Healthy Heart

10 Foods for a Healthy Heart

 

Healthy HeartBelow you will find my choices of 10 of the foods that help provide you with a healthy ticker – or more commonly known as….our heart.

The heart is a massively important & amazing organ that is used in everything you do, so it’s in your best interests to keep it as healthy as you can. A lot of foods can dramatically damage this amazing organ, so knowing about which foods aid your heart is a priority.  Although a lot of you may know the basic’s – eat whole grain foods, fruits & vegetables & exercise regularly, most people are actually unsure when it comes to knowing what’s good for your heart. Take a look at only 10 of the foods I’ve chosen below – there are many more out there, but this will start you off on to your journey to a healthy heart. Some you may already be aware of,  like the super-food Salmon and some you may be less familiar with, like the fact one of the best food’s is actually a drink.

I.            Beans – Beans you say – great! Well sadly I’m not talking about the most popular type found in cans coated in sauce which we all love on toast for breakfast. Research has shown that eating just ½ a cup of cooked pinto beans daily might lower cholesterol. Eating beans regularly is good for your heart, and as you can see you don’t need to eat loads to reap the benefits. Like all foods that contain a high amount fiber, eating beans help bind cholesterol and keep it from being absorbed into the gut. Many more of the components in beans may also be responsible for the lowering-cholesterol effect. Beans contain a collection of heart protective chemicals one of these being flavanoids, also some of the compounds found in wine, chocolates and berries inhibit the adhesion of platelets in the blood, which can help dramatically lower the risks of strokes and heart attacks.

II.             Salmon/Fish – Salmon doesn’t just taste amazing it helps increase your body’s levels of good cholesterol which then it turn can help lower your risk for heart disease.  Eating two or more servings of fish per week has been associated with a massive 30% lower risk of developing heart disease over the long term. Fish especially oily kinds such as salmon and fresh tuna are packed with omega 3 fatty acids and plenty of proteins. Omega 3’s also lower blood pressure ever so slightly and can help prevent irregular heart rhythms. Make your heart smile & aim to consume or add fish to your diet at least once a week.

III.            Green Tea – So guys, it turns out that one of the best ‘foods’ for your heart is actually a drink! Puzzled, so was I. This information came from a study of heart disease, they found that someone who drinks 12 ounces or more of tea a day, are a  staggering 50% less likely to have a heart attack as non-tea drinkers. They believe that the antioxidant catechin found in green tea is the key, as they hamper the body’s inflammatory response to the bacteria that cause gum disease. People who have gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from heart problems. So next time your craving a cuppa swap your normal tea bag for a steaming cup of green tea.

IV.            Soy – Soy packs an extraordinary nutritional punch. Soy is high in fiber and low in saturated fats – perfect! Soy has been proven to lower bad cholesterol which then prevents heart disease. If you’re not sure how to enforce soy in your daily diet don’t worry, you don’t have to swap your favorite chunk of chicken for a block of tofu. Just try pouring a little soy milk over your cereal in the mornings or add some to your favorite stir fry – It is a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet.

V.            Oatmeal –  It’s only when you grow up you’ll realise your mum wasn’t being unfair when she was presenting you with oatmeal and not your favorite bowl of coco pops – She was actually looking out for your heart. Oatmeal is a powerful source of food, its high in fiber, foliate and omega 3 fatty acids. Oats can help keep your arteries clear and levels of bad cholesterol down.  Try to start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, they fill you up for hours, fight those dreaded snack attacks and help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Try to opt for coarse or steel cut oats over instant varieties, as these contain bundles more fiber.

VI.            Spinach – Most of you will know spinach from a childhood TV cartoon – It was Popeye’s favorite, and if it’s good enough for him; then it’s more than good enough for you. Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape, this is thanks to this super-food being packed with potassium, calcium, fiber & B-complex vitamins – This combo not only defends and protects your heart, but also helps fight disease and protect your eyesight.

VII.            Nuts – Who doesn’t love to snack on a few nuts now and then? Nuts include plenty of heart-healthy mono-saturated fats & low levels of saturated fats. They are also packed full of vitamins and minerals. Nuts come in many different varieties all with a different taste so if you’re not keen on one type – don’t dismiss them all. Research has shown that people who eat nuts whether it be peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, or pine nuts 2 to 4 days per week have a lower incidence of heart disease then people who eat them less often. Like olive oil, they are a superb source of healthy fat.

VIII.            Dark Chocolate – Chocolate, good for your heart? You’re lying? – Nope I’m not, If you need an excuse to break off a piece of the temptation that is chocolate, researchers have found that eating moderate amounts of DARK chocolate has a blood-thinning effect, which has been found to help heart health and reduce inflammation. However, this doesn’t mean indulge and give in to every chocolate urge however!

IX.            Berries/Blueberries – Whatever berry you like best be it blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries they are all full of anti-inflammatories – which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. All berries are fantastic for your vascular health. Blueberries are best known as disease fighting food, they contain anthocyanins the antioxidant which gives this fruit its dark blue colour. Blueberries contain plenty of fibre, vitamin C, lutein, folate, magnesium, potassium and other nutrients, so this tiny berry has plenty to offer. There are many ways to enjoy berries – if you’re not a fan of eating them plain, try adding them to your breakfasts, in a smoothie or even add them to your pancakes. These pancakes are great.

X.            Olive Oil – Olive oil, made from the first press of olives, is extremely rich in heart-healthy properties and antioxidants called polyphenols as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Instead of using butter, look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties – These are the least processed.

 

As previously mentioned, these are just some of the foods you can introduce to your diet to ensure you give your heart the best possible chance to beat for as long as it can.

Again, like with similar posts to this one, just because I have listed 10 foods here, doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy every single one on your next shopping trip. Pick one, and slot it in to your diet. Once you start eating it on a regular basis, pick another one.

Small baby steps are bigger than no steps at all. Slow progress is better than no progress. Setting and achieving small goals is better than setting big goals, going hung-ho then giving up and not actually achieving anything.

Until next time,

 

Take Care, Keep Focused & Make Progress,

 

Chris Sherlock

FatLossClassroom.com

 

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field