Your heart is the organ that pumps life into all the rest of your body parts. Maintaining heart health is critical to your overall health and can – for some – be as easy as making critical lifestyle changes. And there is no lifestyle change more critical than monitoring what we put in our bodies. Just as you wouldn’t put regular gas in your diesel engine, you can’t put non-nutritious foods in your body and expect your heart to work as efficiently and powerfully as you need it to.
1. Fish
Fish is a controversial food item because many people don’t prefer the taste of it. However, fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and trout are high in omega-3s. Omega-3s can help to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Eating one to three servings of fish high in omega-3s per week may reduce your risk of heart disease. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or if you just don’t like fish, you may want to try flaxseed oil as an alternative source of omega-3s.

2. Nuts
Nuts such as almonds or walnuts make an excellent snack. They are packed with protein and healthy fats which will satisfy your hunger longer. One significant way that eating nuts can improve your heart health is by helping to lower your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) which promotes the development of plaque in your arteries.

3. Fruits and vegetables
It’s well known that organic fruits and vegetables contain many of the important nutrients that keep our bodies healthy. But studies actually show that the higher your intake of fruits and vegetables, the less likely you will be to develop heart disease. In fact, in a study done by Harvard University, people who consume more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day have a 20% less chance of developing heart disease.

4. Dark Chocolate
You may be really healthy to hear that chocolate is thought to be good for your heart health. But before you go out and buy a Snickers bar, you should know that this applies only to dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa. This very dark chocolate is healthy because it contains flavonoids which have natural antioxidant properties which fight against the oxidation that can cause LDL cholesterol to occur. Flavonoids are not exclusive to dark chocolate, but there’s no more fun way to care for your heart than with a bar of chocolate.

Whether you’re currently under the supervision of a cardiologist, or you’re making healthy lifestyle changes in order to avoid illness in the future, making dietary adjustments is a great way to protect your heart health. For more information about how you can make the best choices for your heart, contact us today.