“Maybe we shouldn’t call it ‘heart healthy foods.’ It would be more accurate to call them ‘blood vessel healthy foods,’” ponders VCH registered dietitian Ellen Mackay. “It’s about keeping blood vessels that run to our brain, our kidneys and other organs healthy. These foods keep inflammation down, keep blood sugars in check and blood pressure low.”
With Valentine’s Day less than a week way, people should be thinking about their heart’s health while showing how much they care for that special person. Below Ellen tells us what foods we should be eating to keep our hearts healthy.
“We should be eating fatty fish like salmon, trout and mackerel. (Also sardines and herring are really good, but a lot of people don’t know what to do with those.) These types of fish are full of wonderful Omega-3 fats.”
“It’s not just about kale anymore! It’s about vibrantly coloured vegetables and fruit. You want colours like dark green, orange, purple, red – it’s like eating a rainbow. They have the antioxidants and phytonutrients that you just can’t get in a pill.”
“Try to eat walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds most days – those are rich in antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin E.”
“In these anti-carb days we forget some grains are very good for our blood vessels, especially the ones with soluble fibre. Some great whole grains are oats, barley, brown rice.”
“These are beans, lentils, tofu and edamame. They have very beneficial fibre, which helps lower cholesterol.”