5 Unexpected Healthy Superfoods for Your Heart

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Did you know that heart disease claims the lives of men and women more than any other disease, and is even more deadly than all forms of cancer combined?

The simple truth is that our hearts need some help. And that’s likely why you’ll hear many of the leading natural healing experts recommend preventive remedies for heart disease such as: garlic, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, magnesium, hawthorne berry, C0-Enzyme Q10, fiber and many more. But, in the bigger picture, our approach to stopping heart disease, before it ever starts, isn’t working very well. That’s why I think it’s time for some new healthy superfoods just for the heart! These may be a bit unexpected, but if you put your nutritional thinking cap on and give some of these a try, my heartfelt belief is that you’ll notice a big difference.

As always, please let me know what you think:

Healthy SuperFoods #1 – Openness 

It seems like we’ve all learned at some point that an open heart is a good thing. If you haven’t learned this, then now’s the time. The heart loves spaciousness. Openness allows it to expand, to receive, to give, to exchange, and to circulate in an ease-filled way. For sure, we know that our coronary arteries can be blocked or clogged, so let’s give our biochemistry some help. The more we truly open to life, to truth, to love, to what’s real – the more our physiology will benefit. Great exercise and good food won’t guarantee heart health. But if you and I make sure that our hearts are indeed flowering wide open to the world, at least life will be a happier affair no matter what happens to the body. Do you know the places where your heart could be more open? And are you ready and willing to go there?

Healthy SuperFoods #2 – Heartbreak

We can probably all agree that having one’s heart broken isn’t something to get too excited about. Heartbreak may be one of the most poignant and difficult experiences we might ever have. People literally die from heartbreak, or spend years recovering from it. So why is heartbreak a super food? Well, it can make us stronger. It can also make us more human, more compassionate, and more wise. But that’s only if we choose to embrace this part of heartbreak that we might otherwise avoid. Pain is here to crack open the shell of our soul and expose us to the deepest and truest parts of our being. Some superfoods taste great and go down easy. Others make us work a little. Do the work. It’s worth it.

Healthy SuperFoods #3 – Risk

Life can be a gamble. And the heart just might be the biggest gambler of them all. You’ve likely had times when you were being called to take risks in the name of love. Maybe you loved someone who others thought you shouldn’t. Maybe you jumped into a relationship that had some dangers – but love insisted you dive in anyways. Maybe you loved someone who didn’t love you back in the same way, or chose to forgive someone who could still turn around and hurt you again. The heart asks a lot of us. To risk in love might be one of the greatest risks of all. And as you’ve likely heard, with great risk comes great reward. How is your heart asking you to risk more in love? What gamble is it asking you to take? And how lucky are you feeling today?

Healthy SuperFoods #4 – Awe 

One of the great superfoods for the heart that seems to nourish it to the core is awe. This fascinating emotion isn’t well understood by traditional psychology, but this much we know – the feeling of awe enlivens us like no other. It’s a superfood you invite to the table. Awe is something we allow ourselves to experience. When was the last time you were awed by a sunset, the clouds, a rainbow, a flower, a smiling infant, a song, a beautiful smile? Awe truly is awesome. It makes the world a magical place. It’s a show-stopper. It reminds us that the heart can feel alive and healthy every day. It’s one of the most exalted states that the heart can find itself in. All we need do is notice the world. So what’s stopping you?

Healthy SuperFoods #5 – The Little Things 

So much of the time, our health strategies focus on the big sweeping changes we plan to make – like radical shifts in diet and exercise – that we’ll stick to like never before. Humans have a fascination with big things. We like dinosaurs,  big lottery payouts, big presents, hugely famous people, and big gestures from others that they appreciate us. Big is good, but small just might be the next big thing. Meaning the little things. The heart loves simple gestures of love, kindness, words of support, a simple gift, an unexpected compliment, and so much more. The heart enjoys its’ big moments, but on a day to day basis, it’s the little ways we feed our own hearts – and the hearts of others – that make a big nutritional difference. Yes, think big. But first, think small. What little things can you do that will delight the heart? And who’s heart is calling for your attention?

