Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is a good day to think about what you are doing to make sure your heart stays healthy. Sometimes we don’t think about the importance of feeding our heart good foods. Next time you eat a meal stop and think about what foods you can feed your heart to make it healthier and stronger. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, therefore, we all need to be aware of our hearts and how to make them stronger.
Top 10 foods to make your heart healthy:
- Salmon: Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that protect your heart by reducing both inflammation and the risk of blood clots. Salmon can be prepared in many ways and is a great substitute to meat, one of the healthiest ways to prepare salmon is by baking it.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. You can use olive oil when you cook. Make a nice dip for whole grain bread by pouring a small amount of olive oil and adding balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper.
- Oats: Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta glucan that helps that helps reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Enjoy oatmeal with just a small amount of brown sugar and plenty of strawberries and walnuts for breakfast. Cold cereals made with oats are also great with low-fat milk or soy milk plus slices of fresh fruit.
- Apples: Apples contain a phytochemical called quercetin which acts as an antiinflammatory and will help prevent blood clots as well. Apples contain vitamins and fiber, come in several delicious varieties and are portable. Eat an apple with a handful of walnuts or almonds as a healthy snack or you can put apple slices in your salad.
- Almonds: Almonds and other nuts contain healthy oils, vitamin E and other substances that will help keep cholesterol levels in check. Almonds are also a good source of protein and fiber. Almonds make a great snack while you are on the go.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains provide vitamins and fiber that will help to keep your heart healthy. Make a deliciously healthy sandwich with two slices of 100-percent whole-grain bread, three ounces of lean turkey breast, lots of sliced tomatoes and avocado, plus lettuce and a bit of mustard. Switch from white pasta to whole grain pasta too. There are all sorts of substitutes for white grains these days. Always look for whole grains.
- Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables contain folate, which helps to keep homocysteine levels down, and vitamin E. Green leafy vegetables have also been associated with better retention of memory as age. Try using fresh spinach leaves or other greens for your favorite salad or sandwich.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are packed with vitamins and lycopene which has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Add thick slices of tomatoes to sandwiches and salads or enjoy tomato sauce on whole wheat pasta. In fact, cooked tomato sauce and canned tomato sauce that you buy in the store both contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes.
- Soy: Soy protein has been proven to prevent heart attacks. Soy makes an excellent protein substitute for red meat, which will reduce your saturated fat intake. Add tofu to your favorite stir fry or pour soy milk on your morning cereal.
- Happiness: Last but not least happiness and a less stressful life will make your heart healthier and stronger.
Happy Valentine’s Day from BayPoint Benefits!