February is Heart Month, a good time to get addicted to life choices that prevent heart disease. We know that healthy eating and exercise are important. And with my genetically high Cholesterol, I’ve been doing a little research. I plan to take steps toward improving my inner health – and in this way help my family to adopt better habits. Listed here are several wonder foods that go a long way toward a strong heart and healthy circulation:
Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries - potassium rich, which regulates the heartbeat; magnesium, which lowers blood pressure and protects the smooth muscle cells in the heart, fiber; vitamin C, and many other healthy nutrients that can fight off heart disease.
Broccoli, spinach, asparagus, kale, and other dark vegetables - high in fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Also rich in nutrients.
Salmon and tuna, especially, are high in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can raise your good HDL cholesterol and lower your bad LDL cholesterol. Also high in protein.
Kidney beans and black beans, especially, are high in fiber, omega-3 fats, magnesium, and potassium. Also rich in protein.
Almonds, walnuts, cashews, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of both protein and heart healthy omega-3 fats.
Oatmeal: A thick, steaming bowl of steel cut, slow cooking oatmeal is high in both fiber and good cholesterol-raising omega-3 fats.
Opt for cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, over other vegetable oils or animal fat.
Tofu, or a rich glass of soy milk, soy can help to lower cholesterol, while also providing lean protein.
Red wine and dark chocolate – what a treat! Being heart healthy doesn’t mean ‘no fun’. Red wine and 72%-dark-chocolate, in moderation (one glass of red wine and/or one small chocolate bar per day) have been shown to lower blood pressure.
Avocados, tomatoes, citrus fruits, brown rice, carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, squash, are natural whole foods that also contribute to a healthy heart.
So here’s to healthy hearts and longevity. With foods this yummy, it won’t be hard to become addicted to wellbeing - and it won’t be hard to kick Cholesterol well and truly in the bottom!