Food is one of the most important medicines for heart health. So I’m going to give you my top five food groups for heart health, and one of my favorite recipes for each group from my book "Eat More Plants" to get you started.
There are heart-healthy recipes for every meal and snack of the day. So you can always find ways to improve heart health.
1) Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids are found in chia seeds, ground flax seed, ground flax seed oil, almonds, oatmeal, walnuts, tuna and salmon. Essential fatty acids are called "essential" because they are not produced in our bodies, so we must get them through the foods we eat.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats. They are important for controlling blood clotting, and protection against heart attack and stroke. Here is one of my favorite breakfast treats.
2) Nuts and seeds
Nuts contain heart-healthy fat. They have monounsaturated fats as well as vitamins and minerals. According to research, people who eat nuts two to four days per week have lower incidences of heart disease.
So eat walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, Brazil nuts — whatever kind you like. One of my favorite ways to get more of them into my diet is to put nuts on top of a salad.
3) Whole grains
Whole grains are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, phytosterols and B vitamins which are protective against heart disease. People who tend to eat whole grains, and who are leaner, have lower risk for heart disease.
Whole grains products can be an easy substitute for processed grains like white flour. Some examples are brown rice, steel-cut oats, quinoa, high-fiber cereal and barley. This quick grain side dish can go with every meal.
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