We always hear a lot about foods that are bad for our hearts, but how much do you know about these ten best heart foods? These are foods that have been determined to help increase heart health, and some of them might even surprise you. If you're concerned about how your food affects your health, you need to know about these healthy heart foods.
- Salmon – Pretty much all fish is a good choice, but salmon in particular is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which can actual help lower your bad cholesterol. That's great news for your heart.
- Dark Chocolate – Yes, chocolate! Certain chocolates, mainly the darkest ones, contain flavenols, which have antioxidant properties and help lower blood pressure. Even the fats in chocolate aren't considered as bad for us as they once were thought to be. Just make sure to limit it to one small chocolate a day.
- Blueberries – While most berries are really good for your heart, blueberries are one of the best. Scientific research shows them to have the highest level of antioxidants among all fruits and vegetables.
- Nuts – Not just any nuts, but in particular almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. Eating an ounce and a half each day may reduce the incidence of heart disease.
- Tuna – Like salmon, tuna is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. It's also cheaper than salmon and easy to carry to work in your lunch, so you're likely to eat it more often.
- Brown rice – We all know brown rice is higher in fiber than white rice, but it's also great for protecting you from high blood pressure.
- Oatmeal - Everyone should be aware by now that eating oatmeal helps lower cholesterol. Top it with some blueberries and walnuts for an excellent heart healthy breakfast.
- Alcoholic Beverages – No, this doesn't mean it's ok to go get tanked up every night. However, research has shown that moderate alcohol intake-one drink daily for women, and two drinks daily for men-can lead to reduced risk of cardiovascular problems. While some believe that red wine is the best choice, studies have not been able to prove it conclusively. So, if you enjoy a beer after work, there's no need to switch. Just make sure it's not more than that, or the risks of alcohol begin to outweigh any cardiovascular benefits.
- Black Beans and Kidney Beans – Lots of B vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids make these a great choice for dinner.
- Carrots – All yellow and orange vegetables are considered good heart healthy choices because of the beta-carotene. Carrots are the tops.
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