Hearts are everywhere in the month of February – after all, it is the staple symbol for Valentine’s Day. But, did you know February is also National Heart Health Month?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, making heart health a rather serious concern. No need to worry though, your diet can help keep your heart pumping strong, that way you can keep spreading love all year long.
Your heart does a lot for your body, so treat it right and try these 10 heart healthy foods.
You no longer have to feel guilty about treating yourself to some chocolate.
Chocolate is made from the cacao plant, which is rich in flavanols that lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots. It is also rich in antioxidants, which will help avoid build up of bad cholesterol on artery walls.
Dark chocolate has more cocoa and less sugar than other types of chocolate, so it’s a much healthier choice.
Of course eat it in moderation, but don’t be afraid to indulge in a piece a day.
Omega-3, a fatty acid found in this fish, have an anti-clotting effect, which helps with blood flow. And, they can lower triglycerides, which is a type of fat that can lead to heart disease.
Bake or grill this fish for a delicious and nutritious dinner.
Nuts are high in monounsaturated fat, (“good” fat) and low in saturated fat, (“bad” fat).
Munch on some nuts 2-4 times a week for a yummy snack that will also help your heart.
You can also try mixing them in with dried fruit or sprinkling them on your salad.
Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are simple and sweet.
Berries contain antioxidants that will help eliminate free radicals in your body. They also are rich in vitamins, which will keep your heart performing at an optimal level.
Beans are a great source of soluble fiber and can serve as the perfect source of protein without a lot of unhealthy fat.
They come in many forms, so you will never get bored. Try adding a half cup to some of your favorite dishes, such as tacos or stew.
Tomatoes contain high amounts of potassium and lycopene and will help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk.
They are low in sugar and calories, and easy to incorporate into almost any dish.
Add them to dishes you love, such as pasta, salads and pizza.
Try something new by incorporating pomegranate into your diet this month.
Pomegranate contains antioxidants and vitamins that are important for heart health.
Try eating the seeds or drinking pomegranate juice for a new and healthy experience.
Your favorite movie snack can actually be healthy for your heart.
Popcorn is a whole grain and helps prevent coronary disease. The snack is high in fiber and can lower cholesterol.
Skip the extra butter and try drizzling some olive oil and sea salt over this delicious treat.
This go-to breakfast food is high in soluble fiber, keeping you full and focused.
Make your own and add honey and fresh fruit to avoid having too much sugar.
Creamy in texture and high in good fat, this super food is great for heart health.
Avocado makes guacamole, can be added to a salad, put in your sandwich or even spread on your morning toast.
It’s February, meaning you are bound to fall in love with something. So, why not make it these heart healthy foods and avoid the risk of a broken heart?
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