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Twelve Foods Your Heart Will Love

There's not a lot more important than cardiovascular health when it comes to keeping you and your family healthy, and it needn't be a chore to get your heart in tip-top condition.

These twelve foods are brilliant for keeping your heart healthy for longer - and tasty too!


  

Beans

Several clinical trials have proved that eating beans lowers your bad cholesterol, your blood pressure and your blood sugar. All these things are major factors in heart health. And beans are so extraordinarily versatile - throw some into salads, stews or soups, or - our favourite - whizz them up with some Smoked Paprika, some Lime Juice, a little Garlic and a dash of Olive Oil, and Hummus will definitely take a back seat....

  

Blueberries

These brilliant little purple/black fruits have become a mainstay in British supermarkets this last decade, and just as well! They help to widen arteries, making blood flow through them more smoothly and lessening the chance of blockages. Research suggests just 2 servings per week can reduce your risk of heart attack by a third. But the very best thing is how mind-blowingly delicious they taste!

  

Hibiscus

In Mediterranean areas, bright red hibiscus flowers are everywhere, collecting the power of the sun before being dried and infused in hot water and sometimes being left to cool into ice tea. We urge you to try it - quite apart from being just about the best thing a diabetic can have (it lowers bad cholesterol, blood pressure and regulates blood sugar) - it tastes phenomenal, like the best cranberries.

  

Kale

Leafy, green Kale is just about the most nutrient-dense food on this planet. Some people love it, but some - especially kids - often seem to recoil from it like a vampire from garlic! For them, there's a wonderful range of tasty, flavoured Kale Crisps - or why not just stir a spoon of Kale Powder into their spaghetti sauce when they're not looking?

  

Nuts

Walnuts and Almonds are the kings of the castle for heart health, but a handful of any nut every day will lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol by providing you with healthy fats and an array of beneficial minerals.

  

Cherries

Whether it's Cherry Juice, Freeze-Dried Cherry Powder or Organic Sour Cherries, there are antioxidants in cherries called anthocyanins, which help protect blood vessels. This, in turn, protects your heart.

  

Oats

Porridge is the ultimate comfort food, and one of the healthiest too! Oats contain antioxidants called avenanthramides, which are unique to this particular grain, and are powerhouses when it comes to heart protection.

  

Olive Oil

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world, and olive oil is its cornerstone. This luscious liquid is full of monounsaturated fats and can help prevents clots forming in the arteries.

It's also a potent anti-inflammatory and contains Vitamins E and K as well as beneficial Omega fatty acids. Go on, have a drizzle!


  

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are full of a compound called lycopene, a bright red carotene which gives them their colour. This wondrous stuff can reduce the risk of stroke, lower your blood pressure and improve the chances of survival for people recovering from heart failure.

  

Seaweed

Seaweed is full of proteins called bioactive peptides, which have a very similar effect to the drugs prescribed to bring down blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Dulse Flakes can be used as a healthy alternative to salt, and there have even been calls in America for seaweed to be added to frozen pizzas and hot dogs to improve the nation's cardiovascular health!

  

Dark Chocolate

Eating dark chocolate can help gives your arteries flexibility, thus reducing arteriosclerosis. It's also a powerful source of antioxidants, and compounds called flavanols found in dark chocolate may lower blood pressure and help improve blood flow. All these benefits are also available from Cacao Nibs, which are just awesome to nibble on after a meal with your coffee!

  

Green Tea

People who drink 12 ounces or more of tea per day are about half as likely to have a heart attack as everyone else. Antioxidants called catechins are the key - these have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and improve blood flow in the arteries. Green tea also has potent anti-cancer properties. Everyone loves a cuppa - why not switch to green tea?

  

Explore more heart-healthy foods here....

Make sure you & your family's tickers are tickety-boo!

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