Boost Heart Health with Superfoods
Food does more than satisfy hunger; it helps keep your body functioning at its best. Keep your heart healthy by incorporating these beneficial superfoods into your diet.
Despite their small size, chia seeds contain the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids of any plant-based food. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce cholesterol, protect against heart attack and stroke, and lower the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, according to the American Heart Association.
Loaded with antioxidants called polyphenols and catechins that can protect you from heart disease, green tea can help prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries and improve blood vessel function, protecting the heart. Drinking green tea helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides and is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that prevent dangerous heart rhythms and reduce the risk of developing blood clots. Consuming nuts can lower levels of cholesterol, reduce body fat and plaque buildup, and keep the arteries clear, preventing heart disease. Be sure to eat nuts in small portions, as eating too many can offset their benefits.
Flavonoids found in blueberries can lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and circulation, and ultimately, help reduce the risk for heart attack. As one of the best sources of antioxidants, this low-calorie fruit packs a long list of nutrients including potassium, iron and fiber. Add berries to yogurt, smoothies and salads.
Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that’s an excellent source of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc and vitamins B6 and B12. It also boosts metabolism, which helps manage weight, keeping the heart healthy. Yogurt’s thicker consistency lends itself to creative applications in the kitchen such as puddings, smoothies and ice pops, or use it in place of high-fat ingredients such as sour cream or mayo.
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps regulate blood circulation. Research has shown that eating at least one to two servings of fish per week reduces the risk of heart disease. Other fish varieties such as trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna are also good fatty fish that contribute to heart health.