Good food for the heart

chocolate and olive oil, food for the heart

One of the biggest problems that have arisen with industrialization are cardiovascular disease. A more sedentary life, less exercise, the consume of industrialized food. At the same time that we have been abandoning healthy consumption habits, and good food for the heart the Mediterranean diet with its extra virgin olive oil.


  1. Good food for the heart and circulation
  2. Which food is not good for the heart
  3. Exercises to strengthen the heart

Summary: One of our objectives in the El Cortijuelo de San Benito shop and our online shop is to make people aware of the need to follow healthy habits: exercise, Mediterranean diet. As a defence of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil occupies a primordial place, and its culture must be extended. Accompanying the transmission of this culture we offer you the best olive oils in Spain: Castillo de Canena, El Empiedro, Oro del Desierto, Oro Bailen

Other interesting studies: Benefits of olive oil

1. Good food for the heart and circulation

In general, the Mediterranean diet with all its foods is the most suitable for maintaining a healthy and caring heart. The Mediterranean diet is based on fruits, vegetables and legumes, and with extra virgin olive oil always accompanying them, rich in fish and with a moderate consumption of meat and dairy products, exactly, food for the heart.

The Mediterranean diet is not just about food, it is a way of eating, where food is valued, its quality and its times. A way of life that seeks tranquillity, rest after food and family life and among friends.

Highly calorific diets brought from Anglo-Saxon countries, abundant in prefabricated and saturated food, are highly harmful to health in general and especially to the heart.

In general, all the foods in the Mediterranean diet will help to keep the heart and circulatory system healthy, but we are going to see the most beneficial and important foods:

  • Extra virgin olive oil: The extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, components that help to lower the bad cholesterol, LDL and raise the good, HDL. A very good food for the heart.
  • Avocado: Avocado is another natural product rich in monounsaturated fats and fiber that helps control cholesterol.
  • Salmon Salmon is rich in a polyunsaturated fatty acid, DHA, helping to raise good cholesterol.
  • Nuts: Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, all of which are very beneficial to cholesterol.
  • Brown rice: Brown rice is rich in fiber and phytochemical components, all of which are very beneficial to the heart. Be careful about where brown rice comes from, as it may contain arsenic if grown in contaminated fields.
  • Carrots: Rich in pro-vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidants, components that help keep cholesterol levels at bay.
  • Legumes: legumes: chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas, broad beans,… all of them rich in fibre and phytosterols, essential to keep the heart healthy.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate is rich in antioxidants, but its consumption must be controlled, as it is very calorific. Among the chocolates always consume the highest percentage of cocoa, at least 70% cocoa
  • Red wine: Wine is another of the most recommended foods to lower bad cholesterol, it is rich in ethanol and polyphenols.
  • Green Tea: Green tea is also rich in antioxidants, helping to control cholesterol levels.

Focusing on our star product, extra virgin olive oil, a group of researchers from the University of Pisa in Italy have shown that dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil improves the cardiovascular risk profile of healthy people.

This study was presented at the ESC congress in Barcelona by Rosella Di Stefano, cardiologist and researcher who directs this research.  At the congress she stated: “We have discovered that the consumption of small daily portions of dark chocolate with naturally added polyphenols through extra virgin olive oil is associated with an improvement in the cardiovascular risk profile. In addition, such research suggests that extra virgin olive oil may be a good additive to help preserve our “repair cells”, the EPC.

typical Spanish food, gazpacho

Photo 1: Gazpacho, a very good food for the heart.

2. Which food is not good for the heart?

We indicated at the beginning the need for people with circulation and heart problems for industrial food and fast food, they are the worst food for the heart. It is important that at the same time they lead a healthy life, avoid stress and exercise.

Here are the foods you should avoid or reduce your consumption.

  • Foods rich in salt: People with heart problems should cook without salt, because one of the negative effects of salt is the rise in blood pressure. Among the foods rich in salt, we find: preserves, olives (the ones with the least salt are those of Bajo Aragón), dried fruits with salt, sausages, French fries, aperitifs, industrial food, etc.
  • Foods rich in sugar: a high intake of sugar is convenient for people with heart problems, because excess sugars will transform the body into fat. Therefore, if you have heart problems is advisable to moderate its consumption and use as sweeteners more natural sugars and provide you with other nutrients, such as raw honey.

Foods that at first sight should not carry sugars, are rich in them, as in the cases of most pre-cooked and industrial food. Products to avoid, among them we will mention the most common: soft drinks, pastries, yogurt, sauces, cereals, smoothies, etc.

  • Foods with trans-fat: Trans fatty acids that are very advantageous for the large food industry. They are very palatal and resistant to oxidation, but at the same time very harmful to our health and the health of our heart. Almost every industrial bakery has trans graos acids.

If you fry with refined and seed fats, be careful not to reuse the oil because trans fatty acids form at these high temperatures. Once you have used the frying oil, including the extra virgin olive oil, you must filter it well from all the rest of the frying and keep it in a container that protects it against oxidation.

  • Foods rich in cholesterol and additives: Foods such as higadillos and seafood except for any marismo that has shells such as clams and mussels, should avoid them.

Foods with lots of preservatives are also harmful to the heart.

  • Exciting and toxic. Exciting foods such as coffee and other drinks rich in caffeine or theine are also not beneficial.

3. Exercises to strengthen the heart

Taking care of the heart and our body should not be a task of middle or advanced age. We must take care of ourselves from newborn until our last days. It is fundamental that from an early age we take good healthy habits and that we value our body, as many diseases begin to develop from an early age.

Children or young people with obesity are usually the result of a neglect of parents, who are not doing any favor to their children. A child or young person who learns to take care of himself from an early age will prevent him from a lot of diseases. Everyone should not be seduced by calorific foods and sedentary habits.

From here we give you some advice for people who have heart problems and those who want to strengthen it.

  • Exercise the heart muscle. visit the doctor: we should always follow the advice of our doctor and in more serious cases cardiologist. We must strengthen our heart muscle. The heart is a muscle that does not stop working during all our life, but strengthening it, we will make it has no problems.

We must avoid our sedentary lifestyle, walk and move. At least half an hour a day.

  • Good diet: As we have indicated, we must follow a controlled and balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil as the main source of fat.
  • Avoid stress: stress is quite difficult to remove, but with work and patience we can control it. To do this we must do two fundamental things:

First, to sign up for some activity where one escapes completely from the problems, some sport activity or hobby, where we are concentrated in it and we forget our problems. An example of this would be yoga, any sport, devoting ourselves to bonsais, etc.

The second thing we have to do is to see the problems from another point of view. For example, if we are overwhelmed by morning traffic jams, we should see it, as we are going to get up earlier today to enjoy the day and not spend so much time in the car. Another example would be, if you are overwhelmed by not having food ready for your children, you could see how, today we prepare dinner together with food for the heart and have a family activity.



Revista “Olive Oil Times”. Dark chocolate with extra virgin olive oil improves cardiovascular risk profile. de septiembre del 2017.

Newspaper, ABC. The best food for the heart.

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