December 14, 2018

Best Foods for Heart Health

best foods to eat to take care of your heart

If you have a family history of heart disease or other cardiovascular issues, it is so terribly important to be watching what you eat. What you put in your body is the biggest determinant of your health. As they say, you are what you eat.

I had written a previous post about the Meditteranean Diet and how it is great for combating heart disease, which you can read here. However, that post didn’t fully go into what kinds of foods make the best list of choices for heart health. I figured now would be a better time than any to address that.

What Foods Are Great for Heart Health?

While putting together this list, it came as no surprise that a lot of them are foods that you would find in a Meditteranean Diet. Of all the fads that have come and gone, that diet, in particular, is one that has true staying power as it has so many health benefits. Not to mention, it can be a great way to lose weight and get into better shape.

One of the many components of the Med Diet is eating a lot of fish. This meat is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are typically lacking in a normal American diet. Make sure you are getting fish at least a couple times per week. My favorite, and one that is most recommended, is salmon. This protein can lower your triglyceride and lipid levels, which in turn lower your risk factors for developing heart disease.

That’s not to say you should be eating fish every night. I’m not sure even the biggest seafood lover could stomach that night after night.

However, be sure to work it into your schedule at least twice per week, if not more. Conversely, stay away from red meat, as it contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease (as I wrote about here).

Outside of seafood, another way to keep your heart healthy is by eating a lot of plant-based foods. That means fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and legumes. I wrote previously about healthy nuts to snack on. All of them listed there can lower your cholesterol levels, lipid levels, and contain omega-3 and other nutrients that are hugely beneficial for heart health.

Aside from those options, it is never a bad idea to be eating enough salad. Leafy greens are healthy no matter what your goals are, but they are particularly healthy for your heart. Try to make a salad with kale or spinach, as opposed to regular iceberg or romaine lettuce, to get even more nutrients from your greens.

Lastly, another great thing about the Med Diet is the encouragement of drinking some red wine! When consumed in moderation, it can reduce the risk of heart disease. However, the words in moderation are key. Going overboard can have an adverse effect and lead to a multitude of issues. Try to stick to a glass of wine per day.

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T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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