Did you know over the course of our lifetime we have the same number of heart beats as a chicken? That’s approximately 2 billion beats in a lifetime. You’re probably wondering why we live longer than a chicken? This is because a chicken’s heart rate is about 275 beats per minute and ours is closer to 65 beats per minute.
The foods we eat can have a big impact on the structure and health of our heart. Use these heart healthy foods as a guide to create well-balanced and nutritious meals that could make a big difference in keeping your heart in good shape, whilst also minimising your risk of heart disease.
- Eat fatty fish high in omega-3 like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring and trout
- Leafy greens are a great source of vitamin K and are known for their wealth of minerals and antioxidants. So, enjoy plenty of spinach, kale, collard greens and swiss chard in your diet.
- Berries such as: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich with antioxidants and nutrients that can play an important role in heart health.
- Nuts like walnuts and almonds are a great source of fibre and packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy heart.
- Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, rye and whole wheat are all whole grains that include the germ, endosperm and bran – the nutrient rich parts.
- Avocados are rich in monosaturated fats that are linked to lower cholesterol, believed to contribute to a healthy heart.
- Chia, flax and hemp seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and protein. These may boost our heart health by reducing inflammation, blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Autumnal coloured vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, acorn squash are rich in fibre and antioxidants that may be protective against cardiovascular disease.