Every day we wake up
with the very best intentions to fuel our bodies with proper nutrition. We see
protein, hunger-killing shakes, and diet plans that are impossible to stay true
to and feel satisfied at the same time. Above all, we need food and need nutrients
to keep moving forward, and our hearts pumping. When it comes to heart and body
health, less is not more. Actually, more might be exactly what you need.
What foods are healthy for the heart and delicious for the stomach? Read
on to see which ones you need more of in your diet…
The 5 Stars
To say that five
specific foods are far better for the heart than the rest is a stretch. It is
more that it is the five nutrients you get from these foods that are greater
than the rest.
The first is vitamin K;
according to the Harvard School of Public Health, vitamin K can help prevent
blood clots and support your bones.
You can get this
magical vitamin as easily as eating a salad. That’s right, the largest amounts
of vitamin K are found in leafy greens and things like kale and spinach. Kale
and spinach are also easy add-ins to smoothies,
which are super accessible and make a good heart-healthy snack on the go!
The next star is
fiber. Traditionally referred to as roughage,
fiber is also great for lowering blood cholesterol. Fiber can be found in oats
-- a very versatile snack/breakfast staple.
Even if you don’t like
oatmeal, bake oats into some granola and put it over yogurt! And hey, now is the perfect time to celebrate heart health and show a
little love for yourself and your significant other by throwing some oats into
your favorite pancake recipe.
Omega-3 is a huge
factor in heart health because it not only does what both vitamin K and fiber
do, but it also lowers the risk of stroke and heart failure. That’s right, you
can lower your chances of stroke by snacking on a pack of almonds, cashews,
peanuts, or any other nut you prefer.
groups are foods that are low in fat and free of cholesterol. Sounds tricky to
get both? It’s no trickier than driving to the store and getting a can of
Beans and legumes are
full of fiber and plant-based protein that is great for keeping the heart
happy. Beans and legumes can be used as side dishes, dips, and full entrees.
Garlic and Onions
Lastly, what’s good
for your arteries, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and makes your
breath pretty stinky? Garlic and onions. These superfoods boost the flavor of a
dish as well as your heart health. Adding garlic and onions to dishes like a stirfry
can make it better taste-wise, and better for you.
A Day of Eating
A balanced diet and
exercise helps us all feel our very best. This of course does not account for
the days you want a feel-good snack like chips or it’s pouring rain outside and
you can’t get your run in. That one day, one snack, won’t break you. Heart
health and what the heart wants can sometimes be different.
Between these five
heart-healthy superstars, you can create a super meal.