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Shopping for heart-healthy foods at Portland-area farmers markets

Adventist Health Health and Wellness

The farmers markets in Portland are a great place to find fresh, healthy food.

Portland has an abundance of local farmers markets, making it easy to get to the produce stand. This summer and even into fall, shop your neighborhood farmers market for heart-healthy foods for you and your family.

Organic, naturally-grown foods can strengthen your heart while helping you maintain a healthy body weight.

Cardiologists from Adventist Health's Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular program recommend eating more colorful fruits, vegetables and berries that will benefit your heart. These fiber-rich foods help remove LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) from your body while lowering blood sugar levels and blood pressure, reducing the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Essential vitamins, minerals and proteins found in these foods will also strengthen your heart and the rest of your body.

Give your heart a little love by adding these foods to your shopping basket.

  • Peaches, plums and nectarines are rich in phenolic compounds that keep LDL cholesterol from building up in the arteries.
  • Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are packed with fiber and polyphenols that lower blood pressure and reduce heart attack risk. Minerals in blueberries and strawberries widen the arteries, allowing blood to flow smoothly and preventing plaque buildup.
  • Tomatoes are a great source for vitamins C and A, potassium, fiber and lycopene (which gives them their red color) that combat heart disease. They also reduce inflammation that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
  • Spinach, kale and chard have inflammation-fighting minerals, as well as vitamins C and A, that help the body fight heart disease and diabetes. Health care experts recommend eating three to four servings of leafy greens per day.
  • Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage keep arteries from clogging. Sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, is known for its detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant properties.
  • Carrots are high in beta-carotene, a compound rich with vitamin A. Beta-carotene is also what makes them orange. Vitamin K, also found in carrots, helps your heart's cells communicate with each other and control blood clotting.
  • Beets, bell peppers and other colorful vegetables can help heal inflammation. Beets are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C, helping protect the body from cancer, heart disease and inflammation.

Want to know more about eating for your heart? Stop in at one of our free Complete Health Improvement Program in September.

Local Farmers Markets