According to British Heart Foundation coronary heart disease causes more than a quarter of all UK deaths every year. Worldwide that rises to a third of all deaths. Though some heart conditions are unfortunately genetic, many are preventable by making healthy lifestyle choices.
Smoking, not getting your recommended physical activity, being overweight, and drinking alcohol are all factors that put you at risk of developing heart disease.
Healthy eating is a great and easy way to reduce your risk of heart disease.
In this article we help you embark on your heart health journey by discussing some foods that will make your heart beat.
Foods That Don’t Make Your Heart Skip a Beat
Lifestyle contributes significantly to your hearth-health and that starts with your diet. Our bodies need a healthy and nourishing diet to thrive, and certain foods provide just the right nutrition for certain functions. Changing your diet may just be that life saving change you need. Here we have compiled a list with foods to change your current diet into a heart healthy diet.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet, and contain some essential components that support heart health. Avocados, tomatoes, leafy greens, and edamame beans are a great start to any healthy meal, and they all contain nutrients that your heart will love. These go well with salads, dips, pastas, and tasty brunches, so there is something to everyone’s taste!
If you have more of a sweet-tooth, why not try integrating berries into your meals by topping your porridge with some strawberries? Or eating yoghurt with mixed berries for dessert? Berries are incredibly high in antioxidants, which prevent heart attacks and strokes.
You may have noticed we love whole grains here at Wholefood Earth, and with good reason. Whole grains are not just a tasty filler to many meals, they also contain a lot of fibre. Fibre helps prevent heart disease by reducing cholesterol. High cholesterol is one of the risk factors that increases your risk of heart disease.
As noted in our blog focusing on the storing of grains, whole grains are a great pantry-friendly food that are both cost-effective and versatile. We encourage you to start implementing these in your diet to help get your heart back in tip-top shape.
Fatty Fish and Fish Oil
Fatty types of fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are great sources of omega-3, which are hugely beneficial for your heart-health. Eating fish regularly has been linked to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
If you aren’t a huge fan of seafood, you could alternatively take fish oil supplements. These supplements largely have the same benefits as fatty fish, and don’t smell or taste fishy at all!
Walnuts and Almonds
If you are looking for more snack foods to incorporate into your diet to improve heart-health, walnuts and almonds are the way to go. Most nuts contain an impressive arsenal of nutritious components but walnuts and almonds boast the perfect combination of nutrients to lower cholesterol levels.
Regular intake of walnuts and almonds has been linked to a reduced risk of heart-disease. Of course walnuts and almonds are delicious as a simple snack, but you could also experiment and pair them with salads or curries.
For those not yet in the know, beans are THE most underrated food. They are nutritious, incredibly cheap, long-lasting, and super-versatile to use. If that isn’t enough of a reason to embrace beans as your go-to foundation for any meal, they are also found to decrease blood levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, some of the biggest risk factors to heart health.
You can incorporate beans into most meals; simply add them to your everyday sauces, add them to your lunchtime burrito, or make a hearty winter chilli to get tons of those lovely nutrients right in your system.
If you are in need of some sweet heart-healthy foods, dark chocolate is the way to go. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants which reduces the chance of heart-disease. Regularly eating dark chocolate has also been linked to being at a lower risk of having calcified plaque in your arteries. Make sure to buy chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao as the sugar present in milk chocolate could negate the positive effects on heart health.
Chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds are all great examples of seeds that promote a healthy heart. Their high fiber and omega-3 fatty acids content help with reducing conditions that result in heart disease, such as inflammation, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Seeds are also a great addition to your pantry as they have an incredibly long shelf life if kept in the right conditions, and they are incredibly easy to introduce in your daily diet.
If you make your own bread, you could easily add a seed blend for extra flavour and an extra nutrient boost. Seeds like chia seeds are also an easy topping for porridge, yoghurt or even fancy pancakes!
Green tea is often praised as the miracle worker of teas, claiming to help with weight-loss, help with bad breath, and even help with your memory. If that isn’t enough to make your switch to Green tea, regular consumption of green tea also reduces cholesterol and decreases high blood pressure. Both are good indicators of heart health, and it is therefore likely that regularly drinking green tea will support heart-health in the long term.
We’ve given you some great foods that you could integrate in your diet to get your heart healthy. If you feel inspired, but are still a bit lost just on how to implement these changes into your diet, sign up here for our newsletter. We’ll soon launch our very own recipe blog, where we’ll inspire you with delicious yet nutritious recipes using our very own products!