We can all agree that the idea of a heart attack is pretty scary for us all, And for those of us who don’t have a healthy diet, a heart attack is a real threat. But we are here to give you good news! Our nutrition is key to a healthy heart and overall good health, and that is something we can have control over to help us live longer and healthier. To help you do this we have compiled a list of the most wonderous superfoods that can influence your heart health for the better.
Over the years, modern medicine has developed in astounding ways and we now have more advanced medicine and cures for diseases than doctors would have dared to dream of in the past. But just as technological developments spur on at an unimaginable pace, so do the changes in our dietary habits and our food sources. Life goes at a fast pace nowadays and we have become eager to have food that is easy to come by, fast food. This happens at the cost of our health, as we overlook the long term harm we are doing to our bodies. Although it seems like the easy option – to walk into a fast food joint and put in an order for your favorite junk food of a bright and colorful, plastic menu, and receive your order within minutes – it may be time to think about the long term effects of those momentary decisions, and how much better your quality of life could be without them.
Before you start thinking you have to deprive yourself of all your favorite meals, keep reading and you may be surprised to discover some of these superfoods on our list. Just to give you an idea of what we are talking about, let me paint a picture of you watching a movie one evening with a glass of wine in hand, nibbling on some chocolate. And all that while knowing you are still keeping your heart healthy. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
If you are looking for a way to help keep the risk of heart disease at bay through your nutrition or just to give your diet a boost with some yummy superfoods, then look no further because we have the healthy tips for you! These superfoods are not only naturally sourced, they are also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can give your health and your immune system the boost it needs. According to studies, heart-related problems like clogged arteries, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, can all be prevented by the decision to change one’s diet and by fostering healthy habits. So we have done our research in order to find some healthy superfoods to help you get that kick start you need to develop your new healthier lifestyle for a healthier heart.
Next time you pass by the fruit section of the grocery store, make sure to pick up some oranges. This fruit not only provides the body with tasty hydration, but is also high in various nutrients, fiber, and Vitamin C. The secret behind the power of oranges is in their high levels of pectin, a soluble fiber that naturally gets rid of the cholesterol found in your body. And if you thought bananas were the only fruit with potassium, think again! Oranges have an extraordinary amount of potassium, which gets all that extra sodium out of your system so that your blood pressure naturally returns to a healthy level. Best of all, the potassium in oranges neutralizes proteins that can scar the development of heart tissue and lead to heart failure.
The popularity of kale has grown substantially in recent years, and now it’s difficult to find a supermarket that doesn’t carry it! This is great news if you’re looking to stop the onset of heart disease. Kale has a variety of nutrients that help regulate your cardiovascular system which regulate the function of vital organs, including your heart. You might not believe that kale has way more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber than most other vegetables out there! As an added bonus, it has low calorie and fat content, so if you haven’t been adding kale to your meals already, it’s time to get started!
Garlic is well-known for its ability to repel vampires, but did you know that it has superfood properties that make it a worthy addition to your diet? Garlic has been proven to help lower blood pressure and help reduce the plaque in your arteries that can lead to heart problems. But wait, there’s more! Garlic can also help decrease the number of enzymes that constrict your blood vessels. If you’re not a fan of the taste or lingering smell of garlic, a great alternative is to take a garlic supplement in the form of a pill. Studies show that this method of ingestion reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries by as much as 50%!
For those of us who already enjoy that glass of wine at the end of a long day, rest easy knowing this habit is extremely good for your body! In fact, in moderate amounts (key word, moderate!!!), experts have found that red wine can help increase HDL levels and stop the build-up of cholesterol. Red wine is also rich in antioxidants that break up impending blood clots and keep frightening conditions like coronary heart disease at bay. So next time you break out that corkscrew, just remind yourself that it’s all for your heart.
We have some good news for all you chocolate lovers out there! We all know this sweet treat helps with our mood, but did you know that it also helps reduce the chance of heart disease and strokes? A new study from Harvard found that people who regularly ingested raw cocoa showed absolutely no signs of hypertension and in fact, their blood pressure reduced! This is because dark chocolate has an antioxidant called flavnols, and eating a small and regular amount can lower blood pressure and lower the chances of heart-related diseases. Reminding you that this does not mean sugary candy bars, but high content cocoa, and dark chocolate often still contains high levels of white sugar, which can do the opposite of what we are trying to achieve here!
