People should try to eat many of the best heart healthy foods. It is generally agreed that the heart is one of the most important organs in the human body.
Even though it is not the center of memory, it nonetheless performs a number of absolutely crucial functions. Heart health is quite integral to staying alive. While ensuring proper heart health is an important task at any age, it is particularly crucial for those of us who are 40 or older. Foods that are low in sodium and high in potassium will do wonders for your blood pressure while protein, B Vitamins and Iron will help regulate your blood count.
Fortunately, some of the best heart healthy foods are also delicious. To make sure your ticker stays in optimal condition, eat the following whenever possible:
Heart Healthy #1 Salmon and other Fish
Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, and other such fish are excellent sources of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Fish also tend to be low in saturated fat, a prime contributor to heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, are one of the best weapons available in the fight against heart problems. Much of their effects, and the mechanisms through which they act, are still being studied but what is known thus far is extremely promising.
Heart Healthy #2 Non-fat Milk and Dairy Products
Chances are you drink plenty of milk (and consume loads of dairy products), and you should: the American Heart Association strongly recommends it. By consuming fat-free dairy products, you drastically cut your consumption of saturated fats and, consequently, your risk of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).
You also get plenty of Vitamins A, B, and D as well as calcium, potassium, and protein, without too many unnecessary calories. Remember, being overweight increases your risk for heart disease significantly.
Heart Healthy #3 Beans and Legumes
Beans, peanuts, and other legumes are a great way to replace potentially heart-damaging animal proteins with items that are much lower in cholesterol and saturated fat. Beans are also one of the best sources of fiber in the world. To re-iterate, fiber helps keep you feeling full for a long period of time, thus reducing your overall caloric intake. Simple carbohydrates, on the other hand, leave you feeling hungry as little as half an hour later.
Heart Healthy #4 Oatmeal
Start your breakfast every day with a bowl of oatmeal, and you’ll feel the effects in days. Not only is oatmeal also high in the fiber that helps you feel full, it also helps lower your LDL (bad cholesterol). Oatmeal also has high levels of protein, Iron, and B vitamins, which help regulate both blood count and blood pressure.
Eating heart healthy foods is also about what you avoid. Foods that are high in saturated fat are a huge “No”. Do not worry about cholesterol as research has shown that your cholesterol is less affected by the cholesterol you ingest than by the amount of saturated fats you consume.
Trans-fats are another thing to avoid at all costs. Research has shown that these artificial fats are major contributors to all kinds of heart disease. For the most healthy diet, try to eat the best heart healthy foods.