And finally: are there any new healthy superfoods for the heart that you’d like to add in to the mix? I‘d love to know…

Warm regards,
Marc David
Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2014

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The heart loves spaciousness

Awe is something we allow ourselves to experience

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  • http://thedragontree.com Peter Borten

    A refreshingly unexpected list of “superfoods.” Thanks very much for a great article.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Thanks, Peter! I’m so glad you think so.
      Means so much that you joined in here.

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Cheryl

    I absolutely LOVE this!! So often we don’t think about the effect of the heart, emotions, and presence has on our entire being, and the feeling of emptiness that leads to eating to feel “full.” I am a very big proponent of noticing and appreciating the little things for sure! For me, one of my favorite heart superfoods is giving! There is a real joy that comes in giving to others, and it doesn’t have to be in big ways. It can be helping someone you see who needs help, smiling at a crabby person, complimenting someone sincerely, being a thoughtful friend, babysitting for someone who needs a break…there are TONS of ways to be a giving person. And the more I give, the more I get feelings of joy and a communion with other human beings.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Cheryl,
      So well said! Thanks for sharing your perspective. I imagine so many other readers can relate to you here. Giving is a heart opening for sure. Thanks for joining in!

      Best,
      Marc

    • http://through-the-fire.com charity dasenbrock

      I SO agree with adding giving. So healing for the heart and the spirit/soul. and let’s not forget about humor. Definitely a superfood. I will add, too, that I am appreciating your different take on “superfoods”. Better than kale and goji berries anyday ( though I like them, too)

      • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

        Hi Charity,
        Thanks for joining the conversation! Humor is a great “superfood” to add to the list. There was a man named Normal Cousins who attributed his healing to laughing.

        Marc

  • http://www.youryogaretreat.com Kristie Eccleston

    Spot on as usual. When I read the title, I was surprised and thought you were actually going to list foods. I was so curious as to why you’d suddenly change it up, that I HAD to keep reading:) Great stuff.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Kristie,
      Nice to know I can still get a surprise or two into the mix.
      Thanks for reading.

      Marc

  • Michelle

    I am Cardiology Physician assistant and will recommend this to my patients. Love it!!

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Michelle,
      Thank you – this made my day!
      I’m honored…

      Best,
      Marc

  • Lisa

    Tenderness and self forgiveness weaved through all of these heart super foods

    And awareness that the heart has an energy field that transmits about 10 feet out

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Good ones!
      Thanks for adding them to our attention.

      Best,
      Marc

  • http://thedragontree.com Briana

    Seriously funny that Peter and I both read this article and wanted to comment. I guess we think alike. But, I wanted to say that I found this to be such a wonderful article and made me smile to have it not be a bunch of overhyped superfoods :) You’re awesome.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Love it. You two are so in-sync :)
      Thanks for the love, Briana.

      Marc

  • http://homeopathyworldcommunity.com/page/hypertension-heart-homeopathy Debby Bruck

    Using the metaphor of ‘foods,’ we must feed our heart muscle both material nutrition and ‘soul food’ to keep it healthy. Actually, the ‘spiritual’ aspect may make all the difference in the world. Blessings, Debby

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Debby,
      Agreed. True “Soul Food” is key!

      Best,
      Marc

  • Noel Burgess

    FAITH – another ‘superfood’ and the personal yarn that each of us weave into the fabric of the cosmos. This food is the ‘substance’ of life and living – not scientific matter.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Noel,
      Agreed. It’s a powerful “essential supplement”!

      Marc

  • http://themerrymakersisters.com The merrymaker sisters

    We continually read + research what we can put into our bodies for heart health (as MANY of our family members have had major issues with heart diesease) but we have never looked into this side of thinking + feeling for heart health. We will be adding these superfoods to our daily thought practise. Thanks for an insightful article. Emma + Carla.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Emma + Carla,
      Wonderful!
      So glad to hear this opened up a new perspective for you.
      Also, I love your website – congrats!

      Best,
      Marc

  • Myrna Castaline

    A surprising and wise approach to heart health! Thank you!

