Eat for Your Heart

Blood carries nutrients and oxygen through your body to nourish you from head to toe, but it wouldn’t be able to do a thing without your heart. Our hearts are hard-working and important muscles, so don’t they deserve our best? Take better care of your heart by making sure your diet includes plenty of the foods that are rich in heart-healthy nutrients.

Tempeh
Tempeh / Fotoos van Robin / CC BY 2.0

Probiotics

Nutrient Profile: This is one team of bacteria you should be glad to have on your side. Studies are just beginning to uphold the long-standing belief in the usefulness of these cultures, showing them to be useful for both reducing cholesterol and reducing the gum disease that elevates your risk of heart disease.

Get it from: yogurts , miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, vinegar, kimchi

Note: Many commercial versions of these products do no contain probiotics, so look for labels advertising “live, active cultures.” Also look for low-sodium, low-fat and no-sugar varieties.

Antioxidants

Nutrient Profile: Certain antioxidants have been shown to also be beneficial in fighting back the bacteria that can cause gum disease, putting you at greater risk for heart disease.

Get it from: raisins, berries, artichokes, spinach, Brussels sprouts

Fiber

Nutrient Profile: No news here–high-fiber diets can help reduce your LDL cholesterol. Many sources of fiber also provide antioxidants, phytoestrogens and phytoestrols that are beneficial in preventing coronary disease.

Get it from: oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, beans, crunchy vegetables

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Nutrient Profile: These heart-healthy fats help reduce blood pressure and lower the amount of triglycerides in the blood that may contribute to clotting.

Get it from: salmon, canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts

Flavonols

Nutrient Profile: This class of antioxidants may be beneficial for reducing inflammation, thinning the blood, and helping preserve the health of blood vessels to reduce the risk of some conditions such as kidney disease and dementia.

Get it from: dark chocolate, deeply colored fruits, onion, kale, garlic, red wine

 

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