February is American Heart Month, a month dedicated towards raising awareness about heart disease and educating the public on proper prevention. Heart health is a big deal these days, and for good reason! With heart disease being the number one killer of adults in the U.S, people are looking for ways to make their heart stronger and help it last longer. One of the best ways to do that is to eat healthier food, specifically heart healthy foods.
Not all foods are created equal, and there are certain foods that can actually have a huge impact on strengthening your heart and promoting long-term heart health! Here are some great options to incorporate into your diet:
Heart Healthy Food #1: Salmon
You’ve probably heard all about the Mediterranean diet and how good it is for the body. Salmon is a staple in this diet, likely because it contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are great for heart health because they’re able to decrease irregular heartbeats and plaque build-up in the arteries. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of omega-3 fatty acid rich fish a week, and salmon is the perfect way to get that into your diet!
Heart Healthy Food #2: Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a classic breakfast staple, and it’s also great for your heart! Oatmeal is loaded with fiber, which can lower cholesterol and decrease plaque buildup in the heart. There are lots of oatmeal options out there, but try to opt for normal old fashioned oatmeal and resist oatmeal with a bunch of sugar in it!
Heart Healthy Food #3: Blueberries
Known as the king of the fruits, blueberries are amazing for your heart. They are known to lower blood pressure and add essential nutrients into the body. Studies have shown that blueberries and other berries such as strawberries significantly decrease your chance of getting a heart attack, so eat up!
Heart Healthy Food #4: Potatoes
They get a bad rep for being a starchy vegetable, but potatoes actually supply a good amount of potassium and fiber, both of which lower your chance for heart disease. As long as they aren’t fried or soaked in grease, these vegetables are great to add to your dinner plate!
Heart Healthy Food #5: Green Tea
This magic beverage has been consumed in Asia for thousands of years, and has lots of health benefits! Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins, a natural antioxidant that helps with a number of health issues. When it comes to the link between green tea and heart health, researchers who have studied green tea drinkers have seen that avid green tea drinkers were less likely to have a stroke than non green tea drinkers. Although there could be lots of other explanations for this, it’s still not a bad idea to toss back a glass of green tea every once in a while!
Heart Healthy Food #6: Pomegranate
These unique fruits are unlike any other. The nutritious, juicy seeds that live in the middle of this vibrant colored fruit are known to reverse the effects of hard arteries and increase blood flow. Pomegranates are seasonal fruits, so if you can’t get your hands on one go for an apple which has similar benefits.
Heart Healthy Food #7: Green, leafy vegetables
There’s a reason why your mom always told you to eat your vegetables! Leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and spinach are nutritious for the entire body, but a specific benefit is that they are full of carotenoids. Carotenoids can free your body of potentially harmful compounds and are also high in fiber – both of which can help reverse the impacts of unhealthy substances on the heart.
Heart Healthy Food #8: Tomatoes
Essential in sandwiches, tomatoes are also great for the heart! They have potassium and lycopene, which keep heart vessels open and free of bad cholesterol. Not only are tomatoes important for heart health, they should be an essential part of your diet because they offer a plethora of other benefits to the body! Plus, there are so many easy ways to use them in your cooking.
Here at Rosetta Radiology we understand just how important it is to start working on heart disease prevention at a very young age. Diet isn’t everything, but it can be a huge tool in your arsenal when it comes to heart health! Incorporating these foods into your diet will help keep your heart strong and give your body the essential nutrients it needs to live a long, healthy life.