The concept of ‘superfoods’ is relatively new. It corresponds to the drop in nutritional value of modern foods. Ideally, superfoods fill in the gap between nutritionally deficient diets and the need for better health.
How can you narrow down the list of possible superfoods to those that are most important for your own health? Answering that question depends on two main factors: 1) deciding on the specific benefits that you want; and, 2) finding the best superfoods that have scientific support for those benefits.
Boosting cardiovascular health is particularly valuable these days, so let’s take a look at the top superfoods for heart health and what they can for you based on scientific research.
Keep in mind that, although these are some of the best superfoods to eat for your heart health, finding good sources for them and eating enough to get their benefits can be inconvenient. This is where a good organic superfood powder comes in handy. Drinking a glass of water or other beverage with a scoop of heart-healthy superfood powder is easy to do on a daily basis.
Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is well-known for its use in making chocolate. The seeds contain a rich array of nutraceuticals that offer many health benefits. They are especially powerful for boosting heart health.
Flavonoids are a ubiquitous class of substances in plants. Those made by cacao comprise a unique mix that get right at the core of cardiovascular function. Their most important role may be how they boost the performance of the lining of blood vessel walls (2015).
This lining, called the vascular epithelium, is responsible for maintaining good blood flow. A smooth and flexible epithelium ensures healthy blood pressure and prevents vascular clogging.
Cacao flavonoids also help regulate the clotting action of red blood cells (2002). Clotting is like a dance between the need to prevent bleeding and the need for blood to keep moving smoothly throughout the vascular system. Keeping red blood cells from clotting too much is exactly what cacao flavonoids do.
The fruit of camu camu (Myrciaria dubia) provides an abundance of antioxidants, some of which are similar to the flavonoids of cacao. A review of these and other substances in camu camu berries, published in the Journal of Cardiology, pointed out how they prevent clogged arteries (2008).
The anti-inflammatory properties of camu camu berries seem to synergize with the high level of vitamin C in this superfood.
Camu camu has become a star among all the superfoods for its cardiovascular benefits as well as for its potential role in many other disease states (2015).
Moringa (Moringa oleifera) leaves contain a high level of bioactive ingredients that provide numerous health benefits (2017). These include regulating cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure and otherwise protecting against cardiovascular disease.
In addition to its medicinal value, moringa also delivers substantial amounts of several basic nutrients. For example, the Nutritive Value of Indian Foods notes that moringa leaves are exceptionally rich in vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C, B2, and B6 (2014). They are also an outstanding source of protein, magnesium, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids (2011).
Other Superfoods for Heart Health
Additional superfoods may also provide cardiovascular benefits. The three listed here represent just the beginning for what you can do for supplementing your normal diet to benefit your heart health.
When it comes to taking good care of your heart, supplements such as vitamin K, coenzyme Q-10, and D-ribose are also important. However, superfoods like cacao, camu camu and moringa lay the foundation that you need for making everything else work better.
(NEXT STEP: Supercharge your day with 8 of the most nutrient-dense organic superfoods created to boost your nutritional health.)