Sardines might not be on the top of most people’s favorite foods list, but the nutrients and heart-healthy fats found in this cold fish make it a superfood, unlike others. Sardines are a fish especially loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, a fat that reduces dangerous triglyceride levels, increases the healthy HDL cholesterol, and overall helps to stop heart disease in its tracks. Look out for the next sardine run closest to you!
Lentils are a great superfood already part of many diets around the world. Besides being a great way to add some flavor to salads or other dishes, lentils have tons of great health benefits. This powerful legume reduces the risk of strokes and heart disease. Lentils have high amounts of proteins, potassium, and magnesium, and this combination has been shown to help regulate blood pressure, decrease high levels of cholesterol, and eliminate dangerous plaque build-up in blood vessels.
Who knew that such a tasty nut could boost your IQ? Almonds are a popular snack choice, but did you know their unique mix of nutrients has been shown to increase intelligence and memory? As if that wasn’t reason enough to grab a handful, they also lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The reason is that almonds have a high level of plant sterols, which help prevent your body from absorbing bad LDL cholesterol that can lead to cardiovascular disease.
Pomegranates are a great addition to salads, smoothies, and shakes. If their great taste wasn’t convincing enough to add it to your pantry, this fantastic superfood harbors an excellent mix of antioxidants that help protect the accumulation of plaque on the walls of your arteries. If warding off heart disease isn’t reason enough, scientists have found that the fruit helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and also helps keep your skin, joints, and liver healthy and in working order! Oh, and pomegranates also help your teeth look great.
Have you ever found yourself craving… blueberries? This superfood is part of the family of berries that can help regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce plaque build-up in arteries. Each berry is jam-packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that are so powerful that they can allegedly help stop some types of cancer right in their tracks! Last but not least, they help lower the risk of heart disease. Now that’s what we call a superfruit!
These purple vegetables are unique in their color and in the high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Unlike other vegetables, they contain B-vitamin folate and betaine. Studies have shown that this colorful addition to salads helps to bring down homocysteine levels in the blood, which reduces the chances of developing heart disease. Moreover, beets have been found to mysteriously strengthen various organs and eliminate the chances of contracting certain forms of cancer.
Salmon has always been a restaurant staple for its fantastic taste, but did you know this type of fish has enough omega-3 fatty acids to stop the onset of heart disease? The combination of nutrients and good fats found in the fish can help reduce triglyceride levels, open up closed off blood vessels, and stop the occurrence of blood clots. Salmon sushi is a fantastically delicious and healthy meal, if not a pricey one.
Turmeric is the best ingredient to enhance the flavor of any kind of curry. This spice has been a part of medical treatments in the East for centuries, but only recently has it entered the diets of those living in other parts of the world. Recently, scientists have isolated the active compound that makes turmeric a superfood. Curcumin, specifically found in turmeric, has been found to block cardiac hypertrophy, also known as heart enlargement. Turmeric also helps to fight against obesity, high blood pressure and lowers the chances of developing heart disease.
Chia seeds taste great in a pudding or as an addition to any kind of smoothie. These tiny seeds are among the world’s best superfoods. They’re loaded with protein, antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Better yet, they’re super low in calories! Their combination of nutrients and antioxidants work hard to help lower your cholesterol, lower the risk of a plethora of diseases, and keep your heart healthy and strong — no pills necessary!
We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” That old adage isn’t far from the truth! Apples are a commonly overlooked superfood that has incredible amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That apple a day helps to lower blood pressure and reduces the chances of developing heart disease. The best news is that, since there are so many varieties of apples, you’re bound to find one that you like! Or, if you get bored, you can always switch it up for a new tasty flavor.
Avocados are a tasty addition to your meal or snack, any time of day! They are probably the one kind of superfood we could never live without. In addition to being amazingly delicious and versatile, avocados have tons of antioxidants, potassium, and monounsaturated fats. This combination promotes the health of your heart and also reduces the chances of developing heart disease. Why not whip up some guacamole with some lemon juice, chili flakes, and salt.
