5 Foods for a Heart Healthy Diet | Kodjoworkout

5 Foods for a Heart Healthy Diet

heart healthy dietThere’s little more important than taking good care of your heart. A happy and healthy heart equals a happy and healthy body. Since your heart pumps blood through your body and a strong blood flow is essential for life, it makes sense that you should do everything possible to make sure that  your heart is in good working order at all times. Not only should you exercise to keep your heart healthy, you should make sure that you eat certain foods as well.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the most powerful disease-fighting foods. The reason for this is that they contain an antioxidant known as anthocyanins that gives the blueberry its deep hue. Blueberries also contain fiber and vitamin C, and best of all is that they aren’t a seasonal fruit so you and your heart can enjoy them all year long. A few ways you can add blueberries into your diet is to sprinkle them to on cereal, pancakes, muffins, waffles or add them to a delicious fruit salad. Blueberries also make a great dessert or breakfast sauce. All you have to do is puree a fresh batch and enjoy.

2. Salmon

Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids as well as plenty of protein. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week in order to keep up with your heart health. One of the best things about salmon is that it can be added to so many dishes and it’s one of the easiest foods to prepare. You can cook salmon on the grill, on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave. You can also add it with pasta, salads, dips, spreads and it can be made in to delectable salmon cakes. If you enjoy smoked salmon, it’s available in two varieties. Raw smoke salmon is often used on bagels and paired with capers and cream cheese while dry smoked salmon can be added to cooked dishes. Salmon is great for a quick meal because it can be prepared in a matter of minutes. It’s also a great food to use to enhance all of the other flavors and ingredients that are added with it. Add it to corn chowder, roasted potatoes or marinate it and pair it with tacos and sandwiches.

3. Soy Protein

Soy is one of the least expensive ways to have a healthy heart. You’ll find it also has minerals, vitamins and fiber as well. Soy protein can also go a long way in lowering your triglycerides, which keep you from developing heart disease. Another bonus is that soy is high in polyunsaturated fat. A protein bar made from soy and soy nuts is a tasty and healthy snack. Edamame can be boiled and served warm either by itself or with a healthy dip. Instead of meat, you can add tofu to pastas, soups and various other dishes. Gently sauté cubes of tofu with baby carrots, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and curry powder and pair it with thick noodles for a stir fry.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is not only good for your heart, but for lowering your cholesterol levels as well. Other benefits of oatmeal are that it keeps you regular and protects you from certain cancers as well. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning will have you feeling full and satisfied for hours to come since it has such a high fiber content. For more flavor, add bananas, blueberries, apple slices or cinnamon and milk. The next time you’re cooking and need to use flour, you can replace a third of it with oats instead. Use it the next time you’d like to add some fiber to your pancakes, coffee cake, bread or cookies. Another recommendation is to substitute breadcrumbs with oatmeal on meatballs, poultry or meatloaf.

5. Spinach

One of the best vegetables you can eat is spinach. The reason that is has such a deep green color is that is contains multiple phytochemicals, folate, iron and vitamins that help the body fight off heart disease and helps preserve your eyesight as well. You can add chopped spinach to pizzas, pastas, stews and soups. It’s a good idea to have some frozen spinach on hand so you can defrost it and add it to dishes. Spinach also goes excellent with lettuce or any other salad green along with walnuts, craisins, blue cheese crumbles and oranges. Instead of piling on the cheese and butter on your potato, you can top it with steamed spinach, olive oil and lemon.

Taking good care of your heart can be delicious and beneficial to your overall health.

About the Author: Lauren Hill is constantly striving to make better health choices for she and her family.  She writes for Cardiac Vascular & Thoracic Surgery Associates (CVTSA), a Virginia surgery group.

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