There is a strong link between diet and heart disease, so the good news is that you CAN eat foods that help improve your heart health.
Organic, whole foods make a huge difference in not just how you look but how your heart functions. Your heart is the primary organ keeping you truly alive and breathing, so it’s important to nurture it. This means putting high-quality foods into your body on a regular basis to improve the functioning of the heart.
Not sure where to start? Here are five simple organic foods (that you probably have in your fridge or pantry right now) to encourage healthier, organic eating to boost your heart health!
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy green veggies are the best things to put in your body; you really can’t go wrong with your greens! ConsumerReports states that adding plenty of leafy greens into your diet can help “reduce risk of heart disease, certain cancers, macular degeneration, and type 2 diabetes.” Leafy green vegetables are high in vitamin K and nitrates, which can help reduce the risk of developing hypertension. Start incorporating leafy greens by having a side salad with your dinner!
Nuts are a great savory snack for when you’re on the go or just want to pick at something. They’re a great way to include fiber into your diet and also Vitamin E, which can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. Keep nuts handy for a frequent snack throughout the day by making your own trail mix. Otherwise, you can snack on nuts straight out of the jar if you want to do that too! My favorites to eat are walnuts and almonds.
3. Dark Chocolate
No you’re not dreaming – chocolate is actually good for you! Well, if it’s dark chocolate and in moderation. You may have heard that dark chocolate is good for you and thought it was a silly rumor, but I’m here to tell you that it’s true. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which directly promotes cardiovascular health. Read about the 7 proven health benefits of dark chocolate.
4. Flax and Chia Seeds
Both of these seeds are incredibly rich in nutrients. Not only do they contain beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids, but they also provide a good source of phosphorus and magnesium. They’re great for lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure, so feel free to toss them into any of your meals! You’ve got nothing to lose, but lots to gain. It’s really easy to incorporate them if you drink a smoothie every day. Trader Joe’s has organic grounded flaxseed, which makes it really easy to blend in smoothies or yogurt.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
My personal favorite and the holy grail of cooking. If you’re already eating a lot of fruits and veggies, just add some extra virgin olive oil, and you’ll essentially be on the Mediterranean Diet! A study showed that individuals (who had cardiovascular issues) who consumed at least four tablespoons of EVOO a day greatly reduced the risk of a cardiovascular event. It’s great for cooking but also fantastic for drizzling on foods to help maintain moisture.
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