Five Heart Healthy Foods

Everyone knows that the heart is a vital organ. Unfortunately, many people choose to ignore this simple, but important fact when deciding what foods to eat. Heart disease is extremely prevalent in today’s society and also plays a hand in thousands of deaths every day in this country. Today, let’s talk about five foods that are good for you, and good for your heart.

The first food is blueberries. Blueberries are delicious and easy to find. They may be purchased fresh or frozen from a local grocery store or from vendors at a farmer’s market. They are rich in antioxidants, which do a number of things. These antioxidants help to decrease the bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, that lines artery walls and may eventually cause stroke and heart disease. And, they also help to counteract the harmful effects of “free radicals” in the body that may contribute to certain diseases/disorders such as cancer. A one-cup serving per day of blueberries is sufficient.

The second food is salmon. This may be bought fresh or frozen. And, it can be cooked so many different ways, such as broiled, baked, or grilled. When purchasing salmon, try to avoid farm-raised fish. Farm raised fish is generally deemed not as safe as wild fish due to the pesticides found in the food that is given to farm raised fish. Salmon is considered heart healthy due to the increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help decrease triglycerides in the body, which are thought to be one of the many factors causing heart disease. A 4 oz. serving of salmon twice a week is considered enough to receive the benefit of omega-3.

The third addition to a heart healthy diet is soy protein. Soy protein has so much to offer: vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. It is considered a great replacement for red meats because it is low fat and high fiber. The American Heart Association recommends eating 1 oz. of soy protein a day. Soy protein is found in soybeans, soy milk, tofu, and much more.

Oatmeal is the fourth food. Good, old-fashioned oatmeal. It is simple, easy, and cheap. A half-cup serving of oatmeal is only around 130 calories, and contains about 5 grams of fiber. It is extremely low in fat. This combination helps to lower cholesterol and can aid in lowering body weight. The average adult should take in anywhere from 21 to 38 grams of dietary fiber a day. Actually, if a person wanted to, they could combine three of the five heart healthy foods listed here for a very healthy, hearty breakfast. One could combine a serving of fresh blueberries, a serving of vanilla soy protein, and a serving of oatmeal for a true heart healthy breakfast.

The fifth and final food is spinach. It is chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach is truly versatile. It may be eaten as a salad, or cooked as a side dish. Spinach is a great replacement for lettuce when making a salad or sandwich. This too, is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. It may be purchased frozen or fresh, depending on its use.

To conclude, a healthy heart is a happy heart. A happy heart is a healthier person. It is so easy to make minor changes to one’s diet, and mostly inexpensive. Soy protein, spinach, salmon, oatmeal, and blueberries are a wonderful edition to a heart healthy diet.

Robert Harden, fitness coach at Extremely-Fit, invites you to visit http://www.extremely-fit.com for more fitness and nutritional articles, like this one. For a great workout and nutrition program try ChaLEAN Extreme.

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