Here at Tommy’s Superfoods, we take your health, and ours, very seriously and firmly believe that eating a healthy diet is a strong contributor to feeling your best every day. While less Americans are dying every year due to heart disease (which includes strokes and heart attacks), it’s still the #1 cause of death in this country. Eating a heart-healthy diet, along with regular exercise, can make a big difference when it comes to preventing heart disease.
Here are 8 of our favorite (and delicious!) foods that promote a healthy heart.
1. Go Greens! Broccoli, Spinach and Kale
At Tommy’s Superfoods, we love all vegetables, but we really love our greens! Leafy green vegetables are high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Experiment with the different flavors and textures that these vegetables bring to every meal of the day. Whether you eat them raw, steamed, cooked, or juiced, you’ll be keeping your heart healthy and your taste-buds happy with every bite. Looking for an easy way to incorporate greens into your diet? Try our Super Greens or Organic Super Greens. Just heat and eat!
2. Beautiful Berries
Be sure to include blueberries, strawberries and other berries that are local to you area (blackberries, red raspberries…) into your diet. The antioxidants is these red and blue berries may help to decrease your blood pressure. Add fresh or frozen berries to your breakfast cereal, a snack-time smoothie, and dinner-time desserts. Their natural sweetness is a healthy substitute for hitting the vending machine for a package of highly processed cookies or a candy bar.
3. Add Zest with Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are naturally high in vitamin C, and getting your daily dose helps to lower the risk of heart disease. Use orange or grapefruit sections in a salad for extra zing!, or use fresh squeezed lemon juice as the base of an all-natural salad dressing or marinade. When buying cartons of orange or grapefruit juice, be on the look-out for added sweeteners and sugars – that’s something you want to avoid for certain!
4. We All Say Tomatoes
Tomatoes are high in heart-healthy potassium and they are rich in the antioxidant lycopene which helps to keep “bad” cholesterol in check and lower the risk of a heart attack. In addition, tomatoes are low in sugar and calories, so they are the perfectly healthy way to add flavor to any meal. Add chopped tomatoes to an omelet, make a fresh tomato salsa to accompany your dinner, add different tomato varieties to your salad, or simply sprinkle a sliced tomato with some fresh basil, olive oil and sea salt for a delicious summertime snack.
5. Go Nuts!
Many people avoid nuts because they’re higher in fat, but almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamia nuts all contain fiber and vitamin E, which helps in lowering bad cholesterol. Add a sprinkling of nuts to your favorite salad, dessert, or breakfast oatmeal. Try to avoid nuts that have a high level of salt or artificial seasonings added.
6. Beans, Lentils and Peas, Please
Plant-based diets help to reduce the risk of heart disease as they provide a source of protein without high levels of unhealthy fat. Legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas are an inexpensive (and delicious) way to get your daily protein. Looking for inspiration and ideas? Try the popular “Meatless Mondays” recipes that are available online – you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much you’ll enjoy a black-bean burrito or a lentil-burger once you experiment!
7. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil AND Olives
Olive oil is a great source of the monounsaturated fats that help to reduce high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Use olive oil in place of butter when sauteing – you’ll love how it allows the natural flavor of Tommy’s Superfoods vegetables – or any vegetables – to shine through. In addition, olives—both green and black—are another source of healthy fats. Add a few to your salad or pasta, or try an olive tapenade to spread on crackers or as a veggie dip.
Colorful bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green) have high quantities of antioxidants and lower levels of starch. Hot peppers (like chili, poblano and cayenne) are also rich in capsaicin, which helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Chop peppers for an egg scramble, slice them into a salad, saute them with olive oil, roast them on the grill… The possibilities with peppers are almost endless and that’s why you’ll see them added to many Tommy’s Superfoods vegetable medleys.
Looking to include these 8 heart-healthy food tips into your diet?
Try these fork-friendly selections from our kitchen:
What’s your favorite heart healthy food?