By Millie Looker
Looking after your heart is so incredibly important! You know, that big vital organ beating away in your chest? Yeah, that one — you need to protect it at all costs!
When you’re busy or stressed, it’s so easy to forget to look after yourself, and the focus on your overall health can start to slip. That’s why we want to encourage you to make a conscious effort to fuel your body with healthy choices that will keep your heart strong — it’s not that hard, when you know what to do!
Now, let’s get scientific. The foods that we eat don’t just keep us going throughout the day, they can actually have a much bigger impact. They have the ability to make a difference with your:
• blood pressure
• triglycerides (a type of fat that is converted to energy)
• cholesterol levels
So what are some of the best foods to fuel your body that will keep your ticker ticking along?
As a child, it was probably drilled into your to “eat your greens”… but how seriously have you taken this onboard in your adult life?
Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach etc.) are a fantastic source of vitamin k, which assists in protecting your arteries as well as proper blood clotting.
Some of the most common whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat and quinoa. But what makes them so important? Whole grains are associated with lower cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, which create a lower risk of heart disease.
In our minds, berries are nature’s lollies — sweet and delicious, and full of colour! They’re also rich in antioxidants, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease. One study has even shown that eating blueberries daily improves the function of cells that line the blood vessels, which help control blood pressure and blood clotting.
Fatty fish and fish oil
Whether you’re a seafood lover or not, it’s so important to get plenty of fatty fish into your diet. The good news is, if seafood isn’t part of your regular diet you can still reap the benefits with fish oil supplements instead. Some of the best fish for heart health include salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, which are jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids — great for reducing blood triglycerides, improving arterial function and decreasing blood pressure.
Who doesn’t love a sneaky chocolate bar every now and then? Swap out your usual choices for a high quality dark chocolate — rich in antioxidants (like flavonoids), this sweet treat can also help boost your heart health.
For hundreds of years, garlic has been used to solve a variety of medical issues —you’re your heart health is no different! One study has even shown that taking a garlic extract dose daily for 24 weeks is as effective as a common prescription drug when reducing blood pressure. Garlic is proven to reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol, and could even help inhibit blood clot formation.
While all of the above food suggestions have plenty of research to back it up, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor to check in on your heart health, and follow the advice that they give you. But if you’re simply looking to bring a little more health and wellness into your life — why not start from the inside out and fuel your body with healthy, fresh foods — all available in our Romeo’s stores, of course!
*Information taken from healthline.com/nutrition/heart-healthy-foods/