We all know it’s important to protect ourselves from heart disease. Although this might be scary to think of, at least one in three deaths among women can be caused by heart disease. But you might be wondering, surely that’s not something I can control? I mean, if it happens, it happens. To an extent, that might be true. But there are actually a lot of foods that help to keep your heart healthy and properly functioning.
So how can you make sure you’re eating a heart-healthy diet? You have to focus on certain foods and change up your diet. Here are some foods that need to play a bigger role in your overall diet.
Salmon has a lot of omega-3. Omega-3s are healthy fats that are really good for the heart. They can help lower blood pressure and also help with heart rhythm disorders. They can also help to lower triglycerides (too high a level can cause coronary heart disease or a stroke). Salmon (or any other oily fish you fancy) can be had twice a week as part of your diet. It can easily be the centrepiece of a meal; cook it in garlic, sear it, bake it, or grill it with some veggies – delicious! Tuna also makes for a good alternative, it’s got a ton of omega-3s as well.
Are you a big fan of chocolate? Well, here’s the excuse you need. Although dark chocolate can be a bit higher in calories and sugar, it’s also got a lot of antioxidants which can help to promote heart health. If you’re going to try this out, pick a high-quality dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content. You can guzzle a couple squares twice a week as a midday or evening snack, but make sure not to indulge too much!
We all know that almonds make for a super healthy snack, but how are they so healthy anyway? They’re a good source of monounsaturated fats and fibre, which are important for protecting you from heart disease. They can also help lower cholesterol levels and help keep your arteries clear. All in all, they’re great for heart health, and very versatile. While you can always grab them as a snack to-go, you can also throw them in your rice dish for a touch of flavour, or toss them in a light salad, or just add them to any veggie or meat dish. You can even try toasting the almonds a bit to enhance the flavour!
You might be skeptical of this new-fangled thing that’s flooding the markets these days, maybe you think it’s just for vegans. But tofu is actually really good for you; it has the right minerals, fibre, and polyunsaturated fats that are great for the heart. It’s basically a soy protein. Tofu can take a bit of getting used to but many people really like it, and if you cook it right, there’s no issues. You can try putting it in soups, or giving it a nice marinade and grill for tasty results. It absorbs flavour well so you can add your favourite spices.
If you aren’t already starting your day with a delicious bowl of oatmeal, it’s definitely time. Not only is it super filling, oatmeal helps to stabilise your blood sugar levels, and also lowers your cholesterol. You can get best results with slow-cooked oatmeal, maybe try overnight oats. The best thing is, you can go crazy with your toppings. Add all the sliced fruit, nuts, honey, and peanut butter you want. You can also try using oats instead of flour when you’re tossing your morning pancakes or baking a batch of muffins. It’ll be a lot more healthy and very delicious!
This might be a strange addition to this list, but research has shown that green tea has antioxidants to improve heart health (aside from helping with inflammation and preventing cell damage). It can also help to lower cholesterol and also help to reduce your blood pressure levels. If you don’t like the taste of green tea, there are green tea supplements you can try, or you can try some matcha, which is growing very popular these days. A cup of green tea in the morning is a great pick-me-up, and it’ll help your heart in the long run!
Make sure you’re doing what’s best for your health!