13 Power Foods That Can Help Prevent Heart Disease
By on February 21, 2017
This content is sponsored by U of U Healthcare, #1 in the nation for quality among university hospitals, marking seven years in the top ten.
When you think of foods that can help prevent heart disease, reaching for some healthy snacks might be your first instinct. However research has shown that you should avoid processed snacks and sticking with the basics. Foods wholesome in fiber, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, and protein provide the best sources for the body to stay healthy and heart disease free.
Here are some delicious power foods that you should include in your diet to help prevent heart disease.
By adding oatmeal to your breakfast routine, you will reap the rewards of the healthiest grain on earth. Oatmeal contains large amounts of fiber that help with stabilizing glucose and blood pressure. It provides your body with nutritional minerals and can help reduce your chances of a heart attack.
Usually my “go-to” snack, yogurt contains healthy strains of live bacteria, or probiotics, that can help reduce high blood pressure. Yogurt can also promote a healthy digestive system, which affects your heart’s health depending on the nutrients your body absorbs.
Kale is one of the most “nutritionally dense foods” in existence. It is high in vitamins A, C and K, low in calorie, and contains high amounts of fiber. Kale can also help lower your cholesterol, especially when steamed. Plus it tastes great. Adding the green leaf to your diet is simple! Try throwing a little bit of kale into your morning smoothie or even in a salad.
Strawberries provide your body with an immunity boost, aid in blood flow and according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, can even help in the fight against cancer. Fresh strawberries are a great addition to breakfast or dessert and can also be a delicious snack.
Consisting of chickpeas, sesame paste, olive oil, and garlic, hummus is a “power food” made up of… other power foods. Loaded with fiber and protein, hummus is a healthy alternative to protein bars if you need an afternoon pick-me-up.
Some people say eating a banana before bed gives you extraordinary dreams. And while there is no solid evidence to support that, there is plenty that supports the benefits of eating this naturally packaged fruit. Bananas are full of vitamin C and provide a powerful punch of potassium, which is necessary for the heart and kidneys to work properly.
Spinach is in the top tier for power foods. It’s low in calories, high in fiber and loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as iron and potassium. Spinach can also help lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol. Some creative ways to add more spinach to your diet can include spinach pancakes, spinach dip or even spinach and feta frittatas.
Personally, I love to nibble on some almonds during the day to help keep my meal cravings at bay. Full of magnesium and vitamin E, almonds assist in pumping blood and oxygen through your circulatory system. Aside from helping prevent heart disease, almonds are a great way of adding some protein to your diet. In fact, a handful of almonds contain almost one eighth of your daily protein needs.
09) Dark Chocolate
Good news. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and can help lower high blood pressure. Bad news. Milk chocolate or white chocolate has the opposite effect. Just stick with dark chocolate if you want a healthy treat.
Blueberries are a powerful antioxidant and can help prevent the buildup of cholesterol in artery walls that often contribute to cardiovascular disease. They are very easy to include in any meal. Try incorporating blueberries in your favorite yogurt, dessert or simply adding to pancakes.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is about as close to the truth as you can get. Rich with dietary fiber and antioxidants, apples provide the body with the same nutritional value of a multivitamin.
Celery is low calorie and is fun to eat thanks to its fiber heavy crunch. It’s also an excellent source of antioxidants and full of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folate. Try eating some sticks of celery before reaching for that bag of potato chips. Your circulatory system will thank you.
Avocados are full of nutrients that guard against heart disease, aid in hair growth and help keep your skin from developing aging spots.
Foods That Can Help Prevent Heart Disease
Controlling your diet is one of the most impactful ways you can help prevent heart disease. You can learn more about heart disease and find a cardiovascular specialist at the University of Utah Health Care Cardiovascular Center.