The heart supplies blood and oxygen to the entire body, and without its protection, your lifespan is greatly reduced. The good news is that there are lots of natural foods that can keep the heart functioning at an optimal level.
Seafood, nuts, legumes, whole grain and green, leafy vegetables are the superfoods that keep the heart healthy and strong. Read on to learn how.
What You Should Be Eating
Wild salmon reduces levels of harmful triglycerides and raises the beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, so that heart disease risk is greatly reduced. Cholesterol and plaque buildup in the artery walls constrict blood and oxygen flow, which is the main trigger for heart attacks and strokes.
Rainbow trout is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and is often used as a substitute for wild salmon. The flavor and benefits are similar. Other good sources of omega-3 are anchovies, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, walnuts and flaxseed. One serving of fish three times a week, a quarter cup of walnuts a day, or one to two tablespoons of ground flaxseed every day are all great ways to get a good dose of omega-3, sufficient enough to guard your body against heart disease.
Wheat germ contains cholesterol-lowering plant sterols, magnesium and vitamin E, which make for strong and healthy blood vessels. Again, when blood vessels are strong and unclogged, blood circulates better and a person is less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Two tablespoons of wheat germ a day is recommended.
Psyllium seeds provide high levels of soluble fiber, which is necessary to lower bad LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Fiber keeps the bowels flowing regularly, removes toxins from the body, and prevents disease – especially heart disease. You can get psyllium seeds in some whole-grain breakfast cereals or other sources of whole grain. Eating 1 ½ to 3 ½ servings of psyllium seeds each week is recommended.
Garbanzo beans also contain lots of soluble fiber and magnesium, and together these nutrients work to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, so that your heart is as healthy as it can be.
There is a saying that “beans are good for the heart,” and this time the saying is true. Beans supply a great deal of fiber that may cause gas, but the health benefits far outweigh that little inconvenience. Besides, trying a product like Bean-O can alleviate excess gas when you eat beans on a regular basis.
Turnip and mustard greens are rich in the B vitamin folic acid (B9), which works to reduce homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is linked to heart disease. You can get a good amount of folic acid by eating foods like beets and broccoli – just a half a cup a day.