Updated: Feb 14, 2019
Show a bit of love for your body this Valentine’s Day! In today’s blog I would like to talk you through 5 foods which work wonders for the heart and how you can incorporate them into your diet. These foods help to regulate your heartbeat, lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure, alongside other benefits.
1. Fatty Fish
Eating fish is a wonderful way to enjoy your food and get in plenty of natural goodness. Certain fish like tuna, salmon and sardines are packed full of omega 3 fatty-acids which are great for the heart. In fact, the fattier the fish, the greater the health benefit. The ‘Mediterranean Diet’ is full of fish and is famously healthy because of it! In the short term, getting plenty of fish can help reduce diastolic blood pressure, in the long term the effects are even greater, reducing levels of systolic blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. If you’d like to get more omega-3 into your diet why not try my Omega-3 Breakfast Bake recipe, which will guarantee that you get all that fishy goodness in.
The great thing about nuts is the variety of ways you can get them into your diet. You can eat them as a snack, bake them into a delicious savoury treat, put them into a salad or turn them into nut-milk drinks. Almonds are a great source of magnesium, monounsaturated fats and fibre, excellent for protecting yourself from heart disease. I would really recommend adding almonds into your food plan on a regular basis. Why not do it by making Almond Milk? Or for something even more exciting try this nutritious Almond and Date Shake.
3. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure, good quality dark chocolate is not only delicious but packed full of goodness. Research shows that the flavanols in dark chocolate have a positive effect on heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow and making your blood less likely to clot. Furthermore, the polyphenols in chocolate have been strongly linked with lowering cholesterol levels. A couple of pieces of dark chocolate here and there are an excellent addition to your weekly food plan. For tips on how to get all the guilt-free and delicious benefits out of chocolate, take a look at my free e-book which is full of sumptuous and healthy chocolate recipes.
Avocados, or as the Australians call it G-D’s butter, are probably one of the most nutritious foods you could ever wish to eat. Packed full of both poly and monounsaturated fats, they will support a healthy cholesterol. Avocados are a fantastic source of potassium, just one avocado contains a quarter of you recommended intake. Potassium helps lower your cholesterol and is essential in regulating your heartbeat. Use avocados for breakfast, lunch and dinner or even as a snack with a touch of olive oil, lemon juice and paprika. If you would like a slightly more creative way of eating avocados then try my Avocado Pops recipe.
There are so many different types of seeds out there packed full of natural goodness, with super health benefits. Here are a couple of my favourites. Flax seed are high in omega-3 and healthy fats both mono and polyunsaturated fats, as well as being a great source of fibre and magnesium. Another small but mighty seed is the chia seed, high in omega-3 and loaded with magnesium and antioxidants. Chia seeds help lower cholesterol and regulate your heartbeat. The variety of seeds available is matched by the variety of ways you can add them into your diet. You can put them in your salads, blend them into your smoothies or pack them into your morning muesli or granola.
If you are interested in finding out more about heart health or how to live a healthier life in general then get in touch today to kick-start a healthier you!