Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do for your heart health. Start the new year off right and do your heart a favor by incorporating the following foods into your diet.

Oily Fish

Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are higher in fat than leaner, flakier fish such as bass or tilapia. However, they are rich in the good kinds of fat, including the vital Omega-3 fatty acids which help lower your triglycerides.

Leafy Green Vegetables

If you could only learn one thing about nutrition it should be this: leafy green vegetables are nutrient powerhouses. Many of them are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and low in calories. Eating a diet packed with foods such as broccoli, kale, and spinach will help keep your heart in working order for many years to come.

Raspberries

All types of berries are good for your heart, but raspberries have the added benefit of being higher in fiber than most other varieties. Whatever type of berry you choose to eat you’ll be getting vital nutrients such as vitamin C, soluble fiber, and antioxidants.

Red Wine

You can definitely maintain a heart-healthy diet without alcohol, but a moderate amount of red wine is the best choice to make if you want to imbibe a bit. Moderation (one glass per day for women, two glasses per day for men) is important. If you exceed moderation, other health risks related to excessive drinking outweigh the heart-healthy benefits of the wine.

Nuts

Healthy nuts such as almonds and walnuts may be the ultimate snack for your heart. That’s because they have plenty of monounsaturated fat, fiber, and protein to help fill you up and regulate your hunger. The best thing about nuts is that you can add them to other heart-healthy foods such as salads, oatmeal, and unsweetened yogurt to create a full meal, or you can just enjoy them by themselves.

Oatmeal

Much like leafy green vegetables, oatmeal packs a ton of nutrients into a single package. It’s been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Make sure you look for oatmeal without any added sugar, because you’re better off controlling the amount of sugar you add with whole fruit.

If you or a loved one are living with a heart rhythm disorder, contact Heart Rhythm Consultants. Dr. Dilip Mathew is board certified in Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology and has been serving patients in Sarasota and surrounding cities including Port Charlotte, Venice, Tampa and Sun City Center for over a decade.