These fantastic purple vegetables are great grilled or baked, as well as in a cold vegetable dish. They have high amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and flavonoids! These purple vegetables are your cardiovascular system’s best friend because they can help increase circulation, lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and also reduce the risk of heart disease. Your brain might also enjoy your next eggplant dish, too! They help prevent cell membrane damage and ward off cancers in brain tissue.
Broccoli might be one of the most dreaded dinner vegetables for children and teens, but these little green trees are an excellent source of nutrition for your heart. So as an adult, we hope you’ve overcome your dislike for this green giant because it’s an excellent addition to stir-fries, pasta, and sometimes even salads! Broccoli is known to assist in lowering cholesterol and help keep your blood vessels healthy and strong. This superfood is rich in sulforaphane, which helps with problems related to blood sugar issues.
Carrots are a great crunchy snack by themselves or paired with ranch, hummus, or other delicious dips. They are also a food that keeps your heart in tip-top shape, and in fact, can help you see better at night! This orange superfood has high levels of carotenoids and this antioxidant fights against the free radicals that can lead to heart disease. Carrots also have an abundance of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C, and a ton of other nutrients as well. This combination of vitamins and nutrients have been studied and seen to help fight against the onset of cancer, promote healthy bone growth, and help maintain a healthy nervous system.
Chicken is the first superfood listed that isn’t a fruit or vegetable, and that’s for a very good reason! This amazingly lean meat has less saturated fat and cholesterol than any other red meat. Because of its health benefits compared to red meat, meat-eaters often choose baked, stir-fried, or grilled chicken over that cholesterol-dense burger option for dinner. Most people love chicken (that are not vegetarians and vegans) and you are probably eating a lot of the meat already.
Chickpeas are much more than the tasty main ingredient of everyone’s favorite side dish: hummus. While small and seemingly innocuous, these little peas are packed with nutrition for your heart. Each one of these little legumes is loaded with potassium, fiber, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C. More than any other legume out there, chickpeas use this special combination of nutrients to help reduce your chances of developing heart disease. We love hummus, too!
We have some fantastic news for the coffee drinkers of the world! A new study has shown that coffee actually helps your heart (in addition to being a great start to your day). Moderate (keyword there again) coffee intake helps reduce the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, and even stroke! Hold on, I’m getting my French press. Make sure to always get organic coffee beans and make sure to get a strong strain, and the recommendation is no more than two cups a day, and of course, without sugar, creamer, and all the added unhealthy coffee mixers.
Cranberries might be tart on their own, but they’re a staple juice in households around the world, and also a staple Thanksgiving dessert for Americans. These berries are high in antioxidants, and just like blueberries, they help reduce the chances of developing heart disease. Regular cranberry intake also reduces the chances of contracting a urinary tract infection and lowers the chances of developing stomach ulcers and cancer. While this might be an acquired taste, we suggest that you struggle through it!
Figs are one of the most underrated fruits at the grocery store! Raisins, dates, and figs all contain the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a healthy heart. This versatile fruit can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or even in the form of a jam. Figs are high in fiber and calcium, and these two work together to help keep your heart healthy and astoundingly even assist in reversing the effects of heart disease.
Flax seeds are essential to any diet that doesn’t include fish or nuts. This is because flax seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids which help maintain a healthy heart. Flax seeds can be sprinkled onto smoothies or salads. One tablespoon of these seeds has more estrogen, antioxidants, and other nutrients than many other seeds! Flax seeds are an essential component in any type of muesli and you will benefit from sprinkling the seeds in.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Excuse the comparison, but besides making for a fantastic rock band, this terrifyingly spicy vegetable is, in fact, great for your heart! The tiny terrors contain capsaicin, and this neuropeptide helps lower cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood pressure. While they are a great addition to your diet for heart health, it might not be a good idea to ingest them whole, sort of like this guy! Too much chili can be bad for your insides!
