6 Recommended Foods for a Heart Healthy Diet
Eating whole grains helps lower your heart disease risk and those who eat more of this food are usually leaner. It may be due to the phytosterols, phytoestrogens, and antioxidants that protect against coronary disease. The fiber found in whole grains has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Opt for soluble fiber in particular as it can lower your LDL cholesterol by binding to an important component of it and being flushed from your system. Opt for citrus fruits, eggplant, okra, beans, barley, and oatmeal.
Consuming around a cup of berries daily over eight weeks can reduce blood pressure and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. The study with these results included bilberries, red raspberries, and strawberries plus chokeberries, lingonberries, and black currants. Experts believe the positive heart effects were due to the high quantity of polyphenols which can lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats, with macadamia nuts and almonds also containing the unsaturated fats. Nuts will also improve your fiber consumption and provide healthy fat, making them a key part of your heart healthy diet.
Tofu contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, folate, and niacin, all of which help heart health. Try to swap out chicken for tofu; you can even slice it into thin pieces and marinate it, then grill the tofu to maximize its flavor.
Soy milk is the perfect addition to cereal and coffee. It provides niacin, magnesium, potassium, calcium, folate, B-complex vitamins, and flavonoids, giving your entire body benefits.
Carrots are high in fiber as well as alpha-carotene. The fiber assists with heart health while the alpha-carotene is a carotenoid which improves your immune system, boosting your overall health.