8 Best Heart-Healthy Mediterranean Diet Foods You Should Be Eating

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This is probably not the first time you’ve heard about the Mediterranean diet, but I’m hoping this piece of information today will make an impact on you and your health in a new and different way:))

Health starts with food. If you remember nothing else from reading this article, try to remember that. What you put into your body affects your physical and mental health everyday. This is why the Mediterranean diet has been named the healthiest diet for good reason. It’s also been known as the easiest diets to follow.

Why wouldn’t you want to eat more foods that have a positive impact on your heart health, your brain, aiding in weight loss and also lowering your risk for chronic disease? The beauty of the Mediterranean diet is it’s doable and sustainable for life because it’s less restrictive and full of delicious healthy foods and a little wine, in moderation of course.

Here are 8 BEST heart-healthy Mediterranean diet foods you should be eating.

OLIVE OIL

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Olive oil isn’t just delicious, it’s been found to have anti-inflammatory qualities that can keep your blood pressure in check while potentially lowering your cholesterol, reducing your risk of a heart attack and stroke. The Mediterranean diet uses this healthy fat in everything you cook and eat including drizzling on top of a salad.

FISH

Fish is naturally a heart-healthy food so it’s a very big part of the Mediterranean diet because it a great source of protein. Salmon stands out as one of the best healthy fish choices because it’s oily and rich in omega-3 fats that improve blood lipid levels and also lowers blood pressure. Other seafoods like shrimp are an additional wonderful source of protein, niacin and selenium that have a positive affect on your heart health.

WHOLE GRAINS

One of the BEST parts of the Mediterranean diet is it is NOT low-carb because healthy carbohydrates including whole grains play a crucial role in a healthy lifestyle. Whole grains are heart healthy because they’re full of fiber and nutrients that our bodies need. Luckily, today we have an unlimited amount of whole grain choices in every grocery store aisle from breads to protein packed pastas and rices.

LEAFY GREENS

This food has also become readily available to us because it’s been found to be one of the most nutrient-dense healthy choices you can eat. Containing very few calories, leafy greens are high in fiber, potassium and vitamin K that help to lower blood pressure. You can add all sorts of greens from arugula, baby spinach, kale, chard or cabbage easily to your plate every day, making it an accessible vegetable in this sustainable diet.

BEANS

One of my personal favorite ways to eat protein without meat is with beans. This special food and versatile plant source is full of fiber that can be added to so many dishes to make you feel satisfied and keep you feeling fuller longer. Beans help to lower cholesterol and I’ve heard can play a significant role in longevity. Chickpeas are a favorite within the Mediterranean diet especially in salads or a delicious hummus.

TOMATOES

Another extremely versatile Mediterranean diet food that can be thrown in a salad or made into a pasta sauce, the tomato is a heart-healthy antioxidant that can protect arteries and lower cholesterol levels. To me, there’s nothing better than a fresh sliced tomato sandwich on whole grain nutty bread with avocado and some arugula in the summer time. But also knowing that it is a food that plays a role in keeping you healthy makes it taste even more delicious!

NUTS AND SEEDS

I rarely leave the house without a bag of nuts in my pocket because having them on hand is not only a quick, easy way to eat a healthy snack while on the go, but they also help me from making poor food decisions later on when I’m hungry. Nuts and seeds eaten regularly are good for your heart and this is why they are one of the best Mediterranean diet foods on this list. They’re full of antioxidants, heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals so eat them as often as you can, but within reason. A rule of thumb is a palmful per day so that you don’t overdo it.

BERRIES

And to top it all off is one of the best forms of natural sugar that you can eat. Berries are the fruit staple of the Mediterranean diet because of their heart-healthy benefits. They’re full of potassium, vitamin C and fiber that all have an affect in keeping your blood pressure and arteries healthy. Studies have shown that eating berries regularly improve cholesterol and blood vessel function. Simply put, incorporating berries into your diet will positively affect your health.

IN CONCLUSION

As you can see, in addition to heart health, the Mediterranean diet has a serious positive impact on overall health and well-being, while also being a practical, sustainable way to eat delicious healthy foods. There are so many more foods within this concept that you can incorporate into your meals to achieve the health benefits, these are just the 8 best staples that create a starting point. Do some research and check out the latest, best Mediterranean cookbooks available to you today; here is one of my favorites…


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