When it comes to good heart health, the saying “You are what you eat” could not be more accurate. Eating a healthy diet is key to keeping your heart in check. But with so many different (and sometimes conflicting) recommendations out there, it’s hard to know where to start. To make it easy for you, we spoke to a registered dietitian and nutritionist to find out the top seven foods that you can eat to benefit your heart health. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Nourishing Your Heart: Dietary Strategies for Optimal Cardiovascular Health
Taking care of your heart – and the cardiovascular system as a whole – is essential if you want to stay healthy. Eating whole foods that are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals is the best way to nourish your heart. Here are some nutritional strategies that can help you maintain optimal cardiovascular health:
- Fill half your plate with fresh fruit and vegetables. Variety is key – incorporate different fruits, veggies, and colors into your diet to ensure you’re getting a full range of nutrients and phytochemicals.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and unsweetened beverages daily to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation.
- Include healthy fats. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Choose whole grains. Whole grains such as quinoa, oats, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice contain fiber and other essential nutrients that benefit the heart.
- Limit processed and fried foods. These typically contain trans fats, chemical additives, and other unhealthy ingredients that can be detrimental to your heart health.
Your diet is an important tool for keeping your heart healthy. Reducing your intake of sodium and eating a diet rich in fresh and whole foods can help maintain optimal cardiovascular health. Eating right is a great first step to keep your heart in tip-top shape.
2. An RD Shares Her Top 7 Foods for a Healthy Heart
Healthy Eating Promotes Heart Health
Eating healthy can help diminish the chances of developing heart diseases. Registered Dietitians are a certified food and nutrition expert knowledgeable in evaluating which foods promote the health of your heart. Here’s a compilation of RD’s top 7 heart-healthy foods to eat:
- Greens (e.g. Kale and Spinach)
- Dark Chocolate
These nutrient-rich foods are packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for your overall health, but are particularly beneficial for improving heart health. Eating eggs, for instance, can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve the amount of “good” HDL cholesterol. Almonds are rich source of Vitamin E, which helps to lower cholesterol levels and in turn helps to reduce bad cholesterol build up in our arteries. Oats can decrease the risk of heart diseases by lowering cholesterol levels and providing us with dietary fibers.
Regularly consuming these seven nutrient-dense foods can not only improve your overall health, but also protect you from various heart diseases and their related consequences. Start your journey to a healthier and happier heart by incorporating these foods into your diet!
3. Superfoods to Help Support Heart Health and Circulation
If you’re looking to keep your heart and cardiovascular system in tip-top shape, start by looking to these supercharged superfoods! They offer powerful nutrients and minerals that help aid cardiovascular health and can help support a healthy circulatory system.
Beans & Lentils: Adding a healthy serving of beans or lentils to your meals can do your heart a world of good! Packed with dietary fiber, plant-based proteins, and complex nutrients such as folate and mineral magnesium, they help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.
Berries: Berries are undeniably one of the supreme superheroes of the superfood world! Whether it’s delicious blueberries or succulent strawberries, these sweet morsels boast a powerful mix of antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients that help keep your heart healthy. Their powerful nutrients help support a healthy cardiovascular system, maintaining healthy arteries and preventing the development of atherosclerosis.
Fatty Fish: Make sure to get your weekly dose of omega-3 fatty acids by adding fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel to your regular meal plan. These yummy fish provide your body with essential fatty acids such as EPA and DHA which help maintain good cholesterol balance and maintain overall heart health.
Eating a healthier, heart-friendly diet doesn’t have to be boring or complicated – it can actually be delicious. Use these seven simple dietary swaps to get on the road to an improved cardiovascular system and better overall health. Your heart (and future self) will thank you!