Heart experts agree. Diet and exercise are a key part of maintaining a healthy heart. If you’ve decided to start an exercise routine and you’re even putting in time staying healthy at work, the next part of the equation is easy – eat right.
A healthy diet can be hard to start and keep up, but don’t fret. There’s a wide variety of things to eat and enjoy while on the road to health. With that in mind, Baylor College of Medicine registered dietitian Molly Gee suggests five such foods.
Salmon is a fatty fish that contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that reduces inflammation throughout your body and decreases damage to blood vessels and heart. Studies have shown that marine omega-3 fatty acids reduce incidents of heart failure. For non-pregnant adults, at least two servings (1 serving = 3.5 ounces) of omega-3 rich fish are recommended per week to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
Blueberries are considered a super-fruit due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other health benefits. Blueberries contain a large amount of phytonutrients (beta-carotene, lutein, anthocyanin and ellagic acid) that are believed to protect from cardiovascular disease by lowering total serum cholesterol and fighting high blood pressure.
Oatmeal is packed with soluble fiber, which not only helps you stay full longer but also lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol. Oatmeal also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to prevent heart disease. Start your day with a heart-healthy bowl of oatmeal topped with a cup of blueberries!
Black or kidney beans
Both black and kidney beans contain omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. Kidney beans also have large amounts of folate and magnesium, which help prevent against cardiovascular events. Black beans contain folate, magnesium, anthocyanins and phytonutrients, which also protect against cardiovascular events.
Almonds have high levels of monounsaturated fats, phytosterols and soluble fiber that lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Almonds also have a large amount of vitamin E, which serves as an antioxidant, and magnesium, which improves blood, oxygen and nutrient flow. A handful of almonds is a great heart-healthy snack option to satisfy your mid-afternoon hunger.
Read more about heart health.