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Five Whole Foods That Support Heart Health

By on March 18, 2015

Heart disease is deadly, and according to the CDC, it is responsible for 600,000 deaths each year in the US. That is a terrifying number, but the foods you eat can have a major impact on the overall health of your heart, making you considerably less likely to become just another number in that statistic. It’s no secret that whole foods, which are those that are in their most natural form, are the healthiest options. However, some whole foods support a healthy heart better than others do.

Salmon packs a serious punch when it comes to heart health. Packed with nutrients, this oily fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, protein, and vitamin D. Omega-3s, which are considered healthy fats, help to reduce triglyceride levels. High triglycerides greatly increase your risk of heart disease, and the DHA and EPA omega-3s found in salmon can reduces these levels by as much as 50%. While the Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 1,100 mg per day for women and 1,600 mg per day for men, most people eat less than 3.5 ounces of fish each week that contain these fatty acids. A four-ounce serving of salmon provides 1,200 to 2,400 mg of omega-3s, making it a great option for heart health.

These pretty berries, along with strawberries and other types of blue and red berries provide flavonoids called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are antioxidants, which help to get rid of free radicals in the body. However, new studies have also shown that they may help lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. Additionally, the study showed that eating blueberries decreased the heart attack risk in 32% of the 94,000 women who participated in the study

Whole grains, such as those found in oatmeal, are high in vitamins and soluble fiber, which keeps your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol levels. When you consume soluble fibers, it binds to cholesterol so that it can’t be absorbed into the bloodstream. Once it is bound in the fiber, the cholesterol is eliminated from the body, preventing it from increasing your current cholesterol levels. Additionally, oatmeal and other whole grains contain omega-3 fatty acids as well.

Fruits such as grapefruits and oranges are high in vitamin C and flavonoids. Both of these compounds have been found to decrease heart disease risk, and the potential for stroke caused by a blood clot. While whole citrus fruits are heart healthy, they can interfere with drugs for lowering cholesterol, so make sure to check with your doctor before adding them to your diet.

Green Veggies
Green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli, provide serious heart health benefits. They are high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidant carotenoids, and kale even contains omega-3s as well, giving your heart an added boost of health that reduces the risk of heart disease.

If you want to decrease your potential for heart disease and increase your heart’s health, these five whole foods can help – and most of them are great for juicing as well!

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About Lionel Correia

Lionel is a fitness enthusiast, juicing advocate, and serial entrepreneur. He loves real estate, but is even more passionate about health, wellness and a positive mindset. He’s a graduate of the University of Arizona and prides himself on establishing great habits because great habits lead to great results. His favorite workouts include, yoga, spin class, sprints on the track and resistance training. He believes that if you desire a strong healthy body, you must first build mental toughness because a healthy body requires a disciplined mind and great habits.

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