Foods to Help Strengthen Your Heart
The heart. It's one of our most important organs and is responsible for pumping blood throughout our bodies. But are you taking care of it? Your diet can play a BIG role in cardiovascular health, so read through this catalogue of foods to help strengthen your heart.
You've probably heard of this one. The main reason fish is considered so good for you is the presence of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These acids help your heart maintain its rhythm, make blood less likely to clot, lower blood pressure, strengthen blood vessels and decrease inflammation. Salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout and sardines are all great picks!
Dark leafy veggies like spinach and kale are filled with A, C, E and K vitamins. These work as antioxidants, while other nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and calcium help with blood pressure regulation.
Wait, what are legumes? Beans, peas and lentils are all included. These foods have a lot of soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood. Plus, that's not even considering all the iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins.
Not only does dairy have a ton of calcium, it's also got some heart benefits. You can lower your blood pressure by drinking milk and eating cheese and yogurt. Once again, low-fat dairy also has a bunch of extra nutrients like magnesium and potassium.
Rye, wheat, oats and barley. These foods have one thing in common. You guessed it! Well, probably not. The cell walls of these grains have the soluble fiber beta-glucan. This secret ingredient keeps your cholesterol down by bonding to it and stopping absorption. Whole grains are one of the best foods to help strengthen your heart.
Non-tropical Vegetable Oils
More fatty acids! Monounsaturated fatty acids in oils help heart and brain health and are also likely to lengthen your lifespan. That's not all, since they also lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Try to replace unhealthy fats with a drizzle of olive oil next time you're cooking.
Everybody loves avocados. They're tasty and healthy, since they're filled with those key monounsaturated fats. These fruits (yes, they're really fruits) reduce blood pressure and cholesterol concentrations. Avocados also help control insulin levels, which can keep your blood sugar in check.
Turns out this one's also technically a fruit, at least scientifically. Tomatoes have a bunch of good stuff, including lycopene, vitamin C and alpha and beta-carotene. All these combine to make sure your cardiovascular system stays on track.
If you're looking for a sweeter food, these are for you. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries all contain phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Mix them in with some yogurt to help both your taste buds and your heart.
Your cardiovascular system does a lot of work, and you need to power it properly. Good thing there's a bunch of options! Whip up some foods to help strengthen your heart, and pay it back for all it's doing for you. Show that diligent organ some love!