Taking care of our general wellbeing and, above all, our heart can sometimes be hard. We are surrounded by numerous fast food restaurants, easy ready-made meals for busy housewives to buy, which are full of sugar and saturated fats that are bad for the heart. However, if you want to keep your heart in good and strong condition, and to avoid illnesses in the long run, you need to eat healthy foods. In order to keep our most important muscle in shape, here are the top 5 groceries that you should always have in your fridge and eat.
1. Leafy greens
No matter if we want to keep our heart in shape or to maintain good health, vegetables should always be on your daily menu. Either as a side dish or full meal, make sure that you add some green leaves on your plate. Kale, watercress, peas, and spinach are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Collards greens are also a great source of vitamin K, which helps protect arteries and make sure that the blood doesn’t cloth. It has even been proven, that by daily intake of leafy green you can lower the risk of heart diseases. And because they are a great source of fiber and nitrates, they can completely improve your arterial function.
2. Whole Grain Products
If you love eating pasta, bread, and rice, then you should switch to a healthier version. Whole grain products are rich in fiber, antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and phytosterols which protect you against coronary diseases. You can buy whole grain groceries anywhere, and they are oats, rye, whole wheat, brown rice, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa. Many studies have proven that people who have eaten a whole grain diet had a 40 percent lower risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure. Just pay attention when you are purchasing the whole grain product in your local grocery that you read the label carefully.
People who have had a pacemaker, or had to have a removal of one, were advised to eat more chocolate. Sounds strange but true! When you get an advice from a highly skilled cardiologist, you know that he is right. Not only people who have to undergo a certain heart surgery, but all others should be eating more of this grocery. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids which has a blood-thinning effect, thus benefits cardiovascular health and can boost our immune system and prevent inflammation. Even plain cocoa beans can help lower blood pressure. Like many other products, you need to buy only the quality ones. Always buy chocolate that has at least 70 percent of cocoa beans.
This fantastic vegetable has innumerable benefits to the entire organism. First of all, tomatoes are loaded with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, fiber. Next, they are an excellent source lycopene, which is a natural plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties. When you eat more products that contain lycopene, such as tomatoes, there would be lower chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Solely for those reasons they neutralize harmful free radicals, prevent oxidative damage and inflammation, which can all contribute to heart disease. By cooking tomatoes, you would actually increase the health benefits of this wonderful fruit. The best thing is that you can add them to most dishes, and you can purchase them all year round.
Unfortunately, there are many people who enter a grocery store and head out to grab crisps rather than healthy nuts. Maybe because they are unaware of their magnificent nutritious values. Nuts are extremely full of vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and fiber, which are all important nutrients that can heal protect against heart disease. Almonds and walnuts are especially healthy. They can lower the levels of total cholesterol, and help increase good cholesterol. Almonds are high in fiber as well, and they can help you reduce belly fat. If that is not great, then the fact that they are tasty and that you can eat them on the go, makes nuts a number 1 snack which you should always get at the grocery store.
Taking care of our health has never been easier. Nowadays you can get all of the above heart-friendly foods at any grocery store, prepare juicy recipes and eat as much as you want.
Mia Johnson is a freelance writer with a ten-year long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourn, she now lives in Sidney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.