If you’re a sushi-lover, we have great news for you! This wonderfully-smelling spice has been linked to the maintenance of a healthy heart. You might be surprised to learn that a small daily intake of ginger can lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease and even hypertension. It’s no wonder that this superfood has been a vital part of recipes for centuries. Whenever you feel a cold coming on, make a hot toddy out of lemon slices, grated ginger, and honey.
Grapefruit is an exotic fruit in both appearance and taste. The reason for this is because the pink fruit is loaded with nutrition. This delicious fruit has high levels of potassium, lycopene, choline, and vitamin C; now that’s not a combination you see every day! Grapefruit helps keep your heart healthy and is also included in the highly recommended DASH diet. It also helps lower blood pressure. While you may not be able to handle the often intensely bitter taste of grapefruit, this is an essential acquired taste.
Green tea recently became popularized in the West thanks to lattes and other tasty drinks. This herbal drink is a superhero when it comes to the number of antioxidants it contains. Just one cup of green tea can help stimulate the reduction of plaque in arteries, lower bad cholesterol levels, and also improve heart regularity and overall health. This Asian staple has become incredibly popular across the world for obvious reasons.
Kidney beans are a great addition to soups and even salads, and they’re also great for the health of your heart! Kidney beans are unique in that they are very high in fiber and low in fat. They have high levels of vitamins and minerals, and they can help lower the body’s chances of developing cancer, diabetes, and lowers the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. The kidney bean is another incredibly versatile ingredient in many meals.
While many despite this tropical fruit for its fuzzy outer skin, kiwis are in fact a fantastic superfood that can supplement any diet and help protect the cardiovascular system and reduce the occurrence of blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. This is because kiwis have high amounts of vitamins E, C, and B, and that’s not all! They also have magnesium, copper, and even potassium. Oh, and the green fuzzy skin? It’s loaded with fiber and totally edible!
Lentils are one kind of legume that much of the world could not live without. They are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, some of which include folic acid, magnesium, and fiber. If you’re low on potassium, you might be surprised to learn that lentils have more potassium than the traditionally-suggested fruit, bananas! The nutritional secrets of lentils have come to the public’s eye in recent years. In fact, it is included in the popular and highly recommended DASH diet. Lentils are great for helping to lower blood pressure and for keeping your heart healthy and strong.
If you’re not a fan of fish, it’s time to expand your horizons, starting with mackerel. Mackerel is a great main course for dinner or a tasty addition to salads and other dishes. This fish has ridiculously high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and also has high levels of the mineral selenium. This mineral helps the body fight against the development of heart disease and cancer. Make a healthy version of fish and chips by skipping the batter and switching the potatoes for sweet potatoes.
We are totally nuts over all these nuts! Okay, excuse the bad joke. But whether it’s peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or cashews, these superfoods are loaded with unsaturated fatty acids as well as essential nutrients and minerals. If eaten in moderation, nuts can better regulate high cholesterol levels and also help your heart stay strong. We really cannot stress how essential a varied collection of nuts is in a healthy and balanced diet. Remember to not overdo it though, as they also have a high fat content.
If you are not a regular breakfast eater, there’s no better food to start off your day with than oatmeal. In addition to being super tasty, oatmeal has a ton of different nutrients and minerals like potassium, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids. This breakfast staple pairs well with nearly every fruit imaginable, and it’s been found to help trigger weight loss in those with diabetes or without. This breakfast treat can also help lower cholesterol levels and help clear out those vital arteries to keep your heart pumping strong.
Beans, beans, the magical fruit… the more you eat the more you… oh, never mind. For starters, this children’s rhyme is a bit inaccurate since beans belong to the legume family, alongside soybeans, lentils, green beans, peanuts, and peas. This tiny, multicolored superfood has unrivaled levels of fiber and protein, and they are also low in fat. They contain important phytochemicals that help guard against the onset of heart disease.
Pears possess a lot of similarities to their friendly cousin, apples. Pears are a deliciously sweet and hydrating choice for dieters looking for a snack high in fiber, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. While we all know the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” a pear a day has the potential to do the same, if not more! Pears help to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol and also lower the body’s chances of developing heart disease.
