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An important factor involved in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is diet. Prevention is essential because this type of disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada. Healthy eating for the heart starts with including key foods into our daily lives. Here are some suggestions.
Blueberries are very rich in flavonoids. They are powerful antioxidants that have a protective effect on the heart. The blueberry is the fruit with the largest antioxidant properties. It has the effect of reducing the accumulation of LDL (bad cholesterol) on the walls of the arteries. It is recommended to consume about 1/2 to 1 cup per day (75 to 150 g), in fresh, frozen or dried form.
Psyllium is an excellent source of soluble fiber. This type of fiber can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the intestines. Aim to consume at least 2 tablespoons a day, spread over 2 doses. Psyllium can be mixed with water or added to your favorite foods.
Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. It has an LDL reducing effect and an HDL (good cholesterol) increasing effect. It is also appreciated for its phenolic compounds which has a protective effect on the heart thanks to its antioxidant properties. Despite the virtues of olive oil, keep in mind that it is a source of fat and must be consumed in moderation.
Almonds are rich in phytosterols that have the effect of reducing LDL and also include vitamin E, which has antioxidant power. It is recommended to eat them every day either in their raw form or in the form of natural almond butter. Aim to consume about 2 to 3 tablespoons (25 to 30 g) a day.
Salmon is popular for its high omega 3 content, while having low mercury content. It is best to choose wild salmon as often as possible because like this you can avoid consuming certain contaminants. Fresh wild salmon is usually available between May and August. Also, do not hesitate to buy it already frozen; you can then consume it throughout the year. The benefits of omega 3 are multi-layered but especially notable is a drop in blood triglycerides. Aim to consume a serving of 150 g at least twice a week.
Heart Healthy menus can help you incorporate heart-healthy foods into your diet!