Lately heart health has been on my mind.
Maybe it’s because my dad is on high blood pressure medication, and has been for the past 5 or 6 years. And as I get a bit closer to 50 than I’d care to admit publicly, the thought of taking medication every day is something I want to avoid at all costs.
So, going online to do research I found five foods that are good for you, and good for your heart.
After all, I’d rather make a few changes to my diet now rather than drastic lifestyle changes down the road later.
5 “super foods” that are heart healthy
By now we know a lot of risk factors for heart attack.
Lack of exercise, smoking, stress, obesity, and eating fatty or fried foods top the list. But rather than focusing on what to avoid, I wanted to focus on something positive that we can add to our diet to help maintain good health.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I need to exercise more.
So changing diet, for me, is easier than joining a gym or sticking to an exercise program at home (at least for now). And maybe for you, too?
With this in mind here are 5 “super foods” you can easily add to your diet.
This one, for me, is super easy (no pun intended) to implement right away.
I’ve always enjoyed eating fruits, and blueberries are one of my favorites. Blueberry pie anyone! Or blueberry pancakes!
Now, I’m not a nutritionist but I’m sure that those of you who are will cringe at the idea of adding fruit to my diet this way. And, to be honest, I’m sort of kidding anyway.
True enough, raw blueberries are just as yummy.
The best part?
These little guys are super-powerful as well. Packed with anti-oxidants these little power-balls are a great disease fighting food. Besides having tons of anti-oxidants they are also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
Move on over OJ, you’ve got company.
This food is one of my wife’s favorites.
She loves salmon and has a few recipes of her own that, I’ve been told, are quite delicious (leave a comment or send an email and I’ll see if she’s willing to share).
However, I gotta admit that I’m not on a first-name basis with fish.
Maybe it was all those fish-Fridays growing up that got me burnt out on it. Fried haddock, yes. Raw (or medium rare) tuna, yes. Calamari, yes.
These fish are packed with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and the American Heart Association recommends that we eat omega-3 rich foods about twice a week.
So maybe it’s time for me to at least try my wife’s salmon just once (but don’t tell her I promised you that)…
Of all the items on the list this one came as quite a surprise.
A few years ago a friend (and chiropractor) cautioned me about eating (or drinking) too much soy because it is apparently packed with plant estrogen. That kinda grossed me out at the time and I haven’t touched soy milk since.
However, soy is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, and is thought to lower triglycerides (which is a good thing). In an earlier article about how to lower cholesterol we discussed how lower levels of triglycerides will help prevent cardiovascular disease.
So that’s a good thing.
Another yummy food on the list!
You might remember how my grandfather had a bowl of this everyday, and swore by it. Since he lived to be 93 years old I’m not going to argue with his logic.
Oatmeal is great… and you can add blueberries to your bowl as well.
A 2 for 1 deal.
Whole grains are the way to go. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol-lowering fiber. What’s more, the FDA actually allows health claims about oatmeal to be advertised, which leads me to believe that the claim about oatmeal and a reduced risk of heart disease are true.
Another of my wife’s favorites.
She loves it raw, in a salad or cooked with white rice. Me, on the other hand, am not a big fan.
It’s okay… but only okay.
Sure, I know it’s healthy and is considered a really good source of vitamins and minerals, along with anti-oxidants. And my mom, when I was growing up, always said that green vegetables were healthy for you. So maybe mom was right and I should eat some more spinach.
My wife would be happy, too.
Maybe some salmon with spinach rice is in my immediate future.
After all, it beats taking blood pressure meds, don’t you think?
Schedule a medical assessment today
Perhaps now is the best time to schedule an appointment with your doctor regarding your heart health.
And if you’re looking for Connecticut Cardiology clinics or services, consider HeartCare Associates. They have 6 convenient locations in the greater New Haven area, and provide comprehensive medical assessments and services that are designed to improve quality of life and to optimize treatments that improve survival rates.
In fact, their focus is on early detection and prevention.
For more information visit them online at www.heartcareassoc.com.
And for readers in other parts of the country take the time to locate a clinic near you that can help you identify specific risk factors for heart disease.
This is, after all, the best way to prevent a heart attack from happening in the first place.