Top 5 foods that are good for your heart
Good nutrition is key to preventing heart disease. For food rich in heart-healthy nutrients select food in its natural form such as fresh fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole-grains. With a myriad of choices at the grocery story, farmers market and food co-ops, eating healthy has never been more delicious. And an added benefit: food that's good for your heart is also good for your brain—and your waistline.
Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are rich in the heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Research has shown that eating fatty fish at least once a week is associated with a 44 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack in a group of older adults. The American Heart Association recommends adults eat fatty fish at least twice each week.
Red wine, consumed in moderation, is beneficial for heart health. Red wine contains antioxidants, called flavonoids, which may play a role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, boosting HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing blood clotting. Moderation is defined as one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women or two glasses per day for men.
Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats, magnesium and other nutrients. Walnuts, especially, are rich in omega-3 fats which may help prevent hardening of the arteries and lower triglyceride levels to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Whole grains have fiber and essential nutrients that are good for your heart. Research shows that whole grains may lower triglyceride levels and slow the buildup of arterial plaque. Look for 100 percent whole grain listed on ingredients labels.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol by working like a sponge to soak up cholesterol and help you eliminate it from your body. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in folate and potassium, nutrients important for heart health.
For more information on a heart-healthy diet, contact Gundersen Nutrition Therapy at (608) 775-3447. Or try our delicious healthy recipes.