It’s no secret that the food we put into our bodies can transform our health, whether that be for the better or worse.
While we may hear the term “superfood” a lot, there really are some foods that have super powers. These foods are usually best in their raw, unadulterated state.
In addition to leafy greens, lots of colorful veggies, berries and healthy fats found in fish and nuts, you may be surprised to find that these 5 foods are actually good for your heart!
Good news chocoholics! Cocoa, the main ingredient in all chocolate, is packed with nutrients that the body loves and needs. The components of a high percentage of cocoa in chocolate (at least 70% cocoa, so kiss milk chocolate goodbye) have been found to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, raise HDL (High-density lipoprotein) and protect against oxidation of LDL (low-density lipoprotein). These properties in chocolate help the body fight off cardiovascular disease and keep the blood rich and healthy. But like everything else in the universe, balance is key so don’t go out and eat a pound of chocolate at once.
Recommended usage: Have a small square of dark chocolate once a day.
Yes, the good news continues. Red wine is not only enjoyable and relaxing, it is incredibly healthy in small doses. Studies continue to prove what Mediterranean countries have known for a long time; red wine reduces the risk of heart disease. The tannins in red wine, which give it its red color, are a member of the proanthocyanidin class of flavonoids. These compounds are known to protect against heart disease because they reduce oxidation and inflammation.
Recommended usage: Have a small glass of wine every night, about 4 ounces.
Not only refreshing, the fruits in the citrus family (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits etc.) also contain flavonoids which help fight against free radicals. Citrus fruits are also extremely rich in vitamin C with helps fight against free radicals as well, but also assists in holding blood vessels, tendons, and bones together.
Recommended usage: Have half a lemon with warm water in the morning before breakfast.
This spice has been called a miracle spice as it has many uses and benefits for the body overall. Generally touted for its capability to help heal the brain, this spice can do much, much more! It contains the compound curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It drastically reduces inflammation in the body which is especially beneficial for arteries and the heart.
Recommended usage: Cook with turmeric powder or root as often as possible or take a supplement in capsule form every day.
Organic Steel-cut Oats
The ultimate comfort food for breakfast, oats are not only a healthy substitute for eggs and bacon in the morning, they are packed with nutrition our hearts needs. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan. This fiber has been proven time and time again to lower cholesterol. By lowering cholesterol and improving heart function, the risk of heart related illnesses is drastically reduced. If you’re worried about missing out on your protein, steel-cut oats have 7 grams of protein per quarter dry-cup serving (an egg has about 6).
Recommended usage: Have a bowl of organic steel-cut oatmeal at least 4 times a week. Add some blueberries or honey for a tasty treat.
When combined with regular exercise, your diet can quite literally save your life. Prevention of heart disease and heart related illnesses is incredibly easy, but it does take commitment and effort. Commit to your health and have fun living!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” —Hippocrates
For more information about heart health and prevention of heart related illnesses, check out these articles:
Heal Your Heart Chakra to Prevent and Ease Heart Illnesses
Move to the Beat of Your Heart: Yoga for Heart Health
Bow and Arrow Meridian Exercise for a Strong Heart