Foods that benefit your heart don’t have to be bland and boring. You can add taste, texture, and excitement to your meals by adding the following five foods.

Broccoli Sprouts

Studies suggest that an ingredient in broccoli sprouts may help lower blood pressure and inflammation that can detrimentally affect your cardiovascular system. This chemical is called glucoraphanin and occurs naturally in this vegetable. Use the crunchy broccoli sprouts as a topping for salads, and as an ingredient in sandwich wraps, and stir fries to reap the benefits of this vegetable.

Blueberries

Blueberries are filled with soluble fiber, flavonoids, and phytochemicals that help prevent diseases. These berries add gorgeous color and tangy sweetness to your dishes. They are delicious in smoothies, baked goods, or as a topping for salads; you can also enjoy them fresh or frozen.

Avocado

A slice of avocado is a tasty addition to sandwiches or salads, but you can also use its creamy goodness in soups and smoothies. This fruit contain monounsaturated fats, which are good for you, and an abundance of vitamins and minerals. These include potassium, vitamin E, and the B-vitamins. Avocado’s creamy, mild flavor makes it an excellent substitute for butter or mayonnaise.

Almonds

Almonds add a delicious, nutty crunch and powerful punch of nutrients to an everyday meal. You can use them slivered to top casseroles and salads, or include them in baked goods, such as muffins or cookies. Toss them into your food processor to create almond butter that’s tasty on sandwiches or in any dish where you would use peanut butter. Almonds are an excellent source of phytosterols that are effective in lowering cholesterol. They also contain protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that are beneficial to your cardiovascular system.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes add color and a naturally sweet flavor to your meals. They are loaded with fiber and low in calories. Just one serving of a sweet potato supplies your body with all the vitamin A it needs for a week and this potato is also an abundant source of vitamin C. Individuals who have diets rich in vitamin C have a lower risk of suffering from a stroke or heart disease than people who don’t. Add cubed sweet potatoes to a roasting pan when you’re cooking meat; they are also delicious in soups and stews. Sweet potatoes are popular as fries, and you can even microwave a sweet potato for a tasty and nutritious meal all by itself.

After you try these nutrient-rich foods, you’ll be tempted to sample other foods that help protect you from heart disease and other medical conditions.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20040428/broccoli-sprouts-may-protect-heart

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Whats-so-super-about-superfoods_UCM_457937_Article.jsp#.Vo3HxBUrLct

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Monounsaturated-Fats_UCM_301460_Article.jsp#.VpbrGNGa5Sk

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/10/17/health-benefits-almonds.html

http://www.prevention.com/content/which-healthier-sweet-potato-vs-pumpkin

http://www.webmd.com/diet/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c