The 3 Foods Doctors Swear By for a Healthy Heart
Our hearts beat an estimated 2.5 billion times over the course of a typical lifespan, flooding our bodies with the blood, oxygen, and hormones necessary to function. That said, this powerhouse organ needs sustenance in the form of a healthy diet, lifestyle, and plenty of exercise. While many heart diseases will require medication or even surgery at a certain point, "A healthy lifestyle, especially when started at a young age, goes a long way to preventing cardiovascular disease," writes Harvard Health Publications. Unsurprisingly, heart-healthy foods are an important part of that equation. Here's what three functional medicine doctors actually eat to keep their hearts in tip-top shape.
"Broccoli works the liver, which plays a main role in regulating cholesterol and balancing blood sugar, two big components and potential contributors to heart disease. One of the main ingredients is sulfloraphane, which also helps reduce the risk [of] cancer, keep blood flowing, and prevent inflammation. Sulfloraphane has been shown to re-activate Nfr2, a beneficial protein that helps protect arteries, and found to be absent in branched or bent arteries, making them more susceptible to disease. Studies have also shown that diets that have a higher intake of broccoli [have] been correlated to less coronary related events." — Serena Goldstein, ND
"My favorite food for heart health is dark chocolate. Several studies have shown that the high levels of polyphenols may help reduce blood pressure and inflammation with daily consumption. The key is that you must consume at least 60% or higher cacao content to reap the benefits. Milk or white chocolate will not give you same benefits for a healthy heart." —Tiffany Lester, MD, and medical director at Parsley Health
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