Heart Healthy Foods
By Sara Butler
Your heart will beat an average of 2.5 billion times in your life. Yes, billion! It stands to reason that keeping your heart healthy should be a pretty big priority. Here are some ticker-approved foods you should add to your grocery list to help you keep your heart happy and healthy.
Watermelon is high in fiber and antioxidants. It also is a great source of lycopene, which in some research has been linked to a lower risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Another secret watermelon weapon is something called citrulline, which might just help to improve the health of your blood vessels – vessels your heart needs to be healthy so it can stay healthy, too.
The Vitamins A and C, magnesium, and potassium contained in watermelon also make it a winner!
Tomatoes give you a punch of Vitamin C, which is really good for your heart. They also are a great source of lycopene. It doesn’t matter if the tomatoes are fresh or canned, either. Canned tomatoes are just as nutritious as fresh tomatoes and might be a little more cost-effective for your household. Try making your own tomato sauce!
Monounsaturated fats are really good for your heart, and avocados are packed with them! They’re also a great source of potassium, which helps to control your blood pressure – a heart-healthy must. When you throw in the healthy dose of Vitamin C, carotenoids and fiber in avocados, they’re a dream for the health of your heart. So, don’t be afraid to add a little avocado to your diet, since they’ll help you absorb antioxidants in other foods such as carrots and spinach too.
Berries are a great source of the “good” kind of dietary cholesterol called HDL. They also help to keep your blood pressure in check. You can enjoy any kind of berry fresh or frozen – it doesn’t matter when it comes to the punch of nutritious power they pack. Don’t be afraid to incorporate them into your diet daily.
Beans are good for your heart because they’re a great source of soluble fiber. This kind of fiber binds to dietary cholesterol and keeps it from being absorbed in unhealthy levels in your gut. They’re also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, folate, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin B. All of these nutrients are essential to keep your heart healthy and chugging along. Plus, canned beans are easy to store and keep on hand to add them into what you’re making for dinner!