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Food with Heart: 10 Organic Foods for a Healthy, Happy Heart

Who would you turn to if you wanted to know whether diet has an impact on heart health? Possibly a dietician or nutritionist? Perhaps a cardiologist? You could ask the British Heart Foundation, or the NHS.

 

The answer from each of them would be a resounding YES.

 

Anyone who knows anything about protecting our hearts and cardiovascular systems against disease agrees: what we eat is incredibly important.

Can eating organic make a difference?

 

Some studies suggest so. One piece of research found over five times the quantity of salicylic acid – which helps prevent arteries from hardening – in organic soup vs its non-organic counterpart. Plants naturally make this acid as a defence. Perhaps why organic vegetables, which don’t have the artificial protection of pesticides, produce more of it. Cool, right?

Another study showed higher levels of flavonoids, which are thought to help prevent cardiovascular disease, in organic produce compared to non-organic.

Go-To Heart-Happy Foods

 

There are a number of foods prized for their beneficial properties to heart health. Choosing organic helps ensure those properties will be intact.

 

We’ve selected 10 of our favourites, because we love a wholesome list and a round number.

1. Nuts

High in fibre, which is great for your heart, and vitamin E, which may lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. Our favourite way to get a daily dose of nuts is as a spread, liberally smeared on bread or blobbed in creamy porridge. Looking for quality, organic nut butters? We have a whole range!

2. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, which may prevent hardening of the arteries. Research has shown that drinking pomegranate juice daily can improve blood flow to the heart. Our organic Pomegranate Pure Juice is the perfect way to get your hit.

3. Oats

Packed with soluble fibre, which sponges up cholesterol in the digestive tract before it can be absorbed. This review found that oat products significantly reduced LDL and cholesterol. If you like oats in the morning but don’t always fancy porridge, check out our muesli and granolas.

4. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which promote cardiovascular health. We like to double up our dark choc hit with heart-healthy brazil nuts for a decadent and filling smug snack.

5. Whole grains

Think buckwheat, quinoa, rye and the like. As opposed to refined grains, whole grains include germ, endosperm and bran. They’re much higher in that all-important heart-helper, fibre. A review of 64 publications linked whole grain intake with reduced risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. For an easy whole-grain swap, switch out white bread for one of our organic rye bread collection.

6. Legumes

The likes of beans, lentils, and peas – packed with protein but, unlike animal sources of protein, without the heart-harming fat on the side. Consumption of these pulses is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease according to many studies, such as this review. Stock your pantry here.

7. Extra virgin olive oil

We’ve all heard of the wonders of the Mediterranean diet. Key to this way of eating is lots of fruit, veggies and daily extra virgin olive oil. In a classic study, individuals with high cardiovascular risk who took at least four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day greatly reduced their risk of major cardiovascular event. The even-better news? We’ve got a selection.

8. Flax and chia seeds

Two plant-based omega-3 powerhouses. Brilliant for lowering cholesterols and reducing blood pressure, both seeds also pack fibre. Get a bite of both in this delicious bread.

9. Tahini

A butter of ground sesame seeds, bursting with protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, with antioxidants for good measure. Sesame seeds have been shown to improve artery health, and lower blood cholesterol. Grab a jar of organic whole sesame tahini here and start whipping up your own heart-healthy houmous and dressings!

10. Leafy green veggies

Last but not least, look to the likes of spinach, kale and collard greens for their wealth of heart-helping vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Great for vitamin K and dietary nitrates, they’ll help keep your blood vessels in good working order.

 

Do you eat with heart health in mind? Share your #OrganicFoodWithHeart recipes and stories with us on Social!

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