What we eat has a huge impact on our heart health, and on our grocery bills. These 10 heart healthy foods are for the most part affordable and can be used in many different recipes.Try including these foods—all either rich in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids or another ingredient beneficial to cardiovascular well-being—into your eating routine at least 4 to 6 times a week.
Oatmeal:. A great source of soluble fiber, which seems to lower cholesterol absorbed in your intestines. Aim for 10 grams of soluble fiber daily: 1 cup of oatmeal contains 6 grams. (Toss in a banana and you’ll add 4 more grams.). Oatmeal is one of the healthiest yet cheapest meals we can make. Kids love it especially if you mix in fruits, yogurt, applesauce, etc. Buy a container and eat up!
Beans: An excellent source of soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Definitely a cheap food staple to have around the kitchen. Try our Cuban -style Black Bean Soup recipe!
Dark Chocolate: Full of flavonoids and other antioxidants, did you know that eating it daily for just one week can help improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in women, according to research from Johns Hopkins University. A small amount (30 calories’ worth or a small square) is all you need. A delicious, affordable treat when you spread out a bar over several days. OK--maybe a day and a half.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale and broccoli are rich in carotenoid antioxidants, which protect the blood vessels. Make a spinach salad with some lemon spritzed on for a fabulously healthy, cheap lunch. Bonus: low in calories!
Ground Flaxseeds: Full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and plant estrogens, which reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and help regulate blood pressure. Sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt.
Berries: Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are loaded with soluble fiber and antioxidants that promote healthy blood flow and protect blood vessels.Eat alone, with yogurt, on oatmeal, in salads, in cereals (btw, eating cold cereal can help lower LDC too). A money-saving tip: buying frozen fruits and berries will usually be cheaper than fresh.
Nuts: Walnuts are rich in omega-3s, which reduce inflammation, triglyceride levels, blood pressure and the risk of heart arrhythmias. Eating at least 5 servings of nuts or peanut butter a week is associated with a 44 percent lower risk of heart disease in women with type 2 diabetes, according to a recent Harvard study.
Salmon: This fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower LDL and triglyceride levels, raise HDL and reduce inflammation.To save money, buy canned salmon and add to salads.
Avocado: It’s got fat, yes, but a good kind—monounsaturated—that helps lower LDL and maintain or raise HDL cholesterol.
Red Wine: Its phytonutrients (including resveratrol) and ethanol raise “good” (HDL) cholesterol and help lower the risk of blood clots. Enjoy a glass with your healthy spinach salad and salmon dinner! Maybe not the cheapest item on the list, but it is good for your heart (in moderation) and a glass here and there can stretch a bottle of wine out a few days.
Source: Woman's Day