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5 Foods That Love Your Heart

The best way to show love for your heart may be through your stomach. If you’re thinking about adding some foods to your diet, here are 5 ingredient ideas that can help you show your heart how much you care.
  1. Walnuts and almonds
    Rich in minerals, healthy fats, and fiber, walnuts and almonds are an excellent alternative to unhealthy afternoon snacks. Walnuts are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help build healthy cells and keep your blood vessels and arteries flexible.
  2. Salad greens and spinach
    Dark leafy greens provide you with more than just fiber and water. They also include beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin K. These strong antioxidants can help make sure you don’t get a buildup of oxidized bad (LDL) cholesterol.
  3. Cold water fish
    For those fish lovers out there, getting your omega-3s right from the source may seem like the ideal thing. Salmon and other cold-water species are some of the best for heart health. Omega-3s help keep your arteries flexible, which in turn, can reduce blood pressure.
  4. Whole grains
    Use whole grain bread for your next sandwich. Whole grains are generally higher in fiber, which helps whisk away bad (LDL) cholesterol when it is traveling through your digestive system. Whole grains that include the bran, or shell, of the grain also provide energy and nervous-system supporting B vitamins.
  5. Tomatoes and tomato sauces
    For an even better treat for your heart, combine diced tomatoes in a saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil—two great Mediterranean diet ingredients that your circulation will love. Lycopene–a nutrient related to beta-carotene–is found naturally in tomatoes and is a powerful antioxidant. It’ll help clear out the free radicals that would otherwise do damage to your blood vessels. And olive oil is another excellent “good fat” that helps relax blood vessels, too.
Have fun with these 5 ingredients
Mix and match these ingredients in different recipes, too. Some whole grains can make an excellent “breading” for baked fish. Spinach and whole grain pasta, along with your own sauces can taste delicious. And walnuts and almonds make a great low-carb crouton for your salads.

You don’t need to go too far out of your way to support a healthy heart—your local grocery store, farmers markets, or even your own backyard garden may do just fine. Just enjoy the journey—your heart certainly will!
Published March 04, 2010
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