Beating around one hundred thousand times a day, the heart is one of your body’s most important organs. We can hear it like a metronome when we’re scared, nervous, or exhausted, yet we often forget just how important the organ in the center of our chest really is.
Exercising and reducing stress are the two most obvious ways to ensure heart health, according to medical professionals. But the foods we ingest also have a substantial effect on the organ.
Think of your body like a computer. Foods that are natural, whole, and healthy are processed correctly, while foods that are unnatural and contain additives clog up your system like bad code. Considering heart disease is one of the leading health risks, we should all be more cautious of our diet in an effort to maintain a flourishing heart.
Before mentioning the foods you should gravitate toward, let’s talk about the ones to ditch. At the top of the list: processed foods. Whether it’s processed meats, processed breads, or processed sweets, they aren’t doing you any favors. In fact, they’re harmful to your heart, causing a multitude of health issues like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Be careful of those sugary drinks. Common sodas and beverages tend to sneak processed sugar into your diet without your knowledge. Did you know a twelve ounce can of soda can contain the equivalent of ten teaspoons of sugar? With that newfound perspective, you might want to replace the soda with water. Another option is to trade your soft drink for a healthy drink. For example: an organic passion fruit kombucha from Trubucha.
Now that you’re knowledgeable on what to steer clear from, but let’s talk about what you should indulge in. Begin with fruits: they’re as healthy and natural as they are delicious. To be specific, berries are the most healthy for your heart, containing phytonutrients and soluble fiber (link 2). Other fruits that will fuel your heart are oranges, cantaloupes, and papaya. Looking for that heart-healthy fruit in a hurry? Grab an organic fruit cup from Vert Kitchen.
As we’re learning every day, vegetables are capable of just about anything, as well as providing vitamins and minerals that, in turn, promote a thriving heart. Incorporate green veggies into your diet! Look for meals that include powerhouse veggies, such as spinach and kale. Try the power greens mix from Etai’s, for instance. Broccoli and asparagus are two other examples of vegetables boasting valuable nutrients like potassium, folate, calcium, and fiber.
Seeds and oats and more! You’ve heard of mystifying flaxseeds and chia seeds, and maybe wondered what they are and why you see everyone adding them to smoothies. As it turns out, flaxseeds contain a variety of heart-healthy components: omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytoestrogens. Chia seeds provide the same, as well as vital protein. In addition to seeds, oats and legumes are equally beneficial for heart health. Oats appear in a multitude of snacks, some of which are portable and easy to eat on the go, like oat bars from Bobo’s Oat Bars. Additionally, legumes include dried beans and lentils – high in fiber and b-vitamins.
In order to treat yourself at the end of the long day, have a glass of red wine or eat dark chocolate – only in limited amounts, of course. Throughout research and studies, there’s much back and forth about wine’s effect on our bodies and our hearts. Ultimately, drinking all natural wine in moderation can create healthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes, which is refreshing for the heart. And as for chocolate, fiber and protein is packed within it, but be careful to avoid processed chocolates and chocolate products high in sugar and additives. Instead, go for healthy, organic chocolates with a higher percentage of cocoa. Suddenly craving chocolate? Try Nanga Chocolate snacks.
If you keep these foods in mind, your body, and your heart will thank you. Go ahead – eat your heart out!
“12 Heart-Healthy Foods to Work into Your Diet.” Cleveland Clinic. 12 July 2019. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/12-heart-healthy-foods-to-work-into-your-diet/
“25 Amazing Facts About Your Heart.” Cleveland Clinic. 30 July 2019. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/25-amazing-facts-about-your-heart/
“Avoid These Foods for a Healthier Heart.” Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/avoid-these-foods-for-a-healthier-heart. Accessed 21 March 2020.
“Drinking Red Wine for Heart Health?” American Heart Association News. 24 May 2019. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/05/24/drinking-red-wine-for-heart-health-read-this-before-you-toast