Feed your body with heart healthy foods to start 2016 off right. Here are 10 Heart Healthy Foods you need to be eating today for a healthier, happier you.
- Chia Seeds have one of the highest plant sources of essential fatty acids. They contain calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. They also help to reduce blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar, and boost metabolism.
- Broccoli – Something known as sulforaphane is naturally found in all brassicas, but it is especially concentrated in broccoli. A study performed by researchers with Imperial College London a few years ago found that sulforaphane may be able to actually prevent inflammation in certain “high risk” arterial areas. Broccoli has detoxifying and anti-inflammatory effects, and is an excellent source of Vitamin C.
- Oatmeal is full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich food can lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and help keep your arteries clear. This easy Baked Oatmeal is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings. Bake it in advance and reheat portions as needed.
- Apples – An apple a day will keep the doctor away! Consumption of apples can slash your heart disease risk nearly in half. Researchers at Ohio State University found that eating one apple every day for just four weeks can lower blood levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein.
- Sweet Potatoes are high in Vitamins A, B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin. And as evidenced by their natural orange color, they are high in carotenoids. Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.
- Avocados are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid. Studies have shown that eating avocados can reduce heart disease risk factors.
- Olive Oil is one of the healthiest types of fat around. The monounsaturated fat in olive oil has been shown to control LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. This can potentially lower your risk of heart disease.
- Whole Grains are a good source of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. Choose 100% whole wheat or grain. Skip the unrefined flours.
- Tomatoes are rich in anti-oxidants, Vitamins A and C, folic acid, and beta-carotene. They are also rich in lycopene which has been shown in studies to lower your risk of a stroke.
- Oranges – You may only think of oranges as high in Vitamin C, but they also reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of heart failure. Since they are high in pectin, they help block the absorption of cholesterol.
We hope you found this list of 10 Heart Healthy Foods You Should be Eating in 2016 informative. For more informational posts like this, be sure to stop by our Food and Fitness section to help you out in your quest for a healthier, happier you!
Disclosure: The author of this article is not a trained medical professional, nor a dietician. All of the information in this post is based on research, doctor recommendations, and personal experience.