Here is Samir Becic’s and Health Fitness Revolution‘s list of 10 Foods for a Heart Healthy day, so that you can be conscious and cognizant of what you are putting into your body- try eating heart healthy morning to night for a few days and see if you can notice a difference in how you feel!
- Oatmeal: We wrote all about the health benefits of oatmeal here. It’s a great, versatile option to start off your day because oats are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. For an easy overnight oats recipe we made, click here. (Note: Steel cut oats are better than instant oats).
- Flax seeds: Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast.
- Omega-3 Rich Fish: To read all about the health benefits we found on Omega-3 fatty acids, click here. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce risk of a heart attack by 33%.
- Avocados: Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while raising the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol in your body. Avocados can easily be added to salads, wrap, or enjoyed on it’s own. For all the reasons avocados are a superfood , read our article here.
- Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whichever is your favorite—are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Olive Oil: Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they’re the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking. To read our list of healthiest cooking oils, click here.
- Beans and Legumes: Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
- Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and are full of mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fiber in the diet and are a great source of healthy fat.
- Spinach: Spinach can help keep heart healthy thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber. Although increasing your intake of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost. In a wide-range study over 12 years, men who ate at least 2.5 servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn’t eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.
- Soy: Is known to lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it’s still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet. Natural sources of soy are: edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. Also soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. Just keep an eye out of added sodium in certain soy products. (Disclaimer: The scientific community is split on whether soy products are good or bad for health, with half of studies praising soy products and the other half disagreeing- we will let you decide for yourself how you feel about them.)