If you keep heart healthy foods on hand and easily accessible you will be much more likely to see success in your efforts to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. If you keep unhealthy foods within reach you will make it much harder to achieve your heart health goals. Don’t rely on will power! Stock you kitchen for success. Here are some essentials to keep on hand:
Whole grains, such as barley, oats, rice, buckwheat, and quinoa, are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrient dense grains promote a healthy heart.
Olive oil is a considered a heart healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s comprised of 14% saturated fat, 78% monounsaturated fat, and 8% polyunsaturated fat. The least processed forms of olive oil include “extra virgin” and “virgin”. Great for use with salads, soups, stews, and steamed vegetables. If you need to prepare foods at higher temps, olive oil isn’t necessarily the best choice. That’s why I recommend having canola oil on hand as well.
To promote heart health you want to be consuming fish two to three times every week. Fish, such as salmon, sardines, trout, herring, and tuna, contain the omega 3 fatty acid DHA which is linked to many heart benefits. However, be mindful of the potential mercury content of some saltwater fish, including tuna.
Fruits are rich sources of fiber, vitamins, and flavonoids (a type of antioxidant). They also have naturally sweet flavors which make them great to have on hand for a quick snack or to incorporate into desserts.
Flaxseed is high in fiber and the omega 3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to promote healthy cholesterol levels and heart health. Be sure to grind your flaxseed and sprinkle on top of cereals, soups, salads, yogurt. . .whatever you’d like.
Another excellent snack that is full of ALA, a type of omega 3 fatty acid which promotes heart health. Some of the best nut choices include walnuts, pistachios, and almonds. Even though nuts promote many heart health benefits, you still need to watch your portion sizes. Nuts are high in calories too. You don’t want to counteract the benefits by gaining weight.
Another high fiber source that is rich in vitamin B6 and magnesium. There are numerous legume varieties – garbanzo beans, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, great northern beans, and more. Add to soups, salads, casseroles and rice dishes.
You can access the free ecourse 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure at http://lowerbloodpressurewithlisa.com.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD