When managing your heart health, eating right is an essential part of that plan.
Following a heart-healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to give up all your favorite foods; it does mean dialing back on fatty and sugary things.
There is also some debate about cleansing and heart health. What we do know is that a healthy heart is dependent on good nutrition.
To learn more about the best heart healthy diet foods to eat and which ones to avoid, keep on reading.
Superfoods for a Healthy Heart
Superfoods are the healthiest heart friendly foods we can eat to ensure a strong and healthy heart. Eating a variety of superfoods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals is essential for any balanced diet. Some of the best heart-healthy diet superfoods include:
- oily fish
- olive oil
- whole grains
- dark chocolate
Oily fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Eating nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, can reduce bad cholesterol levels and improve artery function.
Avocados contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which help boost heart health. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E. These can help reduce high blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and even possibly reduce the risk of stroke.
Eating various fruits and vegetables, most notably citrus, can also help improve heart health due to their high vitamin C content and antioxidant levels. Additionally, whole grains are full of fiber, which may help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Finally, dark chocolate can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease when consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidant properties and is rich in minerals such as copper, manganese, and magnesium.
Beverages for the Cardiovascular System
The best heart healthy diet beverages for the cardiovascular system are those that are low in sugar and sodium and high in:
Water is the most obvious choice, as it has no calories and is essential for heart health. Unsweetened tea and coffee are also great alternatives, helping reduce blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk. Also, educate yourself about AFib and caffeine.
Some fruits, such as cranberries and blueberries, are also great sources of antioxidants, helping to protect the cardiovascular system. Non-fat and plant-based milk are also excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, providing essential nutrients to the cardiovascular system.
Avoid These Foods to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Maintaining a healthy heart is essential to living a long and healthy life. The best way to protect your heart is by following a heart-healthy diet, including avoiding unhealthy foods.
Specifically, fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake should be monitored and reduced as much as possible. Items to avoid include:
- fast food
- fried foods
- processed meats
- full-fat dairy products
- sugary items
Additionally, trans-fats, such as those found in margarine and store-bought baked goods, should be avoided. Too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which increases your risk of stroke and heart attack.
Learn to Prepare the Best Heart Healthy Diet Meals
A heart-healthy diet is key to maintaining overall good health. Healthy meals, such as plant-based proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, are essential for a long and healthy life.
Learn how to prepare the best heart healthy diet for yourself and your family and enjoy delicious, nutritious food daily!
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