Are You Eating These 3 Heart-Healthy Foods?
Boost Your Cardiovascular Health by Adding to Your Plate
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, you can lower your risk for heart disease by taking small, healthy steps in the right direction. One of the best places to start is to add a few things to your diet: dark leafy greens, whole grains, and avocados.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, potassium and magnesium. All these nutrients are important for maintaining a healthy heart. Dark leafy greens include:
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens
There are many ways to enjoy dark leafy greens. You can add them to salads, soups or smoothies. You can also experiment with how you prepare them. Try sautéing, steaming or boiling to see which method is your favorite.
2. Whole Grains
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which is vital for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol and keep your blood sugar levels in check. Some of our favorite whole grains include:
There are many ways you can cook whole grains. They can be prepared on the stovetop, in a slow cooker or in a pressure cooker. They can all be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Add your favorite nuts and dried fruit to cooked oats for crunch and sweetness. Serve barley as a side dish, toss some farro in a salad, or use quinoa as a substitute for rice. Have fun and look for new recipes that include these whole grains to find out which is your favorite.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, which are essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Avocados are also a good source of fiber and potassium.
There are many ways to enjoy avocados. Cube and toss into a salad, add a few slices to a sandwich, mash some on top of wholegrain toast, or blend into your morning smoothie. You can also make guacamole, which pairs great with vegetables for a snack.
Compassionate Heart Care in Duluth, Minnesota
If you have any concerns about your heart, our expert team at St. Luke's can help. We provide award-winning, compassionate care using the latest technologies.
If any of the following is true for you, it may be time to see a cardiologist:
- Heart or chest pain
- Dizzy spells
- Shortness of breath
- High cholesterol or blood pressure
- Family history of heart issues
To learn more about heart care at St. Luke's or to schedule an appointment, call 218.249.3057 or visit slhduluth.com/heart