Earlier this month, we shared some heart-healthy exercises in our post Show Your Heart Some Love. For this post, we’ll focus on food, glorious FOOD, and explore heart-healthy foods that will be a great complement to your healthy lifestyle.
Food: it is one of basic needs for survival. In addition to being sustaining, food can be indulging, creative, adventurous, comforting, and even tempting. There is good food, bad food, healthy food, and unhealthy food. We can help our bodies by eating healthy food, rich in vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need.
Food for the heart
According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 4 deaths in the US are due to heart disease. Taking care of your heart is crucial to your health. Eating healthy food is certainly not the only key to having a healthy heart. But, it is an easy place to start!
Certain foods are especially good for our heart. In their article, “Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease,” the Mayo Clinic shares several recommendations and healthy food options. Below are a few of the foods they recommend as being good for your heart.
Fruits and Vegetables – these foods are full of vitamin and minerals, and are low in calories and high in fiber, which makes them good for your heart. Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, low-sodium canned veggies, or canned fruit packed in water. Dark, leafy greens also contain vitamins and antioxidants that our bodies need!
Whole Grains – these grains are better alternatives to refined grain products. Try whole grains like brown rice, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, and oatmeal. Use whole-wheat flour, choose whole-grain bread, and look for high-fiber cereal. Grains help to boost immunity and dulls the body’s insulin response.
Low-fat Protein Sources – lean meats, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products and eggs are great sources of protein! Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and herring, are good alternatives to high-fat meats. Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent heart disease. Other great proteins include legumes, like beans, peas, and lentils and soybeans and soy products.
Good Fats – Believe it or not, there are some foods with healthier fats, including olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, vegetable and nut oils, and flaxseed. Flaxseed is high in fiber and has omega-3 fatty acids. Choosing these fats over butter, coconut, and palm oils is the more heart-healthy option!
Nutrition at CBRC
Of course, it is always best to consult with your doctor and a nutritionist when making changes to your diet. If you are interested in nutrition, check out our current Balanced Habits Life Nutrition Program for a customized nutrition program. This mission of this program is to “educate people how to eat real food. We provide a sustainable approach based on balanced macro nutrients and sensible portions of all the food you already enjoy!” Stay healthy and try out some new heart-healthy foods!
Get Fit. Have Fun. Love Life.