Asparagus is a great dish to have baked, grilled, or sauteed, and is a versatile vegetable that can be used in many different dishes. It is loaded with fiber and tons of vitamins! Vitamins A, E, C, and K, specifically. Asparagus has been studied and found to be a great vegetable to improve proper digestive functioning and has been found to increase insulin levels, reduce the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), and also protects against diabetes and heart disease.
If you haven’t already jumped aboard the quinoa train, it’s time to join the party! Quinoa tastes great as a dish cooked on its own or as a tasty addition to cold salads. Since quinoa has nearly double the amount of fiber as other grains, it’s a great choice for feeling full for longer and aiding in any weight loss. Quinoa has high amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and many essential amino acids. Moderate consumption can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of developing hypertension, and is an excellent addition to your diet if you want to maintain your overall heart health.
Spinach is not only a superfood for cartoon heroes like Popeye! Spinach is so rich in vitamin K that it takes half of a traditional serving, or half-a-cup of this superfood to get five times the recommended daily dose of this vital vitamin! Vitamin K helps prevent blood clots and ensures that your bones grow and stay strong. Spinach tastes great as a salad topper or as a salad base, and this leafy green is high in fiber, lutein, folate, and potassium. This means that your next meal with spinach will be guarding you against heart disease.
Strawberries make up the cornerstone of many breakfast foods, snacks, and desserts. This delicious red superfruit is great for satisfying your sweet tooth and is also high in vitamin C, folate, and other heart-healthy nutrients and minerals. Because they have a low-calorie density, they’re a great addition to any weight loss diet. Scientists have also found that strawberries both help widen arteries and reduce plaque build-up to help your heart to beat with vigor and strength.
Sweet potatoes are a popular alternative to traditional potatoes because of their sweet, delicious taste. They can be paired with anything from red meat to chicken, and they taste great sauteed or baked alongside some vegetables. In recent years, sweet potatoes have made their way into pasta dishes and even pizza toppings! Sweet potatoes are loaded with minerals and nutrients, namely potassium. Potassium is important for reducing blood pressure and keeping fluids in the body balanced. They can also keep your heart beating strong even as the years fly by!
We’re nuts about walnuts! This excellent snack or salad topper has huge amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. In case you were especially curious, omega-3’s are also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This means that these super delicious nuts can help regulate cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and also keeps your heart healthy and happy. There is a reason why walnuts resemble the human brain, as they are incredibly beneficial for brainpower and concentration.
Newsflash: Watermelons aren’t only great for you in the summer! Though, you might be surprised to know that they have the added benefit of helping protect the skin from harmful UV rays. This giant fruit is also about 96% water, so adding this fruit to your diet will help keep you hydrated and feeling full longer. Watermelons also have high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, as well as potassium and magnesium. Studies have shown that they can help lower both blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
This deliciously yellow superfood makes for a great addition to any breakfast or as a base in smoothies or shakes. This yellow fruit hero contains high levels of fiber, protein, and potassium. This unique combination means that every banana you eat allows for your nerve cells to function better, allowing your muscles to contract. Despite being the bane of any dieter’s palate, bananas actually have fiber and starch that are considered a low-density food, which means they are great for losing weight! This super-nutritious superfood also helps to regulate your heartbeat, helps lower blood pressure over time, and helps your cardiovascular system stay in top shape.
If you eat a Mediterranean diet, you’re in for good news! It is one of the world’s healthiest diets, and that is due to the inclusion of one major ingredient: extra-virgin olive oil. This additional ingredient brings a fantastic flavor to any dish, and it also provides the body with high amounts of monounsaturated fats. This means that a moderate drizzle of olive oil in your meals can help reduce the build-up of LDL cholesterol, lower the chances of blood clots, and also better regulate blood glucose levels.
