefits of this tasty little blighter!
Easy to munch on right out of the bag or simply sprinkle over any old salad – walnuts improve your heart functions through their high levels of healthy omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
Don’t worry about the calorie stigma attached to nuts – just two ounces of walnuts a day can improve blood vessel function among people with diabetes AND provide protection for the heart.
This Sounds a Little Fishy – Salmon!
Salmon is a great food option for those looking to keep their heart in ‘tip top’ condition. I recently read through a study that pointed to the fact that regular consumption of fish can lead to a 30 percent lower risk of developing coronary heart disease over the long term.
You see, cold water fish (salmon) contains really high levels of omega-3 fats which are known to lower blood pressure and can help prevent irregular heart rhythms.
My Favourite – Peas
Even as a kid, peas to me have always been the easiest vegetable to get through on a plate. They are simple enough to sneak into just about any groovy dish you can think of!
You don’t even have to go for the the more expensive organic options – the frozen versions are actually flash-frozen at the peak of ripeness!
High in fiber and good for the heart – try slipping them into one of your home cooked dishes this week.
Oats – Oatmeal
By now, most of us should be aware that obesity is not exactly great for the health of your heart…right?
Whole grains will help in your fight to keep your heart healthy AND help with the battle of your bulge!
Remember – overweight individuals are more likely to suffer from heart disease and heart-related complications. Oatmeal is the perfect way to start your day off in a heart-friendly manner.
Healthy Foods For Your Heart
So you’ve read my suggestions above – which of them is your favourite? Which of them has already been added to your diet? What heart healthy foods do you think I should add to this list?
Please leave your answers in the comment section below.