Your heart health is a crucial component of your general wellbeing. As the most important muscle in the human body, the heart needs to be taken care of just the same as you take care of any other muscle. One sure way to maintain your heart’s overall health and ultimately improve its function is through your diet. We’re all familiar with the saying “you are what you eat”; this tends to be a lot more relevant than people sometimes think. In addition to general best practices such as reducing stress, getting proper sleep and exercise, and reducing/eliminating harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco, consider some of these heart healthy diet options to improve and maintain overall heart health.
Berries, Berries, Berries
Berries are a delicious and versatile option that provides your body with tons of heart healthy vitamins and nutrients. Extremely rich in antioxidants, berries are proven to the reduce harmful inflammation that can be directly linked to heart disease. Items such as strawberries and blueberries can reduce bad LDL cholesterol and improve the function of blood vessels, helping control and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. You can eat them on their own, as a delicious mixed berry smoothie, or add them into your favorite oatmeal or cereal.
Dark Leafy Greens
Some of the greatest natural components you can add to your diet are dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, or collard greens. Packed with vitamins, minerals and multiple antioxidants, these greens are known for their numerous heart health benefits. You’ll also find these items are packed with Vitamin K, which plays an essential role in protecting your arteries and promoting proper blood clotting. Generally, leafy greens are known for their overall potential to reduce the risk of heart disease in both men and women.
Outside of the realm of fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids are a huge component of your heart health. You can find your omega-3’s in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring. According to the American Heart Association fatty fish should be consumed at least two times a week, to receive the ultimate heart health benefits from their omega-3 fatty acids; this can decrease blood pressure as well as lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If you’re not a huge fan of fish, you can talk to your doctor about consuming your fish oil through natural supplements.
Monounsaturated fats are an extremely important part of maintaining your heart health. Consuming avocados are a great way to get in a healthy amount of monounsaturated fats, reduce cholesterol, and ultimately lower your risk of heart disease. Similar to berries, avocados also reduce bad LDL cholesterol. Additionally, the creamy fruit is rich in potassium, which can significantly decrease blood pressure and lower the risk of potential stroke.