Heart health is such an important issue that an entire month every year is devoted to raising our awareness. One of the best ways to improve your heart health is to pay attention to what you eat. The food you eat can be one of the most important medicines for heart health.
I have created a list of my favorite heart-heathy foods.
Eat plant-based foods
When you think about foods for heart health, plant-based foods are always on the top of the list. Whether we are talking about fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans or legumes, plant-based foods contain fiber to help reduce cholesterol and clean out toxins from the body.
Foods high in omega-3 essential fatty acids
For people who like fish, eating it twice a week can be a good way to get in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are not produced in our bodies so the only way we can get them is through the foods we eat.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats. They are important for controlling blood clotting and protecting against heart attack and stroke. Examples of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, tuna, ground flax seed oil, almonds, oatmeal and walnuts.
Whole grains are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, phytosterols and B vitamins, all of which are protective against heart disease. People who eat whole grains tend to be leaner, which puts them at lower risk for heart disease.
Whole grains products can be an easy substitute for processed grains. Examples are brown rice, steel cut oats, quinoa, high fiber cereal or barley.
Beans, beans are good for your heart
Beans have soluble fiber which helps to bind to cholesterol and pull in to the intestines so the cholesterol can be escorted out of the body. The colors of the beans give us a hint to the types of flavonoids they contain.
Flavonoids are compounds that inhibit platelet adhesion in the blood, lowering the risk of heart disease or stroke. There are so many types of beans to choose from, such as black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans and chickpeas.