With the onset of the age of vegetarianism (and to an extent, veganism), demand has skyrocketed for a protein supplement that could replace the nutritional value of meat. Enter soy. Soy products have exploded onto supermarket shelves and with their many varieties and flavors, the meatless diet has been easier than ever. Even soy milk products have been found to help reduce LDL cholesterol, in addition to being cholesterol-free. Soy is high in protein and low in saturated fats. It also contains high amounts of fiber and the same omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a distinctively foul smell, but many celebrities swear by its efficacious powers. In fact, Beyonce has stated that she is a strong believer in its cleansing abilities. Diluting the vinegar with water before each meal has been shown to help promote weight loss. This brownish vinegar also has measurable health benefits. Research has shown that it helps lower both triglyceride and cholesterol levels, allowing for the natural reduction in blood pressure and creating a barrier against heart disease. If it’s good enough for Queen Bey, it’s good enough for us!
These little black beans can be such a tasty treat that you might confuse them for candy! They are jam-packed in protein, potassium, fiber, phytonutrients, vitamin B6, and folate. That mix of nutrients means that this small bean can reduce cholesterol and protect your body against heart disease. Try them in burritos, soups, salads, or even as a side dish. Their high fiber and low-fat content mean they can help you burn off those pesky extra pounds.
Too much of a good thing is never a good thing, but with some superfoods, we beg to differ. Including a healthy amount of reduced-fat dairy as part of a balanced diet protects the body against hypertension and certain types of cancer. Yogurt is high in vitamins A, D, B2, B6, and iodine and zinc. These nutrients help guard the body against strokes and the development of heart disease. Organic yogurt is the go-to standard for breakfast!
Cabbage is one of the most underrated superfoods! In addition to being a great low-calorie snack, it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and important antioxidants. Moreover, it contains high amounts of vitamin C, which has been known to help boost the immune system and also guard against heart disease. This big green hero also helps stop vision loss and protects against some types of cancers. Cabbage is another staple in many Asian countries’ cuisine.
Brown rice has been a staple in countless cultures and regions around the world. While the jury is out on whether brown or white rice is more popular around the world, there’s one winner when it comes to health. Brown rice has higher nutrient contents than white rice, and it is also gluten-free. Brown rice has countless healthy vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that help trigger weight loss and protects the body against heart disease and diabetes. Cabbage is another staple in many Asian countries’ cuisine.
Coconuts are a particularly strange superfood. They contain lauric acid, which triggers the increase of low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. The fruit mysteriously also contains high sources of high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol. This combination of good and bad cholesterol in each serving of coconut oil means that, in moderate amounts, this fruit can help improve heart health. If you suffer from a dry scalp or would like your hair to be thicker and healthier, then coconut oil can be your best friend.
Broccoli’s albino sibling is often overlooked at the grocery store, but this big vegetable can do wonders for your body’s cardiovascular health. This superfood is loaded with fiber and has an unusually low-calorie density, so it makes for a great side dish or grilled main course. Cauliflower has been known to help protect against stomach disorders, help promote healthy bones, reduce the chances of oxidative stress, and also helps prevent respiratory problems.
This uniquely purple fruit is loaded with phytonutrients, iron, protein, antioxidants, iron, carotene, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In case you were wondering, that’s the kind of fats that promote the healthy functioning of your heart. This tropical fruit is known to also improve your body’s immune system due to its high concentration of the phytochemical called captain. If you’re wary of taking heart medicines, know that the captain in dragon fruit is often added to medicines to treat heart problems. The natural route is to eat some more dragon fruit.
Before you roll your eyes at another pumpkin spice cereal, latte, or bagel, just know that pumpkins are super rich in vitamins and antioxidants. This giant orange squash has high amounts of beta-carotene, potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, and phytoestrogens. This means if you’re trying to deter a winter cold, add some pumpkin to your diet. Pumpkins help boost your immune system’s strength in addition to regulating weight, lowering blood pressure, and warding off heart disease.
Every family has their own secret tomato sauce for everything from pasta to pizzas to even dipping sauces. The next time you whip up your version, know that tomato juice has been studied extensively, and this little vegetable has the power to help lower the bad cholesterol in your blood (lipoprotein). It also has high amounts of lycopene, which helps the skin look younger and also helps protect against heart disease.
