6 Beneficial Nutrients For Your Heart And Where To Find Them

As we head into American Heart Month, it’s important to reflect on where we are with our own heart health. 

Your cardiovascular system has a huge role in your body. It functions to circulate blood, nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hormones between cells. 

It is no secret that what you eat directly contributes to your heart health. The nutrients within your food fuel your body and impact all of your organ’s crucial functions. In order for your body to perform at its best, it needs the best nutrients. 

Our team at South Coast Medical Group is passionate about helping our community in Aliso Viejo and surrounding cities. We work side-by-side with our patients to help them improve their lives through healthy eating habits. 

Do your lifestyle choices improve the health of your heart, or hurt it? 

Discover what nutrients support your heart and where to get them:

Vitamin K 

This vitamin plays a vital role in blood clotting, as it prevents your arteries from hardening and excessive bleeding. Through studies, researchers have found that prevents calcium from entering the arteries. 

Foods that contain Vitamin K:

  • Leafy greens (kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Sauerkraut
  • Soybeans
  • Edamame
  • Pickles
  • Pumpkin
  • Pine nuts
  • Blueberries

Folate 

Folate helps protect your heart by lowering levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that, when elevated, can damage blood vessels.

Foods that contain folate:

  • Spinach 
  • Soy
  • Mint
  • Legumes
  • Asparagus 
  • Eggs
  • Beets
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Bananas 
  • Avocados 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids 

Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to keeping your arteries clear, regulating your blood pressure, and controlling triglycerides (fats in your blood). Omega 3 cannot be made in our own bodies. Therefore it must be included in our diet. 

Foods that contain fatty acids:

  • Avocados
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon 
  • Tuna 
  • Cod liver oil
  • Herring
  • Oysters
  • Vegetable oils 
  • Flaxseeds 
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Soybeans

Monounsaturated Fats

High intake of monounsaturated fats (MUFA) have shown to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. It also aids in lowering blood pressure. 

Foods that contain monounsaturated fats:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Canola oil 
  • Peanut oil
  • Almonds 
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Macadamias 
  • Nut butters
  • Avocados 
  • Olives

Fiber 

This nutrient is beneficial for your heart because it reduces cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation. It can also slow down the absorption of sugar, which helps improve blood sugar levels. 

Foods that contain fiber:

  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Split peas
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Sweet potatoes

Magnesium

Magnesium is needed for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain nerve and muscle function, along with supporting a healthy heart rhythm and blood pressure. 

Foods that contain magnesium:

  • Whole grains 
  • Tofu 
  • Soy
  • Black beans 
  • Almonds 
  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Sesame seeds 
  • Spinach 

Your heart is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to keep you going. Taking care of your heart starts with what is on your plate. 

If you want specific advice on how to ensure your heart health is on the right path, come to our office to speak with our medical professionals. With regular screenings and tests, we will be able to recognize your unique health needs. 

Our Hours: 

Primary Care

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Urgent Care

Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.