Our Favorite Heart Healthy Foods
In honor of American Heart Month, we are wrapping up our favorite heart healthy foods! Heart disease is the worlds leading cause of death, but research shows it doesn’t have to be! By consuming a diet rich in nutrients, and avoiding foods known to be a main contributor to heart problems, we can all increase our heart health and overall health substantially.
* Tomatoes - Ever wonder what gives a tomato it’s bright red color? A naturally occurring chemical, Lycopene, is an antioxidant found in tomatoes that not only contributes to its color, but helps keep cells from becoming damaged.
* Spinach - This powerful leafy green is an important staple in any healthy diet but has also been proven to support a healthy heart. If spinach isn’t your favorite leafy green, remember that it can be used for more than just salads. Throw a handful in your smoothie, or sauté it for a new spin.
* Beans - Research has proven that excessive consumption of meat can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. But if you have to limit your meat intake how can you ensure you’re getting enough protein? That’s where beans can come in! Beans are high in minerals and fiber without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins and hav been shown to improve cholesterol.
* Dark chocolate - This isn’t your normal candy bar. When we say dark chocolate we mean real cacao! That’s because cacao contains flavonoids which have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage.
* Walnuts - A great source of omega-3 fatty acids! Top on salads, eat whole, or even use them as a mock taco meat!
* Whole grains - Be sure to always soak whole grains prior to consumption and choose from high quality options such as brown rice!
* Avocados - Similar to walnuts, avocados are a great source of omega-3s. Use in homemade guacamole, topping on your salad, or with a side of veggies!
* Berries - What’s better than fresh berries in the morning? Throw these heart healthy fruits in a smoothie, top them on oatmeal or enjoy them on their own!