Taking good care of your heart impacts your longevity and your quality of life. Heart-healthy foods, combined with aerobic exercise, avoiding tobacco and reducing stress all contribute toward the health of your heart. A diet that is generally low in fat and high in fiber contributes toward heart health. Eating whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, and low-fat protein is a sure set-up for keeping your heart healthy. Here are a few super foods that taste delicious and are essential to a diet that’s good for your heart.
Salmon is a flavorful fish that’s versatile and easily prepared on the grill, stove top or in the oven. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the American Heart Association suggests eating salmon and other fish with omega-3 fatty acids two times per week. Grilled, smoked or baked salmon can be eaten with fresh vegetables or tossed with a salad or pasta for a low-fat protein-rich meal that’s good for your heart.
A true super food, soy protein is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber while providing a high quality protein source that lowers cholesterol. One of the essential heart healthy foods, soy protein is available in many forms. Drink soy milk or use tofu to replace meat in a recipe. Edamame is a green, tasty vegetable that even children will enjoy eating. When in a pinch, stash a soy protein bar in your work bag, instead of the usual snack of chips or sweets.
This nutrient-rich, high fiber grain is another one of the foods that you should aim to incorporate in your diet. Its high fiber content helps lower cholesterol and one cup in the morning keeps you full for hours.
High in antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber, a half-cup of blueberries on your oatmeal or cereal in the morning adds color and a burst of flavor. At only 40 calories per half-cup, blueberries are a great addition to your heart-healthy diet.
Leafy, green vegetables are a healthy choice and spinach is one of the healthy foods that contributes towards heart health. Packed with iron and vitamins, spinach can be enjoyed raw in a salad, cooked or added into most any dinner recipe.
Incorporate these and other heart-healthy foods into your diet on a regular basis to promote good health. Steer away from greasy fast food meals and snacks that have the opposite effect on your heart’s health in favor of foods that are good for you.