If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, stash these heart-healthy snacks instead. By Sasha Gonzales
Regular exercise is essential for a healthy ticker, but what you eat helps too. Here are four foods which are good for your heart – how’s that for snacking to your heart’s content?
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Best foods for your heart: Berries
Packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries (although not technically a berry) are especially heart-healthy. These compounds increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels in the blood while bringing down blood pressure. Good cholesterol cruises your bloodstream, picking up bad LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol along the way before sending it to the liver to be broken down. Polyphenols, such as tannins and anthocyanins are what give these fruits their tart taste and vibrant colour.
Low in calories, heart-healthy berries are great eaten on their own or added to cereal, yogurt, smoothies and juices. Have them as one of your two recommended daily servings of fruit, if you’re not snacking that day. One serving size of fresh blueberries is equal to one cup or 140g.