Considering how difficult it can be to quit smoking or stick faithfully to an exercise routine, it might be nice to hear about things you can do for your heart that is a bit easier, and in some cases, even enjoyable. We all love to eat, right? Given that we’re talking about eating the right things, of course. It’s doubtful that everyone will find their favorites on this list of heart-healthy foods, but there’s a good chance that at least one or two of them will be to your liking.
1. DARK CHOCOLATE
It might be a bit of a shock to find anything that includes the word “chocolate” on a list of healthy foods, but there’s no doubt that this sweet treat has earned its spot by providing disease-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids that may improve blood flow to the heart. The findings that resulted from one medical research study suggest that ingredients in dark chocolate may lower the risk of both heart disease and stroke. Go for the products with the highest percentage of dark chocolate to maximize the potential health benefits.
Here’s something that all of us are probably very familiar with and unfortunately, might be considered a bit boring by many people. It is very possible, however, to turn this somewhat bland breakfast staple into a more exciting dish by adding fruit, nuts, spices, and other natural flavors. The benefits of oatmeal include its ability to bind to and remove cholesterol from the digestive system and is also a good source of iron and dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.
Take your pick (no pun intended)! Both blueberries and strawberries are colorful, tasty and healthy for you in so many ways. Medical research has proven that these sweet delights can decrease the risk of heart disease by eating just a half-cup per day at least three times per week. That’s easily doable for most folks and berries are very easy to work into the diet by adding them to cereal, baked goods and desserts or just eating them plain.
This isn’t something you are likely to find in most people’s kitchen, but it’s something well worth learning about, and you may even find these crunchy little beauties tastier than you would expect. Flaxseeds are packed with a specific type of omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid. This is something your body does not manufacture on its own and since it is known to be so beneficial for the heart, it’s definitely worth picking some of these up and finding a way to work them into your diet.
Avocado appears to be a rising star among the health-conscious these days and there’s plenty of evidence to justify that rise to stardom. Avocado is loaded with health-promoting ingredients such as fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals, which are all good for your heart. Eating avocado also helps promote healthy levels of blood lipids. Something called beta-Sitosterol is also present in avocados, which can help keep cholesterol levels in the healthy range.
This healthy treat is also one that many people find to be very convenient. They are a great on-the-go snack because they do not have any special storage requirements and you don’t have to worry much about them spoiling. Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts you can get, and they are proven to promote heart health by aiding the regulation of cholesterol, adding fiber for good digestion and providing essential nutrients like thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, vitamin A, vitamin E, and folate. People with blood pressure problems will likely be better off choosing the unsalted variety.