Eat foods that are good for your heart

Eat foods that are good for your heart

Author: Canadian Living


Eat foods that are good for your heart

This story was originally titled "Heart-Smart Foods" in the February 2009 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

If you’re heart smart, you probably avoid unhealthy fats, cholesterol and salt. But what should you eat instead? Here are some excellent suggestions from Carol Dombrow, a registered dietitian and a nutrition consultant for the Heart and Stroke Foundations of Ontario and Canada.

Salmon, herring, mackerel and trout are all full of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower blood pressure. "Our bodies can’t make this kind of fat, so we need to get it from food," Dombrow says. You should eat at least two servings of fish a week.

Nuts may reduce the risk of blood clots and improve the health of arterial linings. Snack on almonds, pecans, peanuts and hazelnuts. Add walnuts for an added omega-3 boost.

Colourful foods

Vegetables like broccoli, red peppers and carrots, and fruits like tomatoes, oranges, kiwi and strawberries are all heart-healthy choices. Eat the skins for added fibre, and steam the vegetables to preserve the most nutrients.

Dombrow also recommends the following heart-friendly foods:
Beans and legumes (for example, black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans), to help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

Flaxseed for its omega-3 benefits.

Grapes. Resveratrol, a substance found in the skin and seeds of grapes, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates – they're rich in heart-healthy flavonoids.

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Eat foods that are good for your heart