Did you know heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for both men and women in the world?
It’s true, but fortunately there’s a lot we can do to keep our hearts healthy and happy. February is Heart Health Awareness Month so we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we can take better care of our hearts.
Of course, one of the best ways to look after your heart is through a healthy diet. But a healthy diet doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, there are heaps of delicious foods that you can combine together to make one extremely tasty, heart-healthy meal - we’ll show you!
Here are five tasty heart-healthy foods that are easy to work into your diet.
1. Oily fish
Salmon and other oily fish contain the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s help improve blood flow to the heart and lower harmful blood fats. Omega-3s are considered an essential fatty acid that are necessary for human health, however, they are not produced by the body, so it’s essential you get them through your diet.
The king of all fatty fish is King Salmon. Regal King Salmon is one of the richest marine sources of omega- 3 and it is recommended that you have two to three oily fish meals a week to meet the body’s needs for omega-3s.
2. Leafy greens
Vegetables are part of a healthy diet, but dark, leafy greens are particularly good for your heart. Spinach, kale and collard greens are filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in every leaf. These vitamins and nitrates help to protect your arteries and reduce blood pressure.
To reap the benefits of leafy greens, it’s recommended that you include them in your daily diet.
3. Whole grains
Whole grains are much more nutrient-dense than refined grains. Most importantly, they are higher in fibre, which can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, therefore lowering the risk of heart disease.
Whole wheat, brown rice, oats and quinoa are all examples of delicious whole grains that you can easily work into your daily diet.
4. Fresh berries
Berries contain antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation that can cause heart disease. They contain phytonutrients and soluble fibres that are great for the heart.
It’s recommended that you consume three servings of berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries a week. Mix them into your morning yogurt or enjoy on their own as a snack.
5. Dark chocolate
Many studies have found that dark chocolate may benefit your heart health as it contains flavonoids that help blood pressure, clotting and inflammation. Of course, this only applies to dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa), so take it easy on the milk chocolates.
A little chocolate after dinner is a delicious dessert, if you ask us!
Heart-healthy recipe highlight: Regal Double Manuka Salmon Soft Tacos
Our taco recipe features our award-winning Double Manuka Salmon and heaps of other heart-healthy ingredients like avocados and tomatoes. Want to make it even healthier? Swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt and the shredded lettuce for spinach, and voila! Now you’re really looking after yourself.
Want some more heart-healthy recipes? Head to our website and check out our recipe section!