Heart Healthy Foods- Part 1

February is the Heart health month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The good news? It is also one of the most preventable. Making heart-healthy choices, exercising regularly, managing stress and adapting to a overall healthy lifestyle will help you keep a Healthy heart.

This is a 2 part post which will give you some heart healthy foods:

1. Salmon

– Wild Caught Salmon is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is a type of unsaturated fatty acid that may reduce inflammation throughout the body that can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids may decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure slightly, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk and reduce irregular heartbeats. Eating at least one to two servings a week of fish, particularly fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death.

2. Nuts and seeds

– Nuts and seeds such almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax and chia seeds all contain a several healthful nutrients. Just a handful packs a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals and fats, all of which work together to affect your heart. Nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that work together to offer protection against oxidation, inflammation, cancer, and heart disease.

3. Oatmeal

– Oatmeal contains Soluble fiber (attracts water and turns gel during digestion. This gives you a feeling of fullness. But soluble fiber also reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. In this way, it lowers levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) the “bad” cholesterol. Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with ½ an apple, some nuts and chia seeds to add more fiber.

4. Beans

– Beans also have some health benefits that animal sources don’t. Beans are high in minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. Eating beans as part of a heart healthy diet and lifestyle may help improve your blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease.

5. Avocados

– Avocados are a health powerhouse. Although they are high in fat but they are mainly Monounsaturated Fatty acids (MUFA). MUFAs can help reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.They may also help improve the function of your blood vessels.

6. Olives and Olive oil

– Olives and olive oil contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides better than lower-fat, higher-carb diets do. Extra Virgin olive oil also contain polyphenols, which are considered an anti-inflammatory food and have cardiovascular protector.