9 Foods That Support Heart Health

Lower your risk of heart disease and support your overall wellness with these healthy choices!

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foods that support heart health in a heart shaped bowl

We all know that eating healthy can make us feel (and look) better! However, when it comes to lowering your risk of heart disease, making the extra effort to incorporate a variety of healthy foods can go a long way. Supro Direct’s primary care physicians in Greenwood, IN go over easy swaps to incorporate foods that support heart health into your diet.

Add These Heart-Healthy Foods to Your Diet

It’s not rocket science that a whole food diet full of whole grains and fresh veggies is good for you. But, if you know that you have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or cholesterol problems, then it’s great to take some extra steps to improve your heart health.

1. Green Veggies

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens offer a good source of antioxidants and vitamins that support cardiovascular health. Not a salad fan? Blend your greens into soups, smoothies, or sauces for a nourishing boost.

2. Fruit

An apple a day may not actually keep the doctor away, but it does support your health! Fruits are a part of a heart-healthy diet thanks to their magnesium, potassium, and fiber. The next time a sweet tooth hits, avoid added sugar with a juicy treat like plain Greek yogurt topped with berries, papaya, or pomegranate.

3. Whole Grains

Whether you reach for classics like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat bread, or step outside your comfort zone with buckwheat or quinoa, you’re doing your heart a favor! Whole grains are chock full of soluble fiber that can help reduce your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Making just a few swaps a day can help you lower your risk of heart disease.

4. Beans and Legumes

Lentils, pinto beans, black beans, and soybeans are all full of resistant starches that help you stay fuller longer and reduce your LDL cholesterol. Swapping red meat for beans as a protein source is an easy way to fit more legumes into your diet.

5. Fatty Fish

Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines all provide lots of omega-3 fatty acids. This can help you avoid heart disease risk factors by promoting lower blood pressure, healthy weight, and reducing your risk of diabetes. If you’re not a fish fan, you can get many of the same benefits from a fish oil or other omega-3 supplement.

6. Other Colorful Vegetables

Red, yellow, and orange vegetables, including tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and squash, are packed with nutrients and vitamins that can help you reduce your risk of heart disease while raising your “good” HDL cholesterol. Level up your healthy eating and combine three of our heart-healthy foods by whipping up a stir-fry full of veggies, brown rice, and tofu.

7. Healthy Fats

It’s best to avoid trans fats and saturated fats as these can raise your bad cholesterol, which can eventually lead to atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque in your arteries). Good fats, however, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, can have the opposite effect. Use olive oil while cooking, snack on a handful of almonds, or toss some flaxseed on your bowl of cereal to take advantage of the benefits of these healthy fats.

8. Herbs and Spices

Sodium is another contributor to inflammation and hypertension. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices while cooking to pack a flavorful punch without the salt. Garlic is a great option, as it can help lower high blood pressure as well!

9. Dark Chocolate

Not all lifestyle changes are hard to make. Chocolate lovers can rejoice knowing that dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. For the best benefits, reach for a square that contains at least 70% cocoa and enjoy it in moderation, as chocolate is still high in calories.

Bonus Tip: Keep an eye out for the American Heart Association‘s Heart-Check foods when out grocery shopping! This symbol signifies products that contain healthy nutrients and are lower in sodium and bad fats.

What you put on your plate makes a significant impact on your overall health. If you’re interested in improving your heart health in Greenwood, IN, consider reaching out to the primary care physicians at Supro Direct. Our premier services ensure that you get the care and attention that you deserve. Get in touch today to request an appointment and start on your path to better health!

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