By Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef
Thanks to ongoing studies in the medical science communities, the list of healthy attributes awarded to superfoods is constantly expanding. From broadening brain function to boosting the immune system to helping aid recovery, superfoods are well recognized as top-notch tools of wellness, delivering valuable nutrients essential for optimum living. Among these virtues, one of the most widely discussed accolades is heart health – a benefit for which many superfoods are quite sought after. But one look at the state of our country’s health and this popularity is easily explained.
A Few Sobering Facts
Every 40 seconds, an American dies from heart disease, which equals almost 2,200 deaths a day. More than 7% of all Americans have experienced some type of cardiovascular disease and more than 7 million Americans have had a heart attack. What’s more, one out of every six deaths in the United States is linked to heart disease, ranking it the number one source of fatalities in the country. These numbers don’t need to be that high, as heart disease is preventable – and even treatable – through positive habits.
Eliminating the Disease
Human-based studies have shown that heart disease is virtually eliminated through the control of just three factors: cholesterol, smoking and blood pressure. That means that two out of three imperative components of a healthy heart are largely dependent on a healthy diet, along with movement and stress regulation. Plant-based diets in general are an enormous step in the right direction to enhancing coronary health and lowering blood pressure, and superfoods, with their saturation of important nutrients, can help expedite this process even further.
How Superfoods Support
Superfoods support a healthy heart in many ways. Some, like Hemp and Chia, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids – the good fats that can help reduce bad cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. Others, like Cacao, contain valuable antioxidants that can reduce blood pressure and help clear arteries. And many superfoods, like nutrient-dense grains and pseudograins (like buckwheat and quinoa), are full of fiber – an important macronutrient that the American Heart Association lauds as potentially able to “help improve blood cholesterol levels…and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, [and more].”
If you're looking to enhance your heart health – as we all very well should – here are some of the many superfoods that can substantially help:
• Seeds & Nuts
• Omega-3-rich Foods like Chia, Hemp & Flax
• Matcha & Green Tea
• Whole Grains & Pseudo Grains
• Cruciferous Vegetables
You can find dozens of ways to use all these foods in the vast recipe section on our site. With heart-friendly foods being so delicious, who knew preventive care could be so easy?