5 Heart-Healthy Foods to Include in Your Diet
Eating healthy is essential to maintaining good heart health. Being mindful of certain dietary choices can help us to incorporate more of the foods that are best for our heart health. These include fresh whole foods and fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, and non- or low-fat dairy. Additionally, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, get proper sleep, stay active and, if necessary, quit smoking.
Freshly sourced whole foods are the best for the heart, as they do not contain harmful compounds like ultra processed foods. Five of the best heart-healthy foods to include in your diet are Greek yogurt, nuts, berries, papaya, and fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, mussels, rainbow trout and Atlantic mackerel.
Greek yogurt is higher in nutrition than plain yogurt and is a great source of essential minerals. Nuts are low in sodium and can be eaten unsalted. Berries are rich in polyphenols, flavanols and phytonutrients, which are known to be anti-inflammatory and beneficial for heart health and the GI tract. Papaya is high in potassium, which is good for blood pressure, and contains digestive enzymes that can aid digestion and keep the GI tract healthy. Lastly, fatty fish are a great source of Omega-3 fats, which can help prevent heart disease and strokes.
In addition to eating right, it is important to get enough sleep and stay active. Adults need seven to nine hours of good sleep each night to keep their brains healthy and help prevent chronic illness. Also, maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) is important for good heart health, since being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
It is also essential to manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels. To do this, it is important to minimize foods with salt and get enough potassium. Small lifestyle changes such as these can help reduce the risk of heart disease and add years to your life.
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