Beating over 100,000 times day delivering food and oxygen in the blood to all the parts of the body, the heart like any engine or pump is in need of fuel, care and consideration. In a world where convenience is championed, the battle to make time for healthy home cooking is a battle to protect your heart, as the food choices you make can adversely or positively affect your heart health, appetite and energy levels. With Heart Disease being Ireland’s No.1 killer with approximately 10,000* deaths per year from Cardiovascular Disease and CVD accounting for 33% of all Irish deaths, it’s definitely time to get your heart in optimal shape with food choices that are healthy, tasty and convenient for all the family. From nuts, berries and salmon, take a look at our top 10 heart healthy foods chosen just for you.


Tomatoes are rich with heart healthy vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant, supporting and protecting your cells from damage. Make a homemade tomato sauce with fresh or canned tomatoes, throw in some oregano and a selection of chopped veggies for a gourmet, homemade pasta sauce bursting with mega antioxidant goodness.


Low in calories, high in fiber and brimming with antioxidants, Watermelon not only satisfies your sweet tooth but is an incredible source of lycopene, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. This heart healthy slice of goodness also supplies citruline which may improve the health of blood vessels and can positively affect those with erectile dysfunction and diabetes. That tasty piece of watermelon also offers vitamins C and A as well as heart regulators potassium and magnesium.


Bursting with antioxidants, berries increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol while lowering your blood pressure. A tasty heart healthy snack, Berries are a low calorie, fat free fruit that contains nutrients that support healthy bone growth and the conversion of fat to energy. The multi tasking fruity snack combats cancer and oxidation and inflammation as the polyphenols increase your levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that causes the blood vessels to relax. It is recommended to consume Berries every day for optimal heart healthy goodness.


Jam packed with healthy mono-saturated fats and full of potassium which is a vital mineral in the control of blood pressure, the Avocado delivers a rich source of vitamin C, fibre and carotenoids. Carotenoids are linked to a decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease! Avocados deliver fibre and assist the body in the absorption of antioxidants when consumed with vegetables such as spinach and carrots.


Did you know leading nutritionists suggest just a half a cup of beans a day will help keep your heart in optimal shape. Beans are full of soluble fibre and this is the key reason why beans are beneficial to your heart. This fibre binds itself to bad cholesterol and stops it being absorbed by the gut up to unhealthy levels. So for your next meal why not add some black, kidney, lima, navy or even pinto or white beans for an extra dose of soluble fibre.


Not only a tasty, convenient snack, the simple Walnut boosts your heart function with healthy omega-3 fats and antioxidants. Consuming 2 ounces of Walnuts per day has been shown to improve blood vessel function among people with diabetes and help to protect those at most risk from cardiovascular disease. It has also been proven that a handful of nuts works to lower cholesterol levels and satisfy hunger.


The food industries newest wonder seed, Quinoa is a nutritional multi-tasker. Delivering vegetable protein which is better for heart and kidney health and blood pressure, it contains at least twice the amount of fibre as other grains. Bursting with antioxidants and providing a rich source of heart healthy mono-saturated fat (same fats found in olive oil and avocados), Quinoa is a brilliant source of fibre and is gluten free. Easy to cook, Quinoa is extremely versatile and ridiculously delish!


Research has shown that consuming fish on a regular basis is associated with a 30% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease over the long term. A serve of Salmon will keep your blood pumping and your heart in optimal shape, as a serve of cold water fish such as salmon, is power packed with omega-3 fats, lower levels of of harmful lipid levels, lowers blood pressure and works to prevent irregular heart rhythms while reducing inflammation throughout the body.


With obesity one of the major factors in the development of heart disease, it is well known that whole grains such as Oatmeal will help to keep your heart healthy and to maintain your weight, lowering your risk factors for heart disease and heart related complications. Beginning your day with a bowl of oatmeal, will assist you in decreasing your risk of heart disease and stroke while lowering cholesterol and delivering a helping hand with weight control.

Coconut Oil

The all purpose brilliance of Coconut Oil allows you to swap the fatty oils and margarine to ensure a more heart healthy meal. Containing healthy fats that are converted to energy rather than stored in the body, Coconut Oil delivers anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti fungal, antiviral and antioxidant properties and is a naturally cholesterol-free food.

22nd Mar 2018

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