5 Ingredients That Can Support Heart Health
5 Simple Ingredients After Your Own Heart
There are plenty of small habits you can practice every day to help protect your heart. And since the health of your heart is crucial to a long, happy life, the efforts are well worth it.
These five simple ingredients hold heart health benefits, and they are super easy to incorporate into your daily meal plans.
- Extra-virgin olive oil. A kitchen staple, olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and even some polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which may help lower the risk factors for heart disease.1 Additionally, MUFAs may be beneficial for regulating insulin levels and keeping blood sugar in check.1 Keep a bottle on hand at all times and use it in place of processed vegetable oils. It’s also great for quick-and-easy salad dressings, either alone or with vinegar and seasonings.
- Yogurt. Plain, unflavored yogurt (especially Greek varieties) is a heart-healthy substitute for sour cream and is a great source of high-quality protein. In some cases, it can even be used to add moisture in baked goods! Surprisingly, yogurt can play many different roles in your diet, and emerging research shows an association between yogurt consumers and healthy cholesterol, healthy blood pressure, and possibly a slimmer waistline.2
- Balsamic vinegar. Great for sautéing veggies, adding to meat dishes, or tossing in a salad, studies have shown that balsamic vinegar can inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a cholesterol carrier in the body, which in turn, may lower the incidence of heart attack and stroke.3
- Avocado. A coastal favorite, this amazing fruit is loaded with healthy fats (specifically MUFAs) and—according to clinical research—may help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.4-5 It’s a great topping for salads as well as a beloved edition to most Mexican (or Mexican-inspired) dishes, but it can also be a snack in its own right. Just add a touch of garlic salt and enjoy!
- Dark leafy greens. These kinds of greens, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, may not be the most exciting, but they are surprisingly easy to incorporate into your favorite meals (salads, stir-fries, pastas, wraps, and more). Studies have shown that the same antioxidants found in dark leafy greens may help decrease risk markers for heart disease.6
If you’re looking for ways to help keep your heart happy, try using these ingredients more often in your cooking regimen. Being proactive about your health today is a wise investment toward a healthier future. Bon appétit!
- Zeratsky K. Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and healthy eating. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/food-and-nutrition/faq-20058439. Accessed July 15, 2018.
- Cleveland Clinic. Health Essentials. Yogurt: Good for Your Heart? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/yogurt-good-heart/. Accessed July 15, 2018.
- Iizuka M et al. Inhibitory effects of balsamic vinegar on LDL oxidation and lipid accumulation in THP-1 macrophages. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2010;56(6):421-427.
- Grundy SM. Monounsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol metabolism: implications for dietary recommendations. J Nutr. 1989;119(4):529-533.
- USDHHS and NIH. Your Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/chol_tlc.pdf. Accessed July 15, 2018.
- Yan L. USDA. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables. https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2013/dark-green-leafy-vegetables/. Accessed July 15, 2018.
Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team
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