Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. There is good news though! Heart disease is both preventable and controllable. By managing health conditions and making smart choices about the foods you eat, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from this ever-present health threat. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is a great start. Sprouts Nutritionist, Janet Little, recommends including some of these heart-healthy foods in your diet to further reduce cardiovascular risk.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 essential fats. Omega-3s are fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Studies show that eating one to two servings of fish per week can reduce risk of heart disease (an inflammation response in the body) by 36 percent.
Oatmeal has the highest proportion of soluble fiber of any grain. These soluble fibers bind to digestive acids, which are the precursor to the development of bad cholesterol. Fiber helps your body eliminate these acids.
Almonds contain calcium and essential fatty acids that can lower your LDL (bad cholesterol). Studies have found that eating just a quarter cup of almonds per day can reduce your LDL by 4.4 percent.
These little guys can give you a one-two health punch benefit. First, they are a great source of fiber (one tablespoon of flax has three grams!). They are also a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce your LDL’s.
The process of fermenting grapes to make red wine increases their content of flavanols and polyphenol. These are super-rich antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure.