Did you know that the food that you put into your body today can affect your heart health in the future?
Making smarter food choices can actually keep your heart in good shape and help prevent things like heart disease.
Whether it’s adding in yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast or snacking on berries or nuts mid-day, you’re sure to find a few items on this list that will help keep your heart happy.
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This low-calorie water-based fruit is a fantastic snack option.
Not only is it high in fiber, but it’s also full of antioxidants.
“It’s a fabulous source of lycopene, which has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease and cancer.
Watermelon also supplies citrulline, which may improve the health of our blood vessels and may even have benefits for people with erectile dysfunction and diabetes,” explains cardiologist Dr. Sarah Samaan.
Certainly, you’ve heard that avocados are good for you because they contain the good kind of fat?
Healthy monounsaturated fats are a source of potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure.
Avocados also contain vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids, known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Try this next green item for additional heart benefits, too…
3. Collard Greens
Collard greens are filled with vitamins that will propel you into the future with a healthy heart!
This low-calorie veggie contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as other important nutrients such as folate, manganese, calcium, and fiber.
“Collards have even been found to bind bile acids in the digestive tract, which lowers the body’s cholesterol.
Collard greens also increase cardiovascular health due to their anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Rea Frey, a Chicago-based nutrition specialist.
Adding a half-cup of beans to your daily diet can really help keep your heart in tip-top shape.
“Soluble fiber is a key reason why beans are beneficial to your heart.
The fiber binds to cholesterol and keeps it from being absorbed in the gut and building up to unhealthy levels,” says nutritionist Dr. Keith Kantor.
Tomatoes (which aren’t a vegetable, they’re actually a fruit) tons of vitamin C, which is essential when promoting heart health.
They also have a good amount of lycopene, which, as we mentioned earlier, lowers your risk of heart disease.
Adding tomatoes to sandwiches and salads is a great way to ensure you’re on the positive side of these awesome benefits.
Antioxidants are really good for you and berries are a really good source.
Known to increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, berries also work to lower your blood pressure.
“These little cancer fighters combat oxidation and inflammation and should be eaten daily,” Frey says.
Combine berries with the next two foods and double the dose of goodness.
Swap out your bowl of cereal for a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and enjoy the various health benefits as a result.
Whole grains help keep the heart healthy and can also be instrumental in weight management.
Not only are whole grains more filling, but they are known to decrease the risk of heart disease in men and women.
A cup of yogurt is a great breakfast or lunch choice that is also good for your heart.
Low-fat yogurt contains powerful antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and probiotics that are beneficial to your heart and to your overall health.
The best part? You can add oats or berries to combine a few heart-healthy foods.
Almonds are a very popular snack, and for good reason!
A handful of almonds a day can help lower bad cholesterol levels.
These nuts are filled with vitamin E, protein, and fiber, which helps keep your hearth healthy.
Read on to see the benefits of a very easy-to-cook green vegetable.
“Peas are loaded with fiber, and they provide a sweet burst of flavor and add bright colors to any dish.
Try frozen peas, which are flash-frozen at the peak of ripeness, and steam them for a bright addition to salad or even omelets,” recommends New York-based nutritionist Keri Glassman.
Chickpeas are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6, all of which are excellent for heart health.
You will help lower your risk of heart disease by eating chickpeas.
This next fruit is in season year-round and can really make a difference when it comes to the health of your heart.
This delicious fruit is full of vitamin C, which is one of the best vitamins you can give your body.
Increasing your vitamin C intake can help decrease your risk of coronary heart disease.
This sweet orange-hued melon is also jam-packed with vitamins A, B, K, potassium, folate, magnesium, and fiber.
Adding fish to your diet can be beneficial to your health in many ways.
Salmon specifically can help lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
“Cold water fish, such as salmon, contain omega-3 fats, lower levels of harmful lipid levels.
Omega-3s also lower blood pressure slightly and can help prevent irregular heart rhythms, while also reducing inflammation throughout the body,” explains Kantor.
Quinoa is very popular amongst health aficionados, and for good reason.
It’s a great carbohydrate substitute. Believe it or not, quinoa contains nearly twice the amount of fiber as other grains.
It’s also full of monounsaturated fat and antioxidants, both of which contribute to a healthy heart.
Up next, one more heart-healthy nut…
A handful of walnuts can make the perfect snack, and they’re really good for your heart, too!
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats and antioxidants, both of which are great for your heart.
“Eating two ounces a day has been shown to improve blood vessel function among people with diabetes, and also protect people from heart disease who are at risk for it,” explains Bridget Swinney, a registered dietitian.