by Julie Starr
Many of us have heard that in order to give love, you must love yourself. Part of that? Being good to your body… and your ticker!
Here are five foods that you can add to your diet to benefit the health of your heart:
- Garlic helps to decrease cholesterol and blood pressure; it also improves the flow of your blood. Although you can benefit from eating garlic raw or cooked, fresh is best. Not everyone is into eating raw cloves of garlic (I happen to love it – but avoid doing it before I teach class!), but garlic can be added to almost any savory dish, roasted or sautéed.
- Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help suppress LDL the bad cholesterol; this doesn’t mean you should go out and eat bars of chocolate though (sorry)- you want to look for chocolate with cacao content above 70%. One to two pieces of dark chocolate sprinkled with cinnamon and a side of strawberries is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Asparagus has several vitamins and minerals that help your heart. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and potassium helps regulate your blood pressure. The fiber in this vegetable also helps with blood pressure. Sautéed, steamed, or grilled, all asparagus needs (especially when in season) are some evoo, pinch of sea salt, and some pepper.
- Avocado seems to be all the rage these days, and rightfully so, it has so many benefits. The mono-unsaturated fatty acids help lower cholesterol, and like Asparagus; it contains minerals that lower risk of heart disease. My favorite way to eat avocado? I add it to my smoothies to add creaminess and since it does contain fat, it helps you stay full for longer.
- Lentils are a great vegetarian source of protein and also boost heart health with their high content of fiber, folate, and magnesium. We are still in the thick of Winter, and lentil soup is one of easiest dishes to make, and can be made in large amounts, so you can freeze for when you are too tired to cook or have some surprise dinner guests.
Julie Starr is a seasoned wellness expert and owner of Starr Yoga in Boston. She teachers Starr Barre, vinyasa yoga and offers nutritional consulting and coaching. Follow Julie on MoveWith to keep up with her classes and tips.