Once you’re armed with the 5 most basic and inarguable facts about heart-healthy foods, it’s easy to select the ingredients for a summer’s worth of great meals. These facts are:
- Include fresh summer (or any) fruits and vegetables in all your day’s meals
- Steer clear of foods with added fats, sugars and chemical ingredients
- Whole grains are your best bet for complex carbohydrates with beneficial fiber
- Omega 3s drive essential body functions and may offer additional health benefits
- The fats found in foods like olive oil and avocados are healthy alternatives to trans and saturated fats, and may offer even more benefits
Understanding just a tiny bit of the science behind these principles is invaluable in making the best food choices, and will help you sort through the claims, trends and suggestions in food labels and health news.
Just a little more on Omega 3s, and why you can’t go wrong
Nutritionists and medical professionals sometimes forget the rest of us don’t speak the same language, and the term “Omega 3” has become very popular. Found in high amounts in types of fish like salmon, and other foods ranging from flax seeds to yogurt, Omega 3 are no luxury. These “fatty acids” are essential building blocks for cell functioning.
What is not totally verified, despite being widely believed by researchers and experts, are additional benefits Omega 3s may offer—like disease prevention—that could improve overall health and well-being. Whatever will be proved or disproven about Omega 3s by future science, here are a few ways you can’t go wrong.
- Omega 3s play an essential role in the body’s basic functioning, but they must be obtained through food
- Foods rich in Omega 3s have many other health benefits
- Fish, for example, offers a great source of healthy protein
- Enough science suggests Omega 3s can help lower risk of heart disease to make it worth incorporating these foods into your diet
Heart-healthy summer foods
Blueberries, zucchini and grilled fish are just a few foods that make summer a great season for heart health and overall nutrition. So are corn, peas, peppers and tomatoes. With these foods in abundance, summer is also a great time to build habits that will benefit you throughout the year.