5 Heart Healthy Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet

Posted Mar 10, 2012 | Posted in Fitness & Nutrition

green and red healthy foodYour diet is important to maintaining a healthy heart. Foods with high levels of saturated fat or sodium can worsen your blood pressure and circulation, and increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. On the other hand, foods that are high in fiber or omega-3 fatty acids, such asfruit or fish, can benefit your circulatory system. Here are five items to consider on your next trip to the grocery store.

1. Salmon

Besides being delicious, salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown by many studies to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to boost your  immune system and prevent cancer. Try to find wild-caught salmon, which is generally a healthier choice than farm-raised fish.

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is high in fiber as well as a variety of other nutrients including magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin and calcium. These minerals promote good blood flow. Add to oatmeal’s health benefits by adding some fresh berries.

3. Blueberries

Antioxidants are important to  our bodies’ systems. Blueberries are  naturally sweet and a North Carolina-grown treat that are full of antioxidants. Blueberries are full of other nutrients, too, such as beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. They are a true super food that can ensure proper heart function.

4. Dark Chocolate

Products with a cocoa content greater than 70 percentcan benefit  your heart and satisfy your sweet tooth. Dark chocolate contains reservatrol and cocoa phenols, which lower blood pressure, It lacks the added sugar and fat of milk chocolate, which has less cocoa.

5. Red Wine

Several recent studies suggest that red wine, when consumed in moderation, can help promote a healthy cholesterol balance in your body. It has high levels of catechins and reservatrol.

It’s important to note that these items constitute only part of a heart-healthy strategy. You should talk with  your doctor about changes to your daily routine, including drastic changes to your eating habits.

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