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Myrna,
      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Cathy

    Very timely post for me, Marc. I really needed this, and it’s perfect that I waited until today to read it – Divine timing.

    My favourite is #5; I’ve been struggling with trying to allow more openness into my heart, and it just won’t go there easily. Today, during a group meditation, the very question of how to concretely tune in & listen to my heart came to light. The idea of the Little Things is the perfect answer to my call.

    Thank you.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Cathy,
      So glad to hear this was just what you needed. Love how the universe conspires to give us that. It’s a gift when we recognize that and open to it, vs. resisting. Sounds like the little things are already doing their good work in you.

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • http://www.clear-fitness.com Susanne Achtenhagen

    Thank you Marc! I love the way you say all of this – I honestly think these are more important (at least equally so) than the foods that go in! Cheers to the wonderful work you do!

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Susanne,
      Thank you for reaching out with your kind words!
      Makes my day to hear that our tribe is empowered by the work we’re doing here at the Institute. So appreciated.

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Diane

    Thank-you so much for this article which I find inspiring,along with many other things I’ve read on your site. I love no. 4 -there are certainly many awe inspiring things happening on a day-to-day basis if we only “open our hearts” to allow them in. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Diane,
      I’m so glad you are enjoying the work we are doing.
      And I think it’s true that “opening our hearts” is key.
      Thanks for joining in the conversation.

      Marc

  • Barbara

    Hi Marc,
    thank you so much for addressing the “spiritual” superfoods for the heart. They seems to be almost more important than vitamins and minerals. I would add another vital superfood: “Loving Yourself”. When we love ourselves we can spend ourselves in LOVE and COMPASSION. Sending you love, Barbara

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Barbara,
      Spiritual superfoods are supplements for our inner being. So “Loving yourself” is definitely a great one to add to the list. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      Marc

  • Dela

    Hi Marc,
    I love these superfoods for the heart! I’d say they are waaaay more important than the physical foods actually. I’d like to add “Laughter” as a real superfood for releasing heaviness of the heart. I just found your site today…I can tell I’m going to enjoy it here! Thank you!

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Dela,
      So glad you found us!
      You’re right, laughter is an important one to add!

  • Rosa Barrocas

    I’m so glad I found you, what you said is so,so true.
    I believe that what you don’t expende in fun, good company and good actions get expended
    in doctors and medicine,No I’m not against doctors and medicine,but practicing what you recommended makes a lot of sence .RISOTERAPIA ,Jokes,goodhumor are indispensable.
    English is not my first idioma,i hope I made my self understood.
    Rosa

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      So glad to hear that, Rosa!
      Glad to have you join in – I can understand you just fine :)

      Best,
      Marc

  • Jill Higgins

    My chihuahua collapsed at 9 years of age and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was a wreck and the first 6 months I was afraid to leave the house or to be 5 minutes late on the handful of pills she takes every 12 hours. She was given 6-18 months. I learned to relax. She helped me as she got back into the swing of her normal life. I added flax oil to her raw meat. She loves berries and carrots and pumpkin. I try and keep her weight stable, but give her vanilla ice cream when I think she’s failing. She always has a great attitude. She doesn’t act sick. She gets on with her job of loving and being loved. The vet doesn’t understand why she’s still alive and “well” 4 years later. I got another chihuahua on her “expiration date” 2 1/2 years ago. They’re best buds. She was my inspiration for”no drama” when I was diagnosed with cancer. We’re both doing well, but she really has taught me to just get on with it and love fully every day!

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Jill,
      Relaxation is key and is such a powerful tool for us to use. Our furry family members can sure teach us a lot. Thank you for sharing your story!

