You probably know to lay off the fried foods and other sources of artery-clogging fats to keep your heart happy, but what about the foods you should be eating to keep it healthy? Here’s our top 10 list.
One of the very best sources of heart-guarding omega-3 fats and so easy to prepare.
All types of whole grains can help your heart. Soluble fibre, like the kind found in oats, is especially good for those arteries. Eating enough can help lower your total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Whether you prefer kidney, cannellini or pinto, beans are another way to get some of that heart-pleasing soluble fibre. They also pack in the protein, folate and iron to keep your red blood cells thriving.
Green Leafy Vegies
Green vegies like Swiss chard, kale, collards, bok choy and spinach offer up antioxidants like lutein as well as fibre, folate, potassium and calcium – all nutrients on the healthy-heart hit list.
All types of alcohol have been shown to help with heart health, and it’s one of the few food options that help raise the “good” HDL type of cholesterol. Red wine also contains potent antioxidants. But partake sensibly.
The monounsaturated fats found in olives and olive oil actually help your heart by keeping cholesterol down when they replace less healthy fats in your diet.
Nuts like almonds and walnuts help you load up on cell-protecting vitamin E and the other kind of heart-healthy fats known as “polyunsaturated”.
You can’t go wrong with berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or any other berry you can think of. They’re bite-sized nutrient powerhouses.
When you choose lean cuts over fatty ones, you’ll significantly reduce your intake of saturated fat (the kind that increases cholesterol). Trim all visible fat and skin from chicken breast, pork tenderloin and turkey and go for leaner cuts of red meat like flank steak or beef tenderloin on occasion.
Low-Fat and Non-fat Dairy
For the same reason meat made the list, we are recommending low-fat or nonfat dairy to keep your heart going strong. Skim milk, nonfat yogurt, low-fat cheeses and even treats like frozen yogurt provide calcium, protein and much-needed vitamin D.