Dr. Laura’s Five Foods for a Healthier Heart
These protein and fiber-packed nuts have been consistently proven to significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Walnuts are a great source of healthy (polyunsaturated) fats, and have also been shown to lower blood pressure.
Studies have shown that almonds are not only able to lower LDL cholesterol levels from baseline, but may actually decrease the production of it in the first place without affecting the production of healthy cholesterol! These mineral-rich nuts can even improve insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetics and diabetics.
Rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3’s, fatty fish can help increase our HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, while decreasing our total blood fat levels (triglycerides). Some of the fish that are highest in these healthy omega-3’s include mackerel, herring, and salmon.
At just two tablespoons daily, olive oil can significantly decrease high blood pressure while also decreasing cholesterol levels. It’s best to have olive oil in its raw and unheated form – add it to your veggies after cooking, or use it as a base for salad dressings!
Above all, a vegetable-based diet has the most significant impact on heart health. Consuming a minimum of 5 servings of veggies a day reduces cholesterol, occurrence of heart attacks, and even occurrence of cancer in both healthy and unhealthy individuals. Try your best to get a variety of vegetables and be sure to include plenty of dark, leafy greens!