Here is a list of top 10 foods that are beneficial for your heart, health and will definitely help you lose weight. Implement these foods into your diet and cut out junk and fast foods and watch a tremendous change in your body and in how you feel.
Oatmeal. Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties, they contain more fiber. Oatmeal is great for breakfast over sugary cereal; it is full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich super food can also lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.
Salmon. Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third. Salmon also contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant. Mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will also give your heart the same boost.
Update: yes, there is a mercury contamination issue when it comes to eating too much tuna, yes this includes sushi. I'd say limit it to once a week. However, check the chart out on the Natural Resources Defense Council. How much you can eat safely is based upon your weight. The url is: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/tuna.asp
Avocado. Add a bit of avocado to your diet increase the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. They also allow for the absorption of other carotenoids especially beta-carotene and lycopene, which are essential for heart health.
Spinach. This will help your health thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber. Increasing any veggies though is sure to give your heart a boost. (Always wash spinach well.)
Flaxseed. Full of fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a dash of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast. Other ways to eat it are to mix it into shakes and throw it into salads.
Berries. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etcetera are full of anti-inflammatories, which may reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Soy. Soy may lower cholesterol, and is a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet. Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. Soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. Do watch the amount of salt in your soy. Some processed varieties like soy dogs can contain added sodium, which boosts blood pressure. Avoid soy dogs and even some veggie burgers as they are loaded with sodium. READ LABELS.
Olive Oil. Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Look for cold-pressed options.
Legumes. Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They're packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
Nuts. Almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are all full of omega-3 fatty acids and mono- and polyunsaturated fats. For more on nuts see our “Nutty for Nutrition”.
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