Along with daily exercise and managing stress, your diet plays a huge role in keeping your heart
healthy. Certain foods are great for your heart and blood vessels; some foods are even key for
reducing the risk of heart disease and other pulmonary problems.
If you’re keen to keep your ticker in tip-top shape, this post is for you! I’ve compiled a handy list of the best heart-healthy foods you can enjoy:
Asparagus is high in a nutrient called folate, which is thought to lower the risk of coronary disease
and stroke. It’s also a good source of beta-carotene and lutein; these nutrients are known to be
important for heart health. You can enjoy asparagus in stews and curries, or lightly steamed as a side dish.
2. Beans and pulses
Beans and pulses are nutrition powerhouses, packed with fibre, folate, magnesium and omega-3
fatty acids. Studies have shown eating beans reduces levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood. What’s more, it’s thought beans lower blood pressure and inflammation, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Berries are high in a special type of antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is what gives berries their
dark colour. Anthocyanin is great for your heart because it lowers blood pressure and dilates blood
vessels. In fact, a study has suggested eating more than three servings of blueberries and
strawberries a week could lower the risk of heart attack.
Spinach is very high in magnesium, which your heart needs to maintain a healthy rhythm. It’s also
packed with beta-carotene and antioxidants, nutrients that are key for heart health. Spinach is super
versatile, too. You can add it to pasta, salads and sandwiches, and even a fruit smoothie!
5. Chia seeds and flaxseeds
Chia and flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids have lots of health
benefits, and they’re great for your heart because they lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s
easy to add these seeds to your diet: sprinkle them on yogurt, breakfast cereal or salad, or mix them into dough.
6. Dark chocolate
Great news if you have a sweet tooth: dark chocolate (in moderation) is good for your heart! More
specifically, it protects against the build-up of plaque inside the arteries – a condition that increases
the risk of heart attack and stroke. Dark chocolate also contains nutrients called resveratrol and
cocoa phenols, which help lower blood pressure.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and they’re low in saturated fat, too. It’s recommended you eat 2-4 servings of oily fish a week to help reduce the risk of blood clots and boost your circulation.
Porridge is high in soluble fibre, which can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Porridge is also a good source of omega-3 and magnesium, both of which benefit your heart. For a tasty heart-healthy breakfast, why not add berries and flaxseeds to your porridge bowl?
The humble tomato is packed with heart-healthy nutrients such as fibre and folate. Tomatoes are a
great source of potassium too, which helps regulate your heartbeat. What’s more, tomatoes are
loaded with powerful antioxidants that reduce cholesterol.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you found it useful, feel free to share it with your friends. Want more
healthy eating inspiration? Why not check out these delicious recipes.