What Foods are Good for my Heart?

Posted in the New Jersey Herald on January 9, 2018, Bijal Dave, M.D. discusses heart healthy diet options.  She is a medical staff member at Atlantic Health System’s Hackettstown Medical Center and Newton Medical Center and a family physician specializing in diet-oriented treatment of chronic diseases.

“A heart-healthy diet is not only good for our heart but also for our waistline and our pockets in the long term. Eating certain foods on a regular basis can certainly reduce the risk of heart disease.”

  • Nuts – eating a handful of them a couple times a week is beneficial for the heart.  They have high sources of MUFAs and PUFAs which help to lower the bad cholesterol.  By being rich in fiber, vitamin E, and L-argininie, plaque can be reduced within the arteries and the flexibility of arterial walls is improved, reducing incidence of narrowing and less prone to blood clots.
  • Berries – full of phytonutrients such as fiber and polyphenols which assist in preventing heart disease.  Their antioxidants helps in the prevention of cardiac disease
  • Turmeric
    • Improve your heart health by adding turmeric to your foods or take a good quality curcumin extract daily 
    • Curcumin, turmeric’s active compound lowers inflammatory changes that are the root cause of heart disease and acts as a blood thinner, which prevents clot formation in heart disease
    • After a cardiac event takes place, the spice can help repair cardiac muscles
    • Curcumin helps with regulation of calcium homeostasis in heart muscle which causes cardiac arrhythmias
    • Curcumin’s antioxidant benefits is comparable to vitamin C and vitamin E and it also helps with improving blood flow through vessels
  • Fish – high in omega-3 fatty acids, fish may help to decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, reduce irregular heartbeats, and decrease stroke and heart failure risk
  • Chia Seeds – omega-3 powerhouses are chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and help seeds.  Add them to a smoothie, oatmeal, or a salad for optimal heart health.

Heart Healthy Recipe Idea: Blueberry Cardamom Avocado Lassi

This is a super delicious & easy to make summer drink. It can also double up as a post workout drink or a meal replacement as it is a combination of protein, good fats, carbs, fiber & probiotics.

Follow the recipe here:


Heart Healthy Nutrition & Activities in Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens, a borough in Morris County offers a great selection of healthy restaurants and fitness options.  Check out Fitness Grill which includes plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.  Esporta Fitness, Orange Theory, or Serenity yoga and wellness studio for amazing classes and heart healthy cardio.

Weight Loss & Heart Healthy Recipes

You can also check out Dr. Bijal Dave’s Healthy Eating Website: Make Food Thy Medicine, which is a collection of her favorite, heart healthy, plant-based recipes. Dr. Dave is a metabolic and obesity medicine specialist and offers medical weight loss programs to patients. Please contact our office to schedule a weight loss evaluation.