Friday, February 1, 2013

Heart Healthy Habits


There is not one particular food that will work to protect your heart and blood vessels from cardiovascular disease. Instead, it is the synergistic effect of the nutrients in a variety of foods. In honor of American Heart Month, make an effort to incorporate the following foods into your daily diet plan:

1. Salmon and Tuna
2. Oats
3. Black and Kidney beans
4. Almonds
5. Walnuts
6. Dry red wine
7. Tofu
8. Brown rice
9. Soy milk
10. Blueberries
11. Carrots
12. Spinach
13. Broccoli
14. Sweet potatoes
15. Bell peppers
16. Asparagus
17. Oranges
18. Tomatoes
19. Dark chocolate
20. Tea

What is it about this particular list of foods that deem it "heart-healthy"? These foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, calcium and plant sterols. Their components have been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides and protect the immune system. When designing your heart-healthy meal, keep in mind colors and textures. The more variances on your plates, the wider array of nutrients you are likely going to consume.

In addition to your diet, you can also care for your heart by exercising regularly. An inactive lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Your heart and health will benefit from a combination of aerobic exercises and strength training on most days of the week.  Aim for 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week. 


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