With summer in full swing, we get a bountiful array of healthy summer foods that are not only delicious but are also helpful for your cardiovascular system. Incorporating fresh, nutritious foods into your diet can help support a healthy heart. But what do those include? During the summer, fruits and vegetables are always first on the list!
Berries are the crown jewels of summer foods, bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber that promote heart health. Red, purple, or blue-colored berries, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, are rich in anthocyanins, which help reduce inflammation and support blood vessel function. Enjoy them fresh as a snack, add them to salads or blend them into refreshing smoothies for a heart-healthy boost.
Dark leafy greens are powerhouses of nutrients that contribute to a healthy heart. The more colorful they are, the more they’re packed with vitamins A, C and K as well as folate and potassium, which are essential for heart health. Work these greens into your salads, stir-fries or sautés for a fun, flavorful addition to your meals.
Citrus fruits are a delight, and they’re brimming with health benefits. Loaded with vitamin C and soluble fiber, citrus fruits like limes, oranges, grapefruits and lemons can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Enjoy them as a refreshing snack, squeeze them into your water for a burst of flavor or use their juice to add brightness to your marinades and dressings.
Tomatoes, a staple of summer foods, are not only delicious but also excellent for heart health. They are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant known for its protective effects on the heart. Enjoy fresh tomatoes in salads, as a base for flavorful salsas or roasted with a drizzle of olive oil for a simple yet healthy side dish.
Summer wouldn’t be complete without watermelon! This hydrating fruit is not only a delicious way to quench your thirst but also a good source of lycopene and vitamins A and C. Watermelon’s natural sweetness makes it a delightful and healthy summer food. You can even try a grilled watermelon steak for a fun twist!
Cucumbers are a cool and refreshing addition to summer foods. They are low in calories and high in hydration, making them an excellent choice to support heart health. Enjoy cucumber slices in salads, add them to chilled soups or infuse water with their mild flavor for a refreshing and heart-healthy beverage.
Avocados are packed with good fats that contribute to heart health. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels. Enjoy avocado slices in salads, spread them on whole-grain toast or blend them into creamy guacamole for a heart-healthy twist to your summer dishes.
Omega-3 Rich Salmon
Salmon, a fatty fish abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, is a star player among good fat foods. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to support heart health. Grilled, baked or smoked salmon is a delicious choice for a summer seafood feast.
Nutritious Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, are packed with good fats and fiber, making them one of the best summer foods to add to your diet. Sprinkle them over yogurt, salads or smoothies or enjoy them as a satisfying and nutritious snack.
Including heart-healthy foods in your meals provides important nutrients to support your cardiovascular health. By making these wholesome choices a regular part of your summer dinners, you can nourish your heart and savor the best of summer while maintaining a heart-healthy diet.