“You can’t afford to get sick, and you can’t depend on the present health care system to keep you well. It’s up to you to protect and maintain your body’s innate capacity for health and healing by making the right choices in how you live.” – Andrew Weil
Avoiding a heart attack or a stroke can be as easy as knowing what foods to eat. Nutritionists and doctors have been compiling the most heart-healthy foods that anyone can eat. It’s not too early to start eating foods that will help you take care of your heart. If you’re getting older, it’s also very important to make sure you’re eating the right kind of foods to make sure your heart stays strong.
According to recent research by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, “… the future health of the global population largely depends on a shift to healthier dietary patterns.” Taking care of our hearts and avoiding a heart attack or stroke is as easy as looking for the right foods to eat.
Here Are 10 Foods To Never Ignore For A Better Heart
Any kind of fish is good for your heart, but salmon is one of the best kinds of fish for anyone to eat to stay heart healthy. Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which is well-known to lower someone’s risk of heart arrhythmia.
According to the American Heart Association, “Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and lower blood pressure (slightly).” Salmon is both delicious and good for your heart. While salmon can be a little more on the expensive side, other fish can also do the job.
2. Dark Chocolate
For those with a sweet tooth, giving up chocolate isn’t at all needed for being heart-healthy. Studies and doctors have found that dark chocolate is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy. Dark chocolate has also been known to reduce the risk of stroke. Dark chocolate can help inflammation as well as clotting of the blood. For a heart-healthy snack, always make sure to pick dark chocolate with the highest amount of cacao and the lowest amount of added sugar.
3. Red Wine
If you like to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at the end of the day, try switching to red wine, because according to this study, red wine helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Just one glass of wine is actually thought to help prevent heart disease. Of course, drinking more than two glasses of wine is considered more dangerous. It’s a fine balancing act for most people. If you’re already drinking alcohol, lowering it to just one glass of red wine is more heart-healthy than drinking liquor or beer.
Most people know that to be heart-healthy, or to avoid strokes, you should also avoid foods with a lot of fat in them. While this is still true, there are certain foods that have “good fats” and “bad fats”. Avocados are considered good fats. If you’re looking for a food that will help keep you on the right track when it comes to heart health, avocados are the way to go. Avocados are good for cholesterol and also full of antioxidants that are good for the body.
5. Black Beans
A great way to avoid strokes and keep yourself heart-healthy is to make sure you get your daily recommended amount of fiber. Black beans are a great way to get fiber into your diet. Nutritionists and doctors agree that black beans are one of the best foods that will help you avoid having a stroke, or even a heart attack.
6. Low-Fat Milk
Now, most people will tell you to avoid dairy if you’re looking to avoid a heart attack or a stroke. But actually, low-fat milk is good for you. In order to keep your risk of heart attack or stroke low, you need to keep your blood pressure in check. Low-fat milk helps keep your blood pressure and your risk of heart attack or stroke lower.
Potassium is extremely important when it comes to keeping your heart healthy and your risk of stroke lower. What is the best way to get potassium into your system? Bananas, of course. Most doctors think that we should be getting a little over 4,000 milligrams of potassium every day. Thankfully, a banana is close to 500 milligrams, which is a good portion of your daily potassium.
Any dark, leafy green is good for your body in a multitude of ways. But if you’re specifically looking to lower your risk of stroke or heart attack, spinach is the way to go. This is because spinach is full of folic acid. Most people get their folic acid in some vitamin pill form, but spinach is a great way to get your needed milligrams of folic acid, too.
Another way to get the fiber that you need every day is to start your morning off with a bowl of oatmeal. Fresh oatmeal is the way to go, rather than instant. Oatmeal has a good amount of fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. And as we all know, lower cholesterol results in a healthier heart and a lower risk of heart attack.
Other than bananas, other fruits are a great way to get some of the best, healthy vitamins that you need. “Currently available evidence suggests that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest and most beneficial source of antioxidants for ASCVD risk reduction,” states the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
That old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t popular for no reason! Blueberries, specifically, are great for your heart, but other fruits like oranges, apples, and cantaloupe can help keep your risk of heart attack low.
Heart-healthy foods are easy to add to your diet! You just have to know where to start. No one is too old to start taking charge of their health. In fact, the earlier you start with foods that help your heart, the better off you’ll be when you reach the age where heart attacks are more likely. Make sure to incorporate all these foods in your diet to lower your risk and avoid a heart attack or stroke.