8 UNEXPECTED FOODS THAT HELP YOUR HEART & APPEAL TO YOUR TASTE BUDS
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries-whatever berry you like best-are full of anti-inflammatory agents, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Berries may also help to prevent diabetes and age-related cognitive decline. Their low fat and high dietary fiber content makes them ideal for weight loss they are satisfying without adding on the pounds.
Love berries? Try this recipe!
Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber. Upping your servings of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost.
The Physicians’ Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn’t eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.
Looking for ways to eat more spinach? Try this recipe!
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties-which contain more fiber-and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.
Add a little color to your oatmeal with this recipe.
Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon has been found to keep blood flowing through the body and reduce the risk of heart attack. These essential fats, meaning you need to eat them because your body cannot make them itself, not only prevent cholesterol from becoming embedded in artery walls, but reduce blood clots from forming, a major cause of heart attack. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.
Here’s a great salmon recipe to try
Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body.
The fat in avocado is mostly the good fats -essential, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These good fats have been found to lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol, which is important for everyone, especially those with diabetes or are overweight and at risk for heart disease
One avocado should be divided into 5 – 1 oz servings- providing 50 calories, 3.5 grams unsaturated fat, total fat of 4.5 grams. With one avocado totaling 250 calories, you can see a bowl of guacamole (and the fried chips) can provide 500-1000 calories and 50-75 grams of fat pretty quickly.
There are lots of ways to add avocado into your diet. Here’s one suggestion. http://www.avocado.org/recipes/view/16772/avocado-cilantro-bagel-spread
Dark chocolate and cocoa are super foods that contain a very high amount of antioxidants and flavanols – meaning they have been proven to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol , therefore lowering your risk of heart disease! The darker the chocolate the more super the food! Try dark chocolate with the highest percent of cocoa, preferably 60-70% cocoa solids (it’s written on the package). It is the “perfect combination between health and taste.”
If you love cocoa, you’re sure to love this recipe .
Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fiber in the diet, and they are a great source of healthy fat.
Try new ways to incorporate nuts into your recipes. Here’s an example.