August 2014

25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods

25 Top Heart-Healthy Foods

We all know how important our heart is and of course we want to treat it well and protect it from injury. While the role of cholesterol remains a hotly debated topic there are a number of foods that have little or nothing to do with cholesterol, are heart healthy and just plain flat out taste good.

By adding these foods to your daily diet you are giving your heart a boost in both feeling and staying healthy and happy.

From asparagus to sweet potatoes to a taste robust Cabernet, even a luscious chocolate treat we feed our heart better and enjoy every bite (or sip) of the heart-healthy foods we eat. The following 25 tasty foods deliver a powerful dose of phytonutrients that can prevent heart disease and repair damage to heart cells. This is the core of preventing heart disease.

There many delicious fruits and vegetables, many colors, shapes, sizes, that are both good for you and for your heart. By adding them to your diet and looking for them when you eat out you can significantly reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

 Fresh fruits and vegetables offer a tasty and painless way to eat a heart-healthy diet. They can help wipe out dangerous free radicals in the bloodstream, protect your blood vessels, reduce the risk of hardening of your arteries and leave you asking for more.

In recent years nutritionist and physicians specializing in preventive medicine have more and more been encouraging their clients to eat a whole food, nutritionally dense food diet. The whole food, nutritionally dense food diet is one what is based around eating food that is vine ripened, fresh and chocked full of vitamin, minerals and other essential nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables in their natural form, as it comes from the ground, and less processed and refined foods.

When these fresh vine ripened fruits and vegetables are combined with whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, fatty fish, lean meats they bring into your body all of the nutrients your heart, muscles, brain and organs need to not only be healthy but to perform optimally and correctly. This basic diet offer all sorts of heart-protective phytonutrients and health creating essential nutrients.

In this article, a first in a series of healthy diet information we will look at a variety of the very best heart-healthy foods.

If you listen to the media and believe what they say then you might think that all your problems could be solved if you were to only eat the one "magic food" they were advertising at the moment. A heart-healthy diet is not only about oatmeal and omega-3 fats, to obtain real and lasting health you will need to look for ways to add a number of heart healthy foods, each containing different but important nutrients. Having an understanding that there are not just a one or two heart-healthy foods can add a great new dimension, to your heart-healthy lifestyle, a tasty variety of foods and dishes made with these foods.

The foods listed here are all top-performers in protecting your heart and your blood vessels. They can also provide a basis for many great menu ideas -- so that you can easily bring heart-healthy foods into your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Serving them at home can teach your children how to eat healthy and looking for them at your favorite restaurant can create a bonus of great tasting foods that are also healthy for you.

 

Food

Important Ingredient

Comment

1. Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids.

Grill salmon with a yummy rub or marinade. Save a chunk to chop for a pasta or salad later on. Consider wild caught salmon as the best possible choice.

2. Flaxseed (ground)

Omega-3 fatty acids; fiber, phytoestrogens.

Ground flaxseed hides easily in all sorts of foods -- yogurt parfaits, morning cereal, homemade muffins, or cookies. Not always easy to spot when dining out but in those heath conscious restaurants a good choice to order.

3. Oatmeal

Omega-3 fatty acids; magnesium; potassium; folate; niacin; calcium; soluble fiber.

Top hot oatmeal with fresh berries. Oatmeal-and-raisin cookies are a hearty treat. For breakfast, instead of bacon and eggs try a hot steaming bowel of oatmeal with whole wheat or rye toast.

4. Black or
    Kidney Beans
                    

B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber.

Give soup or salad a nutrient boost -- stir in some beans. A staple in many ethnic restaurants beans are a nutritious way to protect your heart. Avoid refried beans if possible, and look for cooked bean dishes.

5. Almonds

Plant omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin E; magnesium; fiber; heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats; phytosterols.

Mix a few almonds (and berries) into low-fat yogurt, trail mix, or fruit salads. Almonds offer a tasty treat as part of amain dish such as Chinese chicken dishes made with almonds or a toping for your favorite desert.

6. Walnuts

Plant omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin E; magnesium; folate; fiber; heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats; phytosterols.

Walnuts add flavorful crunch to salads, pastas, cookies, muffins, even pancakes. Here too walnuts can be found as ingredients in salads, main dishes or deserts. Read te menu and ask.

7. Red wine

Catechins and reservatrol (flavonoids).

Toast your good health! A glass of red wine could improve "good" HDL cholesterol. Cooking with red wine is next best, if you are not a wine drinker.

8. Tuna

Omega-3 fatty acids; folate; niacin.

Here's a tasty lunch suggestion: baby salad greens, fresh fruit, canned water packed tuna. Keep "Salad Spritzer"