09 Feb 5 Ways To Be Good To Your Heart
It’s February and not only do we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, but it’s also American Heart Month. In honor of these two occasions, here’s a rundown of my top 5 foods for keeping your heart healthy and strong.
5 Superfoods for Heart Health
Oatmeal packs a hefty dose of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber absorbs water, which helps keep you fuller longer, and helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Fatty fish, like salmon, are rich in omega-3 fat. Research has shown that people who eat more foods containing omega-3 fats, have higher levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lower levels of triglycerides, or fat found in your blood.
Legumes like beans, peas and lentils are rich in potassium and have been shown to help keep blood pressure levels in check. And, like oatmeal, they are a great source of soluble fiber.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation in the body. Lower levels of inflammation help reduce the chance of stroke, heart attack, and heart disease.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which are rich in flavonoids, a plant chemical thought to improve blood flow. Dark chocolate (versus milk chocolate) tends to have higher concentrations of flavonoids since it contains more cocoa. Choose dark chocolate with at least 60% cocoa to reap all the benefits.
TELL ME: What is your favorite heart healthy food?
Joni Garcia is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in food and nutrition from the University of Georgia. She currently works for the federal government where she administers nutrition education programs for limited income populations. She also leads her office’s wellness committee. Joni has experience in a variety of private setting s providing nutrition counseling and education. She is the current Chair of Communications Division of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB). Joni enjoys yoga, traveling, visiting farmers markets, and (pretending she knows something about) wine. Follow Joni on twitter.