Did you know that February is National Heart Month? Here are the top 8 superfoods, selected by nicobella intern and nutritionist Rebecca Van der Sluis, to better your heart health!
- Oatmeal-High in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol in the body.
- Berries-Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are all high in antioxidants, which help decrease blood pressure and fight LDL "bad" cholesterol.
- Walnuts-Walnuts are high in monounsaturated fats, which work to reduce the LDL cholesterol and increases the HDL “good” cholesterol. Walnuts are also high in Omega 3’s which are beneficial for heart health.
- Legumes-Legumes are high in soluble fiber which helps reduce the bad cholesterol in your body and increase the good cholesterol. Black beans are also highest in antioxidants!
- Olive Oil-High in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats, this oil is an ideal pick for a heart healthy diet.
- Dark Chocolate-Chocolate made up of at least 60-70% cocoa has been shown to reduce nonfatal heart attacks and strokes in a 2012 study. Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure through its flavonoids and theobromine.
- Avocados-Who doesn’t love some Guacamole? Knowing that it was made with avocados which are high in monounsaturated fats and beneficial to your health just makes it even better.
- Citrus Fruits-Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C which has been linked to lower risk of heart disease. Plus the high fiber content helps to reduce LDL cholesterol.
Eating whole plant-based foods is the best prevention of heart disease and long term health. Plants are power-packed with so many phytonutrients (many we are still discovering today through research). Make sure to include lots of colorful plant-based foods with each meal and choose organic whenever possible!
Written by Rebecca Vander Sluis, nicobella dietetitian-to-be