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7 Foods Incredibly Good for the Heart

Posted on Friday, December 4, 2020
Written by Jazmyn
Category: Nutrition

With one in six Australians affected by cardiovascular disease, you want to do as much as you can, within your control to protect your heart!

Along with other lifestyle factors such as exercise and stress, the food you eat has a big impact on your risk of developing heart disease.

Here are some almighty heart-saving foods that you should be eating regularly to help prevent your risk!

Blueberries

One cup of blueberries a day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 15%

Blueberries contain powerful little disease preventing things called antioxidants. The antioxidants in blueberries, not only make blueberries the colour blue, but they help the health of your arteries and veins which pump your blood to and from your heart.

Fresh or frozen, add a cup of blueberries to smoothies, cereal, porridge, yoghurt, salads or eat by the handful for a sweet and tasty snack! Make sure you eat lots of other colourful fruits and veggies every day too!

Walnuts

One serving of walnuts per week (30g) has shown to lower risk of heart disease by 15% to 23%

Walnuts contain more omega-3 than any other nut. Omega-3 reduces risk of heart disease by lowering the bad fats that cause blockages in the blood, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Add walnuts to smoothies, cereal, porridge, on yoghurt, in salads, or have a handful for a crunchy snack!

Salmon & Tuna

Two servings of oily fish per week has shown to reduce risk of heart disease by 21%

Oily fish like salmon and tuna are also high in Omega-3, which helps to prevent blood clotting that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Have salmon in a pie, curry, pasta bake or pan-fried for a crispy skin. Add tuna to pizza, sandwiches, wraps and pasta bakes. As a snack, add canned tuna to rice cakes with avocado or have smoked salmon with cottage cheese on half a wholemeal bagel.

Oats & wholegrains

Eating oats every day can reduce cholesterol up to 23%

Oats and other wholegrains are high in fibre which can help lower cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes!

Have porridge or muesli for breakfast, add oats to smoothies, put them in homemade cookies or muffins, or bake them in the oven with fruit for a yummy dessert! Ensure your bread, pasta and rice are all wholegrain (brown) to increase the amount of fibre you are eating!

Leafy Greens

Increasing leafy greens intake is associated with a 16% lower incidence of heart disease.

Leafy greens like spinach, chard, kale, silverbeet and Asian greens are jam-packed with nutrients that protect your blood vessels and heart.

Spinach is easy to chuck in almost any meal. Use it in salads, let it wilt down in stir-fries, curries, fried rice, noodle dishes and almost any one-pot meal. Just sneak it in as much as you can!

Beans, legumes, and Lentils

Eating 1 cup of legumes a day can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.

Chickpeas, lentils, white beans, black beans, kidney beans and peas contain high amounts of fibre which feed our good gut bacteria and reduce risk factors of heart disease.

Buy the canned varieties and mix them in with any salad, add them to mince meat, stir-frys, and one-pot meals.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil has shown to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30%.

Extra virgin olive oil is packed full of healthy fats ad antioxidants which can reduce inflammation and decrease risk of heart disease.

Use extra virgin olive oil as your main cooking oil and to serve fresh on salads.

Look after your heart and it will look after you!

check out this week’s healthy cheeseburger recipe. Eating healthy can be fun and delicious!

Weekly Recipe

Cheesebugers

Serves: 4 Time: 25mins Cost: $10 approx. ($2.50/serve)

Ingredients:
• 1 can lentils, drained well
• 200g lean beef mince
• 1 egg
• 2 tsp crushed garlic (2 large cloves)
• 1 TBSP olive oil
• ¼ cup breadcrumbs
• 4 wholemeal/grainy bread rolls
• 1 can beetroot
• 2 tomatoes
• 4 slices low fat cheese
• 4 cups lettuce
• wholegrain mustard

Method:
1. slice cheese and tomato, drain beetroot, rinse salad.
2. in a bowl, mix together lentils, mince, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt & pepper.
3. mould into 4 equal sized patties.
4. heat 1 TBSP olive oil, cook patties 6-8mins mins each side.
5. assemble burgers: spread ½ teaspoon mustard on each roll, add lettuce, add a patty, add cheese, add tomato and beetroot
6. use left over veggies and lettuce to make a salad, drizzle 1 TBSP olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper
Serve!

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Sources

https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/about-us/what-we-do/heart-disease-in-australia

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy380

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109717398224

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21914258

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25267241

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4973479/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5391775/

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303

About  Jazmyn