There are many great foods for maintaining a healthy heart and youthful appearance. Some are tastier than others but all have essential nutrients to keep the ticker ticking. After researching many sources we found that many of our favorite foods were included in dozens of nutrition guidelines. We chose ten of the best categories of heart healthy foods that we eat and recommend for a healthy lifestyle. Read on and see if you agree.
- FISH We eat fish about 3 times a week. Our favorites are salmon, tilapia and orange roughy. Fish is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids which will change the quality of LDL (bad cholesterol) to lighter and fluffier, allowing it to move through blood vessels much easier so it will not build up and clog the arteries.
- CHICKEN Make this skinless and do not fry, baking or grilling is best. Chicken is a rich source of protein and magnesium. We love lemon pepper chicken with mushrooms.
- FRESH FRUIT Fruit is a rich source of potassium, magnesium and fiber. We eat a piece of fruit instead of a piece of candy. We love apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and oranges.
- VEGETABLES Fresh or frozen is fine. They are rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber. Broccoli, asparagus, pea pods, artichokes, tomatoes and spinach are some of our favorites. We fill our plates 1/2 full of veggies .
- BREAD This must be 100% whole grain or wheat only. Bread is a major source of energy and fiber. We do limit our consumption of bread, however, a nice warm slice of homemade bread is very scrumptious.
- RICE When it comes to rice we consume brown rice only. Wild rice is also good for you. Rice helps to control your blood pressure, and reduces fluctuations of blood sugar. The high fiber content controls cholesterol.
- OATMEAL It is important to eat oatmeal without the sugar. Berries and nuts make it delicious and helps to lower cholesterol. We each eat an apple a day with our oatmeal.
- NUTS & SEEDS These are good sources of potassium, protein, fiber and energy. However be sure to buy them with no salt added. Nuts are healthy fats. Our favorites are walnuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts and sunflower seeds. Your favorites may differ but all are healthy heart foods. Don’t overeat these, 2 tablespoons a day are all you need.
- DARK CHOCOLATE This should be eaten in moderation. A small bite size piece contains about 30-40 calories. Many reports indicate that dark chocolate is good for a healthy and happy heart because it helps to lower cholesterol.When are you unhappy when you eat a piece of chocolate? We love dark chocolate nuggets with almonds. Yum, Yum, Yum!
- RED WINE Consuming wine should always be in moderation, about a 4 ounce glass per day for a woman and 2 glasses for a man is recommended. We especially love Cabernet. Besides the health benefits, reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure, dinner tastes that much better.
Maintaining a healthy heart by changing to a nutritious diet filled with foods you love is delicious and satisfying. Anyone can make a lifestyle choice to go from a poor diet to a healthy one. When you make that change your chances of having a healthy heart and staying youthful are excellent. Eating healthy foods, lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats and cutting back on calories are all good for your heart.