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Heart-Healthy Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Heart-Healthy Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Having a nutritious plant-based diet is critical for your health. It helps lower your cholesterol, preventing the risk of heart disease and stroke. So, here are seven heart-healthy foods to incorporate into your diet.

1. Add in Some Whole Grains

Grains are the perfect source of fiber. They help improve cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of stroke and diabetes. Grains also include plenty of B vitamins, iron and magnesium. These vitamins are essential in ensuring your body's cells function correctly.

They convert food into energy and help create new blood cells. They also maintain healthy skin and brain cells and other body tissues. If you're looking for the perfect side dish for any meal, add in some brown rice.

Here are a few other easy to incorporate whole grains into your diet:

  • Barely

  • Oatmeal

  • Popcorn

  • Whole grain-pasta

  • Whole grain bread

2. Experiment With Bean Dishes

Beans provide plenty of protein, fiber, iron and potassium. Proteins are essential in your diet because they are made of amino acids. These amino acids build and repair muscles and bones and are also used as an energy source. Iron can help improve focus, gastrointestinal processes, and the immune system.

Beans can also lower your risk of heart disease. If you're looking for a warm dish on winter days, incorporate some beans into your chili.

Here are some other dishes to include beans:

  • Chicken and beans

  • Bean soup

  • Dip made from beans

  • Bean casserole

  • Bean burrito

  • Bean salad

3. Incorporate Those Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy green vegetables, like kale and spinach, have many natural benefits. They are low in calories and rich in vitamins A and C. Plus, these greens contain potassium, folate and fiber. Potassium lowers blood pressure. The fiber keeps your cholesterol in check. And the folate protects against heart disease.

Adding leafy greens to your diet helps with your daily vegetable intake. You should get about two to three cups of vegetables per day. Another simple tip to promote plant-based eating in your life is setting a goal to eat a meatless meal at least once a week.

4. Mix in Some Avocados

Many avocado calories are from heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Saturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation and stabilize heart rhythms.

Avocados are also good for your heart by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. With too high cholesterol levels, you develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. If you're feeling Mexican avocados, go great on tacos.

Here are a few more ways to include avocados in your diet:

  • Spread them on your toast

  • Make a smoothie

  • Create a nacho dip

  • Add them to your salad

  • Incorporate them into your pasta

5. Enjoy Some Juicy Berries

Berries are rich in anthocyanins, which lower blood pressure and protect your blood vessels. They are also full of antioxidants that help keep free radicals under control. Free radicals are unstable compounds that can damage cells in higher numbers. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have the highest antioxidant levels.

In addition, berries can help to improve blood sugar and insulin responses. Plus, they’re high in fiber and Vitamin C. You can include berries within your breakfast by adding them to your cereal. They also can make healthy ice cream or cake topping. You could even blend up a smoothie for your lunch break.

6. Throw in Some Seeds

Seeds contain omega-three fatty acids, fiber and phytoestrogens. Omega-fatty acids can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, damaged arteries and inflammation. Grains also contain unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.

You can eat multiple seeds, from flax seeds to chia seeds. Chia seeds provide protein and you can eat them whole. You can also incorporate these into your diet in various ways, including:

  • Sprinkle them onto your toast

  • Add them to your salad

  • Mix them into your smoothies

  • Add them to the top of scrambled eggs

  • Blend them with your yogurt

7. Remember to Eat Your Oats

Oats have plenty of nutrients such as manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. They are also high in carbs and fiber. They are also a good source of protein and whole grains.

So, they give you plenty of energy to power through your day. In addition, oats contain antioxidants that help lower blood pressure. So, try toasting them to top off your yogurt or salads. Suppose you prefer them uncooked. Grab a bag of trail mix instead.

Food Good for Your Health

Eating a good diet starts with finding healthy foods. This can be tricky with so many different options. So, consider adding some of these heart-healthy items to your next grocery list.

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