5 foods for a healthier heart

5 foods for a healthier heart

A healthy lifestyle starts with taking good care of your heart. Getting regular exercise, not smoking and controlling stress are a few great ways to keep your heart happy. But what you eat is also important. Eating nutritious, heart-healthy foods has been shown to prevent up to 70 percent of heart disease cases, including cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

With that in mind, we've rounded up five superfoods that are great for your heart and can boost your overall nutritional intake.

Salmon. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for your heart. Omega-3 fatty acids lower the risk of arrhythmia and atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries), as well as decrease triglycerides. Try to fit salmon or other fatty fish into your diet at least twice a week. You can also take dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Oatmeal. Oatmeal contains a lot of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol. Essentially, soluble fiber prevents cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream by soaking it up in the digestive tract. Skip instant oatmeal, which contains sugar, and try old-fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking oats. You can also switch it up by replacing white bread and pasta with whole-grain versions.

Blueberries. A recent study showed that women between the ages of 25 and 42 who ate more than three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week had a 32 percent lower risk of heart attack compared with those who ate less. This is because these berries contain anthocyanins and flavonoids that may decrease blood pressure and dilate blood vessels.

Dark chocolate. Believe it or not, dark chocolate actually contains some heart benefits, including flavonoids that lower blood pressure, improve clotting and reduce inflammation. These flavonoids have also been found to reduce non-fatal heart attacks and strokes in high-risk individuals. 

Citrus fruits. A study has shown that women who consume oranges and grapefruits have a lower risk of ischemic stroke than those who don't. These fruits contain flavonoids and vitamin C, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Just be sure you're not drinking citrus juices that contain added sugar.

If you'd like to know more ways you can improve your cardiovascular health, talk with a primary care provider with Goshen Physicians


Posted: 10/17/2016 by Goshen Health
Filed under: healthy eating, Heart and Vascular, nutrition

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