Eat your Vegetables

How many of you remember your mothers telling you this night after night at the dinner table? Any good mother will tell you that eating your fruits and vegetables are good for you but does anyone really know why?

From asparagus to sweet potatoes to even a glass of wine, every bite or sip of a heart-healthy food can deliver a dose of nutrients needed to prevent or repair cell damage to your heart.  And there is an abundance of foods available in many colors, shapes and sizes to appeal to anyone and, at the same time, be good for your heart.

Here at Meridian Chiropractic Clinic, we have compiled a list of the 15 most heart healthy foods.  Some of them may even surprise you!

1.  Oatmeal – full of omega 3 fatty acids,  potassium, niacin, calcium and fiber

2.  Raisins – great antioxidant, fights inflammation (make oatmeal raisin cookies and you have a healthy treat with a cold glass of milk)

3.  Whole grains – great for a leaner diet, high in fiber (if high fiber grains make you cringe, try mixing them with yogurt or your morning cereal or homemade muffins and cookies)

4.  Beans – particulary black or kidney beans….only 1/2 cup a day can lower your cholesterol….beans are rich in vitamin B, niacin and magnesium…add some in your next soup or salad

5.  Fish – only 2 servings a week can lower coronary heart disease by 30%

6.  Nuts – particularly almonds and walnuts…mix some with the raisins in trail mix for heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats

7.  Chocolate – yes, chocolate is heart-healthy especially dark chocolate…has a blood thinning effect that allows the heart to work at its best

8.  Tomatoes – full of vitamin C and A,  potassium and fiber….ever taste one fresh out of the garden?

9.  Apples – high in pectin that has shown to lower cholesterol

10.  Berries – One cup a day can raise good HDL cholesterol

11.  Pomegranates – reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries leading to the heart

12.  Bananas – high in potassium

13.  Popcorn – skip the butter and extra salt and you have a perfect heart-healthy whole grain snack

14.  Tea – expecially green tea has proven to lower the risk of heart disease with only 1 cup a day

15.  Wine – alcohol has been shown to raise good cholesterol, help to thin the blood and increase estrogen in women

There is obviously no one perfect heart healthy food.  But with a variety of good fruits and vegetables in your diet and maybe even the occasional glass of tea or wine, you can help your body and protect your cardiovascular system.