Keeping your heart healthy is as much about putting the right nutrients in to your body as it is about keeping the wrong substances out.  Foods that contain saturated fats, salt and high levels of processed sugar are all “No-no’s” (as is smoking). If you are concerned about your heart, eating well and avoiding the above foods and toxins may help. Eating more of the below 5 superfoods for a healthy heart may also be of benefit to overall heart health. Looking after your heart is serious business. As this article is being written, heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death in Australia. If you have serious concerns about heart health, talking to your doctor should be your first step. Eating the foods below may help support your heart, but just eating these foods and neglecting other lifestyle factors that can contribute to heart problems will not guarantee a healthy heart.

 

5 Superfoods For Your Heart

 

1. Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease according to the Australian Heart Foundation. Omega-3 may also help reduce inflammation of blood vessels and reduce blood clotting.

Try our Chia-Crusted Salmon recipe for a tasty, healthy way to get more salmon into your diet.

 

2. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are – like salmon – rich in omega-3. In fact, on a pund-for-pound basis, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon. Furthermore, chia seeds are rich in fibre. Diets high in fibre can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Try our Chia Cacao Coconut Cluster recipe for a treat that you won’t believe is heart-healthy.

 

3. Tofu and/or Soy Milk

Both of these food sources contain niacin, folate, calcium magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are crtitical to help support the heart.

Try our Banana Split Smoothie recipe – a delicious way to drink soy milk and top up fibre, protein and antioxidants.

 

4. Acai

Acai is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for helping prevent potential cellular damage caused by free radicals – unstable molecules that are present in our body and attack cells in an effort to stabilise themselves. This damage can cause inflammation, and antioxidants can thus protect our body from the inflammation. Inflammation can be an aggravating factor in heart disease. Preliminary studies also suggest acai may be helpful for reducing blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.

Try our Acai Berry Breakfast recipe for a heart healthy start to the date.

 

5. Cacao

You may have heard of studies that suggest a potential link between daily (dark) chocolate consumption and heart health. This link is likely because dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa) is rich in polyphenols: substances that can help reduce clotting, blood pressure and inflammation. What you may not know is that dark chocolate, and the cocoa used to make it, are actually the nutritionally inferior by-products of raw cacao. Raw cacao is rich in a number of nutrients that are critical for supporting heart health. It is the base ingredient used to make cocoa / dark chocolate (cacao is processed and cooked to turn it into cocoa, whihc is then processed further to create dark chocolate. This processing and cooking destroys much of the original nutritional content, so choosing cacao over cocoa is a good idea).

Try our Choc Chilli Cacao Mousse recipe for a decadent, heart-friendly dessert.

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This article is presented by our online health partner Health365. To buy Nature’s Way Superfoods online, visit www.health365.com.au/shop.