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5 Healthy Heart Foods

Today is part 3 of our heart health series. If you missed part 1 you can read it here and part 2 here.

Ladies, your heart is the most important muscle in your body, yet when was the last time you really took care of it? 

If you’re looking to get healthier throughout 2021 and I know you are, then eating a heart-friendly diet is one of the first things you’ll want to focus on. Read on to discover 5 healthy heart foods you’ll want to stock up on or if you prefer to listen click PODCAST.

1. Salmon

Oily fish such as salmon, is great for the heart. It’s said that just two portions a week can cut the risk of coronary heart disease by as much as 30%. It helps to lower the triglyceride levels within the blood which are known to lead to blood clotting.

Salmon also helps to lower the blood pressure and it’s even linked to the prevention of irregular heart rhythms. While all oily fish is great for the heart, salmon is definitely king when it comes to healthy heart foods.    

2. Greek Yogurt

You may be surprised to find yoghurt on the list, but it’s not just any old yoghurt. Japanese researchers discovered probiotic yoghurts can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Unlike most foods on the list, it protects the heart indirectly. It works by reducing the risk of gum disease, improves digestion and gives the immune system a boost. You’ll remember from last week’s talk that gum disease is known to linked to an increased risk of heart disease. So, by keeping them clean and healthy, you’re indirectly helping the heart. 

3. Wholegrains

Wholegrains are a superfood for the heart. They contain phytosterols, antioxidants and phytoestrogens – all of which prevent coronary heart disease.

They also contain a high level of fiber which is also linked to the prevention of heart disease. Studies carried out by Harvard, show those who consumed a high fiber diet had a staggering 40% reduced risk of developing heart disease.

4. Berries

Berries aren’t just delicious, they’re also great for the heart. If you eat just a cupful of berries every day for approximately eight weeks, you’ll benefit from lower blood pressure and your levels of good cholesterol will also be increased.

The key is to eat a mixture of berries as they provide varying polyphenols known to increase nitric oxide levels within the body. Nitric oxide is responsible for numerous heart benefits including relaxing the blood vessels to reduce blood pressure.

Of course, other fruits also have fantastic heart health benefits. Apples, pomegranates and bananas can also significantly boost heart health. So, you’ll want to ensure you eat a variety of fruits, with a focus on berries. 

5. Dark chocolate

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll be really happy to see this one on the list! However, if you want to protect the heart, you’ll need to be focusing on dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which can help to thin the blood and boost cardiovascular health. There are studies which have shown that those who consume dark chocolate have a much lower incidence of heart disease.

Like the berries, dark chocolate helps to increase nitric oxide levels, significantly boosting the health of the blood vessels.

If you want to gain the benefits of dark chocolate, you’ll need to choose one which is at least 70% cocoa. The higher the cocoa content, the more beneficial it’s going to be for the heart. It’s also worth noting that you’ll still need to eat it in moderation. Too much, like anything, can have the opposite effect on the heart.

So, there you have it 5 healthy heart foods you’ll want to make sure you add to your diet. The key is to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet with as much variety as possible. Adding just the 5 foods above to your diet this year will significantly boost your heart health.

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