February is American Heart Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing with you 7 foods that can help keep your heart healthy and ticking all year long – and the best part is these foods actually TASTE GOOD!
Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all incredibly packed nutrient powerhouses that play a key role in heart health. Studies show that eating regular servings of berries can reduce multiple risk factors for heart disease.
Berries help reduce inflammation and bad cholesterol, both contributors to heart disease. They also can improve the function of cells that line your blood vessels, which helps in controlling blood pressure as well as blood clotting.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a GREAT source of delicious food for keeping your heart healthy. In fact, a large study conducted revealed that people that consumed dark chocolate at least five times per week lowered their risk of coronary heart disease by 57% as opposed to those who didn’t eat any chocolate.
Dark chocolate is helpful in decreasing calcified plaque buildup in your arteries, but while it is delicious, it’s important to not consume more than necessary.
The oats in oatmeal are some of the healthiest grains on the planet. Oatmeal provides an excellent source of necessary vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants – all important for keeping your heart at its best.
Studies have shown that oatmeal provides many benefits for heart health including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease. Add some berries to yours for an extra kick of heart-healthy power!
Almonds are both delicious and powerful in the effort to prevent heart disease. Not only do they contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals necessary to heart health, but almonds are a great source of healthy fats – helping to reduce bad cholesterol levels and lower your risk for heart disease.
Just like dark chocolate, almonds are a tasty treat. However, they are high in calories, so moderation is key.
No matter which way you look at it – a fruit or a vegetable – tomatoes are as heart-healthy as their beautiful red color suggests.
Tomatoes hold a key ingredient for your heart health – lycopene. Lycopene is an extremely powerful antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative damage and inflammation, both large contributors to heart disease. The more lycopene you have in your blood, the lower your risk becomes for heart attack and stroke.
Almonds aren’t the only food in the nut family that are great for keeping your heart healthy. Walnuts are a fantastic source as well!
Walnuts provide ample fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese – all of which help protect against heart disease. In fact, research has shown incorporating a few servings of walnuts into your regular diet can help lower both blood pressure and cholesterol.
Oranges are the fruit you want in your corner in the fight against heart disease, and with no fat, cholesterol, or sodium, they make for the perfect heart-healthy snack!
Oranges contain an explosive amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells in your body from free radicals (things like environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, and stress). Free radicals are known for contributing to heart disease. Just be sure not to overdo it when enjoying this juicy fruit. Consuming too much vitamin C a day can lead to adverse effects.
*Those taking beta-blockers should speak with your doctor before consuming oranges as they are high in potassium.
February is American Heart Month
Did you know heart disease is the #1 killer of women? Find out more about American Heart Month and how you can fight back against heart disease for yourself and your loved ones.
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