heart healthy foods are – in a nutshell – foods that are high in antioxidants, B-vitamins, phytonutrients, fiber and good fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Please click on the links to learn about how these nutrients greatly benefit your heart. The key to having a healthy heart is to follow the “whole-foods diet,” which simply means eating food in its natural form – the less processed the better. That means plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. There is such a wide range of delicious food, which are so good for your heart -. And of course the rest of the body preferences highly
It is quite interesting to know what positive nutrients in heart healthy foods are:
- phytosterols are plant sterols that reduce cholesterol and are found in all seeds and nuts and wheat germ.
- Polyphenols are antioxidants that reduce bad LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure and protect blood vessels. Flavonoids are well known and polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables.
- Carotenoids fat-soluble chemicals found in the pigment of the many colorful fruits and vegetables. They are important heart-protecting anioxidants. Beta carotene carotenoid and is available in orange, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash, for example. lutein is found in dark green vegetables like broccoli as well as the yellow in egg yolks and peppers. Lycopene is found in red tomatoes, apricots, watermelon, papaya and grapefruit to name a few.
- Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines as well as nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flaxseed help protect against heart attacks – but this is only one of the many health benefits associated with this essential fats .
- Vitamins and minerals – especially antioxidant vitamins C and E to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Minerals that help lower blood pressure are calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- B-complex vitamins , especially folic acid / folate (B9 vitamin) and vitamin B6 protect against hardening of the arteries and blood clots. Vitamin B3, known as niacin helps raise good HDL cholesterol.
- Fiber is of course incredibly important to overall good health. One way it helps the heart to help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels.
As we can see, there are some foods that are particularly high in this heart healthy nutrients that protect the heart and blood vessels. These wonderful healthy foods below. These are all everyday foods that we can very easily and deliciously incorporate into our daily diet.
- Almonds -. Include good fats that keep cholesterol in check and are also a great source of vitamin E, protein and fiber
- Apples – contain quercetin’s anti-inflammatory that will also prevent blood clots. They are also high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Asparagus -. A good source of beta carotene and lutein (carotenoids), B vitamins, folic acid / folate and fiber
- Beans -. Are high in fiber and B vitamins that keep the heart healthy
- Ber -. Are high in flavonoids, beta carotene and lutein (carotenoids), polyphenols, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are great for heart health
- Broccoli -. A great source of beta-carotene (carotenoids), C and E vitamins, fiber and folic acid / folate
- Brown rice -. Is high in fiber and B-complex vitamins that keep the heart healthy
- Cantaloupe -. Good sources of alpha and beta carotene (carotenoids), antioxidant vitamins C and E as well as folic acid / folate and fiber
- Carrots -. Are high in fiber and alpha-carotene is a carotenoid
- Dark chocolate – contains cocoa phenols and reserva trolls who are flavonoids
- Flaxseed (ground) -. A great plant source of omega 3 fats and are also high in fiber
- Oats / oatmeal -. Contain soluble fiber which helps reduce bad LDL cholesterol
- Olive -. Is a wonderful source of residue of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease
- Oranges -. Are high in carotenoids, flavonoids, folate / folic acid and fiber
- Papaya – is high in carotenoids, beta carotene, lutein, antioxidant vitamins, folate / folic acid and magnesium
- Red peppers -. Are high in beta carotene and lutein (carotenoids), fiber, folate / folic acid and B vitamins
- Salmon – is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids that protect your heart by reducing the risk of blood clots and inflammation. Omega 3 is also keep cholesterol levels healthy.
- Spinach -. Is high in lutein (carotenoids), fiber, folic acid and B-complex vitamins
- Sweet potatoes – is a good source of beta carotene (a carotenoid), fiber and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.
- Tomatoes – contain lots of vitamins and lycopene that reduces the risk of heart disease. The body can absorb more lycopene from cooked tomatoes.
- Tuna – is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Limit consumption of twice a month because of possible mercury contamination.
- Walnuts -. Are great plant source for the heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as being high in fiber and folic acid
- whole grains -. Contain fiber and vitamins and minerals that help keep your heart healthy
After a heart healthy diet is actually very simple. By making a few healthy food choices that we can very easily improve our diet to enjoy our heart. Now that we know what foods are good for our heart, we can use them as often as possible, to incorporate them into our meals and even create meals and recipes based on these foods – like choosing fresh fruit salad made from papaya, cantaloupe and apples for a delicious and healthy dessert.
more interesting and useful information simple humble foods that pack a real nutrient punch, please visit my every day super foods page.