Brussels sprouts might have an adverse smell, and for some of us, an interesting taste as well, but these little green sprouts have loads of nutrition. Since they belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables, they have high amounts of glucosinolates, potassium, iron, and protein. All this means they act like a warrior body detox-er, helping to fight against cancer, and improve the overall health of your heart. Brussels sprouts might be a bit unpalatable during warmer weather, but the frosts of winter cause their summertime chemical reactions to cool down, as they then produce more sugar.
Just like tomatoes, olives are in fact classified as fruit! These little snacks and pizza or salad toppings are a great source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. What does this mean for your body? Adding a moderate amount of olives to your diet can increase the amount of good cholesterol in your body and protect against heart disease. If you’re trying to lose weight, they have been proven to help with weight loss as well!
Cinnamon has been a staple in traditional medical treatments for thousands of years. Only recently, however, have scientific studies proven that cinnamon is among the most beneficial spices on the planet. Cinnamon is loaded with calcium, manganese, and fiber, and these nutrients help regulate glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and help protect against the onset of heart disease. While we do not advise you to indulge in too much pudding, cinnamon is an incredible accompaniment to any dessert or hot beverage.
Edamame is definitely a snack that we can’t live without! It has tons of nutrients and is low in not only saturated fats but also cholesterol. This small green superfood is loaded with plant protein and a type of fiber called phytosterols which helps lower cholesterol. If that wasn’t enough reason to eat more of the soy protein, it also has been known to help combat heart disease. This is a perfect starter for any Asian meal!
When you think about collard greens, do vegetables like kale, bok choy, brussels sprouts, rutabaga, cabbage, turnips, and broccoli come to mind? They’re actually all in the same family! Collard greens are high in zeaxanthin, lutein, and Vitamin A, while also having a very low-calorie density. This combination of vitamins and nutrients helps protect the body against diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. If you are familiar with Soul Food, then collard greens are a firm favorite.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but maintaining proper hydration is essential to one’s overall health and wellness. Stayed hydrated each and every day is extremely important to maintaining a high metabolism, proper mood regulation, accurate brain functioning, warding off obesity, and keeping your heart pumping at a steady rate. If keeping hydrated is hard for you, you can always try and carry a spare water bottle at your workplace or in your car.
Tuna is such a favorite among households that it’s also known as the “chicken of the sea.” It has high concentrations of amino acids that help promote the growth of healthy muscle tissues. If you can’t afford fresh tuna, don’t fret! Even canned tuna has tons of omega-3 fatty acids that work to maintain a healthy heart. We love buying raw tuna steaks and lightly searing them in a pan with some soy sauce.
Most berries are high in antioxidants, but raspberries are unique in that they also have high levels of Vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and also have low concentrations of fat. This super yummy fruit contains high amounts of polyphenols, which help fight against heart disease. Raspberries are an incredible accompaniment to any bowl of muesli or oat flakes, or your standard bowl of cereal. We also love adding them to smoothies.
If you’re looking for a delicious South American nut, look no further than Brazil nuts. Making this nut a staple in your pantry is essential to help protect you against cardiovascular diseases. These special nuts are high in fat, but not the kind of fat you should be worried about (in moderation!). The good fats found in these nuts, alongside their high antioxidants and nutrients, will help guard your heart against diseases and illness.
It might seem counter-intuitive to add fatty fishes to your diet, but science has shown the opposite to be true. In fact, the types of fat in fishes are extremely healthy, and the fattier the fish, the better! The types of fishes that have the best sources of those good fats range from mackerel to salmon, and even tuna and sardines! The omega-3 fatty acids in these fish help your body work to lower cholesterol and do great things for the heart.
This little red superfood is a great tangy addition to any salad, but did you know they also have high amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. Scientists have proven that vegetables like tomatoes are integral to preventing dangerous cardiovascular diseases. For any fan of Italian cuisine, the tomato is an essential feature. Why not make your own tomato paste or sauce, instead of buying the incredibly sugary and preservative-full type that you get in stores.
Acai berries have shot through the roof in popularity in recent years, and many have added this delicious berry to smoothies as well as breakfast bowls. In reality, this berry pairs well with meals throughout the day and has a high source of antioxidants that help protect your body against illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer! You really want to eat as many of these berries as possible, as they will swiftly kick out as many of the major disease-causing nastiness that our bodies store.