Superfoods have been around for centuries but only recently have researchers acknowledged their superpowers. We all know about the benefits of fruits, vegetables, fibers, and proteins, but not all foods are created equal. For example, it’s true that some superfoods protect our heart health and prevent heart conditions but, when consumed in large quantities, they can do more harm than good.
With statistics showing that heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, it’s only natural for many of us to focus on a heart-healthy food diet that keeps our blood pressure in check and protects our heart. There are numerous superfoods that can help you reduce bad cholesterol, fight inflammation, and slow the formation of plaque, factors that have been proven to lead to cardiovascular disease. Check out the top 5 superfoods that can do wonders for your heart and include them in healthy recipes to fight the potentially damaging effects of our hectic lives.
The most recent addition to the list of universal superfoods, sea moss has been proven to be a reliable weapon against free radicals. Rich in numerous antioxidants and fatty acids, sea moss has the power to protect our hearts from cardiovascular disease. This magnificent alga combats inflammation and prevents the formation of plaque which allows for healthier blood vessels. Sea moss can be easily added to food and beverages as a gel or consumed as capsules. This makes it easier for everyone to include this incredible superfood in their diet without any effort and enjoy its positive effects on their health.
Due to its vitamin content, the benefits of sea moss extend to more than just our heart health. This is one marine vegetable that can also help us protect our thyroid health, reduce oxidative stress, and improve our immune system. Moreover, if you decide to add it to your face masks, you will enjoy glowing and healthy skin without having to spend a fortune on serums that promise to be the fountain of youth only to disappoint and compromise your budget.
It’s a well-known fact that fatty fish, like salmon, sardines, and herring are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, praised by cardiologists for their power to control blood pressure, reduce irregular heartbeats, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Moreover, fatty acids reduce triglycerides and prevent atherosclerosis, a disease that results from plaque buildup in the arteries. The American Heart Association considers that eating fatty fish once or twice a week is enough to make a difference for your heart health.
While all fish is healthy, make sure you only buy fish from sustainable sources and avoid fish known to be high in mercury, such as shark, tilefish, and swordfish. If you are not very fond of how the fish tastes or you feel like you don’t eat it as often as you should, you can always consider taking fish oil supplements that can contribute to your omega-3s intake. However, nutritionists recommend getting our fatty acids directly from food because the jury is still out regarding the potential of fish oil supplements to actually reduce heart disease.
Who doesn’t love a good bowl of oatmeal in the morning? Especially when oats are known to be associated with a plethora of health benefits! The soluble fiber in oatmeal and, as a matter of fact, in numerous other whole grains and beans, actively contribute to reducing the LDL (bad) cholesterol and keeping your weight in check. Basically, the oat in your oatmeal soaks up the cholesterol from your digestive tract and prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Moreover, oatmeal is rich in antioxidants that contribute to reducing inflammation.
How much oatmeal should we eat to benefit from everything good oat has to offer? A cup and a half of cooked oatmeal a day should be enough to lower your cholesterol and help you prevent a potential heart attack. Now, people shouldn’t expect their simple bowl of oatmeal to do all the work when it comes to protecting their hearts. However, if you add oatmeal to an overall healthy eating routine, you will definitely be one step ahead of heart conditions!
Whether is it blueberries, strawberries, goji, or any other berries our planet ingenuously creates, you can be sure you are doing the right thing if you include them in your daily regimen. Berries are an excellent source of soluble fiber, flavonoids, polyphenols (antioxidants that absorb free radicals), and vitamin C, which makes them an ally against high blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
Berries find it easy to fight inflammation and prevent the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Moreover, the flavonoids in berries dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow which benefits your heart health. You can eat berries as a nutritious and sweet snack or add them to your oatmeal or any other food to increase your vitamin intake and decrease your risk for heart conditions. Sprinkle in a little sea moss with your berries and oatmeal and you're covering all the bases.
There are now hundreds of studies showing that dark chocolate is indeed beneficial for our heart health. This is one superfood the entire planet loves and its health benefits make for a great excuse to eat dark chocolates whenever our heart desires! Studies have shown that the flavonoids in dark chocolate called polyphenols help reduce inflammation, blood clotting, and blood pressure, a triad that left unchecked can very easily take us on the path to heart problems.
Furthermore, regular consumption of dark chocolate, meaning chocolate that contains at least 60 percent cocoa, can actually reduce the risk of nonfatal heart attacks and stroke in people who present a high risk of heart conditions. However, this doesn’t mean you can eat 100 grams of chocolate a day! You should still make sure you watch the portion size and limit your intake to one or two squares of dark chocolate. The key in life is and always will be: everything in moderation! Even when we’re talking about superfoods!
Additional Reading: What are the side-effects of Sea Moss?