Food is much more than just a source of energy—it's the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. By choosing the right foods, you give your body the tools it needs to stay in top shape. With that in mind, there are quite a few foods that help your heart perform at its best. Here are three powerful foods your heart with love.
1. Dark Chocolate
If you thought all heart-healthy foods were boring, you'll be happy to know that dark chocolate—in all its tantalizing glory—provides many benefits for your heart. You're probably wondering how something so delicious can possibly be good for your heart. The answer lies in the fact that dark chocolate comes from the cacao bean, which happens to be rich in antioxidants.
Dark chocolate has been shown to reduce blood pressure and protect against blood clotting. The result is a happy heart (and a happy mouth, too).
It's important to keep in mind, however, that not all chocolate is created equal. Avoid milk chocolate, which often contains large quantities of harmful sugar and fat. Choose plain dark chocolate instead. And remember—all things in moderation.
2. Fresh Raspberries
Dark chocolate isn't the only sweet treat that's excellent for your heart. Raspberries are another delectable food you can enjoy free of guilt. Similar to dark chocolate, raspberries contain antioxidants. Additionally, raspberries are high in fiber.
You probably have heard of fiber helping with digestive issues, but you may not realize that fiber has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and body fat. The result is a lowered risk of suffering from a stroke.
And as is the case with dark chocolate—remember to enjoy raspberries in moderation.
3. Pinto Beans
Similar to raspberries, pinto beans are a great source of stroke-reducing fiber. But don't reach for a can of pintos just yet. Not all pinto sources are created equal. Many canned pinto beans are loaded with salt. When consumed in excess, this salt raises blood pressure, which is not good for your heart.
Therefore, if you buy canned pinto beans, choose a can that is low in sodium. Additionally, rinse the beans to wash away as much salt as possible before eating them.
Better yet, purchase dried pinto beans, and prepare them yourself. This will ensure that the beans are low in salt and free of questionable preservatives.
Add the three foods above to your meals, and enjoy the benefits of heart-healthy eating. For more information on how to keep your heart healthy, check out websites like http://www.billingsclinic.com.
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