Dr. Crandall’s 7 Super Foods for Your Heart:
- Blueberries Stand Out From the Bunch.Blueberries are loaded with minerals, including manganese, which plays an important part in bone development and helps to convert protein, carbohydrates and fat into energy. They also suppress inflammation, which is a key driver of coronary artery disease.
- Oatmeal Is Best Against Cholesterol.You may already know that oatmeal helps lower cholesterol. But you may not realize just how good a job it does. It’s a fact: No matter what health organization is doing the test, whenever the subject turns to cholesterol-lowering foods, oatmeal tops the list. But that’s not all; in addition to lowering cholesterol, eating oatmeal lowers blood pressure and may help prevent diabetes.
- Almonds Contain Good Fat.Eating just a handful of almonds each day has been found to lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 9 percent. In addition to lowering cholesterol, almonds are loaded with the antioxidant vitamin E and essential minerals. But perhaps the best thing about almonds is that even though they may taste fattening, they actually contain the “good” monounsaturated oils, not the nasty saturated stuff. So they can fill you up without getting you fat.
- Salmon: The Star Among Fish.Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon offers many benefits, including helping prevent heart attack and stroke, reducing high blood pressure, and normalizing glucose levels. Salmon is also rich in vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and niacin. When you’re preparing fish, always grill, bake, or pan-fry it (preferably with heart-healthy olive oil). Deep frying salmon takes away its health benefits.
- Olive Oil Stops Blood Clots. The longevity of people who live in Mediterranean countries — and their low rate of heart disease — has long been attributed to their widespread use of olive oil, which does not contain saturated or trans fats. Olive oil can also help lower LDL cholesterol and help prevent blood from clotting in the arteries, which leads to heart attack. it is also packed with calories, so it should be used sparingly. Sprinkle it on salads with a fork, or use an olive oil spray to coat the frying pan before cooking.
- Legumes Are a Great Meat Substitute. Legumes (beans, peas, and nuts) are one of the best food sources of soluble fiber. Beans, especially, make a great meat substitute because, like meat, they are rich in protein and filling. However, because beans are also packed with fiber, while meat has none, beans are digested more slowly. This makes you feel full longer and makes it easier to lose weight. In addition, beans can help lower bad cholesterol, and are an excellent source of antioxidants.
- Soymilk Is Rich in Vitamins and Minerals.Rounding out the list of super foods is soymilk, which is made from fresh, mature soybeans. Soymilk is plant-based, so it’s cholesterol free. It also has health benefits that dairy milk does not, including heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Soymilk also ranks low on the glycemic index, making it a good choice for people with diabetes. Soymilk can be substituted any place that milk is used. Just make sure you choose unsweetened soymilk, as the sugar can really add up.