      Marc

  • Mary Lyon

    oh marc this was so lovely and so after my own heart…but at the moment i have to close it and its hurting me. This is due, quite literally, to snoops – instructed apparently to keep an eye on me. I have tried generating compassion, being really open, and, disclosing whatever it might be that could possibly interest other parties, but, it just gets worse and more intense. For now i protect myself by withdrawing and this helps and i build up my inner resources…however resentment keeps on arising within me. Ofcourse this is criminal activity and of interest to the Police given the intrusions and phone tapping but they suggest I respond in kind to try to find out and locate who is doing this (given Police limited resources). I appreciate you may feel you can’t help but for me its an issue of dealing with it and how I conduct myself. I was stimulated to respond because I just can’t be my normal self which is joyous open and friendly. However there are many people in far more difficult circumstances who really cannot be themselves AT ALL. Perhaps I need to develop more fortitude? I am reaching out for some moral support I suppose and practical suggestions…such as any strategies you or other readers could suggest?

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Mary,
      Thanks for reaching out. Sometimes, we really truly need to be heart centered. At other times, life may be asking us to be more protective of self and others, more vigilant, and even more outraged. What’s more, I think that sometimes life can be a mix of all of these. Meaning, for example, when my mother passed away, I was in deep grieving – but at the same time, I had a newborn baby who just made me smile and want to celebrate life. Somehow, I had to find a way to let these different experiences live inside of me. Keep your dignity and soul intact, remember to enjoy this world however you can, keep your heart open when it can be safe, and turn on your inner watch dog when you need to keep your eyes open for self protection. I hope this helps….

      Best,
      Marc David

  • Catherine Sia

    Hi Marc,

    I just happen to read superfood for our heart but I thought i can get some tips for my heart to get healthier but it turns out to be different. But I like what you have said about the wellness of the heart to other people then you will feel good yourself.
    Thank you for this website and I can share with my friends to make them have happy heart also.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Catherine,
      Thank you for joining the conversation. I’m so glad that you connected to this article, even thought it may not have been what you expected. Wellness comes in many forms.
      Thank you for spreading the word to your friends and family!

      Best,
      Marc

  • Ruth

    This article was rich with spiritual points of heart health. I totally agree with openness being the no. 1 superfood! Openness leads to consciousness and many surprises and synchronicities.

    The heart superfood that I practice is gratitude. The attitude of gratitude results in little actions that spread goodness within the community each of us is a part of. Feeling grateful engenders goodness and I believe changes the heart cells, helping them maintain their health.

    • http://psychologyofeating.com/ Marc David

      Hi Ruth,

      Gratitude is definitely an often overlooked, but absolutely important superfood.
      Thanks for joining in the conversation!​

      Best,
      Marc

  • Liz

    There is so much confusion and conflicting information about the healthiest diets. Today, I prayed for guidance on what I should do and I believe this post is the answer. Thank you so much. Having an open heart and relaxing into life are much more important than perfect adherence.to the next best miracle diet.

    • http://www.psychologyofeating.com Marc David

      Hi Liz,

      There is a lot of information out there, and you are right that our internal journey can be more powerful than trying to stick to a specific diet plan.

      Thank you for reaching out! I’m so glad you connected with the article.

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Ann

    I loved this! As a nutrition professional, I have been wanting to integrate emotional and spiritual healing because we are a soul with more to us than what you see or what a blood test reveals. Thank you for your words if wisdom and your inspiration.

    • http://www.psychologyofeating.com Marc David

      Hi Ann,

      I’m so glad that you reached out to share your thoughts. Emotional healing goes hand-in-hand with nutritional healing for sure!

      Thank you for all the work you are doing in the world!

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • pam

    I think I would add music to this mix of heart healthy things. I know that when I listen to my favorite songs it is so relaxing and cheers me up or starts my day out in such a positive way. “If music be the food of love, play on.”

    • http://www.psychologyofeating.com Marc David

      Hi Pam,

      What a wonderful quote! Music is definitely a good one to add to the list.

      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your thoughts!

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Colleen

    I so enjoyed reading your 5 Unexpected Superfoods For Your Heart! Truly, these are essential for optimum heart “performance”!

    • http://www.psychologyofeating.com Marc David

      Hi Colleen,

      So glad you connected with the article. Thanks for reaching out!

      Warmly,
      Marc

  • Tera N. Jade Greene

    Such a great post! Thank you!

    • Marc David

      Hi Tera,
      So glad you enjoyed it –
      Happy to have you here with us.

      Warmly,
      Marc

About The Author
Marc David
Founder

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.