Here are five delicious superfoods that can help cut your risk for cardiovascular disease:
This jewel-colored root is jam-packed with nutrients that can help lower blood pressure and increase blood flow by opening up your blood vessels. Beets are also rich in soluble fiber, vitamins A, B6, C and folic acid, as well as the minerals potassium, magnesium and iron.
Tip: Toss some shredded beets on your favorite salad or try this tasty F-Factor recipe for Beet Carpaccio.
Pomegranates are gorgeous, delicious, rich in antioxidants, and heart-healthy because they contain nutrients that help improve blood flow, lower cholesterol and even promote weight loss. Pomegranates have a balanced nutrient profile of essential vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, plus they are very low in fat and contain no cholesterol.
Tip: Add some pomegranate to your morning cereal or yogurt for a dash of color and tangy flavor.
Sweet potatoes are super flavorful and loaded with nutrients that are good for your heart. These spuds are rich in vitamin B6, which lowers chemical homocysteine -- a factor in degenerative heart disease. Sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber, potassium, and the ‘anti-stress’ mineral magnesium.
Tip: Add some sweet potato to soups, stews and smoothies; make your own sweet potato humus; slip some grilled slices into your veggie wrap.
This delicious leafy green contains B6 vitamins and potassium, which can lower blood pressure. Swiss chard is also a good source of iron and copper, minerals that help improve blood circulation.
Tip: Enjoy Swiss chard leaves as a wrap or enjoy them simply sautéed.
True, avocados contain fat and that’s okay. Avocado is the only fruit that contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol and improve blood lipid profile. Avocados are also rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure.
Tip: Mashed avocado makes a delicious spread or puree some into a creamy dressing you can drizzle on your favorite salad.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.