I can’t believer that we’re already one week into February. The month of February brings thoughts of Valentine’s Day, romance, love and all things heart-related (and my birthday). Let’s take a look at foods that are good for you, especially for your heart. Since your heart is the most important muscle in your body, it’s important that you’re fueling it with nutrition that helps keep it strong. Here are 5 heart healthy foods that you should be eating regularly.
In addition to being delicious and lending itself to be prepared in a variety of ways, salmon in one of the most heart-friendly seafood’s that you can eat. A great source of protein, salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is an excellent source of B vitamins, potassium and selenium. By consuming salmon at least twice a week, some research has shown that it may lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 30%. Salmon is also known to lower triglycerides as well as lower blood pressure.
Here are several easy ways to prepare salmon:
Sheet Pan Ginger Soy Glazed Salmon by Eat Yourself Skinny
Pan Seared Salmon With Greek Yogurt And Lemon Dill Sauce by Zesty Olive
30 Minute Sweet Thai Chili Salmon Skewers by How Sweet Eats
Berries are a great way to keep your heart healthy. Eating a variety of berries provides your body with polyphenols which are known to increase nitric oxide levels within the body. Nitric oxide is important because it’s responsible for numerous heart benefits such as relaxing the blood vessels to reduce blood pressure. Just a daily cup of berries can make a significant improvement in your heart health over time.
Check out these naturally sweet ways to eat berries:
Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt by Happy Foods Tube
Blueberry Nectarine Pie by Bakerita
Triple Berry Salad with Walnuts, Feta and Avocado by Lorie’s Mississippi Kitchen
Containing antioxidants, phytoestrogens and phytosterols, whole grains are considered superfood for the heart. Whole grains include wheat, oats, rice, barley, corn, quinoa, spelt, rye and sorghum. Additionally, whole grains are high in fiber, which is also important for heart health. Research has shown that a high fiber diet may reduce the risk of developing heart disease by as much as 40 percent.
Flavonoids are the key ingredient that elevates dark chocolate to a heart healthy food. Flavonoids can help to thin the blood and boost cardiovascular health. Dark chocolate also helps to increase nitric oxide levels which is important for healthy blood vessels. When choosing dark chocolate, look for those which contain at least 70% cocoa. Higher cocoa content means that it’s more beneficial for the heart.
Yogurt contains probiotics that research has shown can reduce the risk of heart disease. Yogurt works indirectly to impact the heart by improving digestion and boosting the immune system. It’s important to note that here we’re referring to non-sweetened yogurt. Plain, unsweetened yogurt with live cultures and probiotic properties is best.
If you want to try making your own homemade yogurt, try this recipe from Barefeet In The Kitchen. Here are few other yummy recipes, as well:
Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip by Two Peas And Their Pod
Yogurt Parfait With Honey And Fruits by The Hungry Bites