More and more people are finding themselves with heart disease, and it’s no longer just about older adults. Increasingly, and alarmingly, many kids and teens are reported to be having problems related to heart disease. Here are a few heart healthy foods that everyone should add to their diets, not just for heart healthiness, but for overall health. In all cases, stick with ORGANIC ingredients. Non-organic fruit and other items tend to have chemicals such as pesticides, flavor enhancers and dangerous heavy metals. Note: Always consult your health care provider first about a different diet if you are taking medicines or undergoing any treatments for health issues, particularly heart disease.
Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fat, healthy fats. They help lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids, particularly beta carotene and lycopene, which are absolutely essential for heart health.
Berries – Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are full of anti-inflammatory ingredients, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Berries in general are important for vascular health. Be sure to only choose organic berries, as non-organic fruit tend to contain dangerous amounts of pesticides, chemicals and other toxic ingredients.
Beans Fill up on fiber with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) lentils, kidney beans and blac, beans. They have lots of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
Nuts Walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are all chock full of omega-3 fatty acids and mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Almonds are super rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts contain fiber, very important and a good source of healthy fat.”
Garlic contains allicin, which reacts with red blood cells and produces hydrogen sulphide. This relaxes the blood vessels, and keeps blood flowing easily.
Salmon is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is known to reduce blood pressure and keep clotting to a minimum. Salmon contains an ingredient called, carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant. Important note: Choose wild salmon over farm raised salmon (or farm raised fish in general), which is proven to be packed with pesticides, insecticides and heavy metals.
Olive Oil is packed with monounsaturated fats. It has a tendency to lower bad LDL cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It’s best when used in salad dressings.
Oranges – Rich in Vitamin C, oranges protect arteries from free radicals, highly damaging molecules that cause our cells to oxidize. Oranges also contain folate, which processes the amino acid homocysteine in our bodies. Without folate, your risk of a heart attack is greater. Potassium in oranges play a key role in heart functions and muscle contractions. The calcium in oranges help maintain normal blood pressure, and magnesium helps your heart maintain a steady rhythm and normal blood pressure.
Spinach – helps keep your heart in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.
Flaxseeds – Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseeds can be incredibly beneficial for your heart. Add it to yogurt or cereal for a healthy start in the morning.
Oatmeal is full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood is able to lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. Choose coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber. Remember to add some flaxseeds and blueberries.