February is American Heart Month! What do you do to stay heart healthy?
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in this country, leading to more than 600,000 deaths each year.1 But many cases of cardiovascular disease are preventable with proper diet and exercise. Check out our list of 7 healthy foods that are good for you—and your heart.
Fish rich in Omega-3: Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines, contain omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are great for your heart and your health. Opt for wild over farm-raised fish that can contain chemicals and pesticides. Doctors recommend two servings a week.
Oatmeal: Another good source of those good omega-3s is oatmeal. The popular breakfast food also contains calcium, folate, iron, potassium, and zinc. It’s rich in fiber and helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) which is important for heart health.
Nuts: In case you haven’t figured it out, omega-3 fatty acids are super helpful in a heart healthy diet. Nuts are rich in those omega-3s. They also contain protein, unsaturated fat, fiber, Vitamin E, plant sterols, and l-arginine. They are linked to lower cholesterol levels, improved artery health, and lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease. Unfortunately, they’re also high in calories, so don’t overdo it.
Legumes: Do you know what legumes are? They’re plants that bear fruit like peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peanuts, and they’re super good for you. Yes, they have our friend omega-3, but they also are packed with, calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, and zinc. Wow!
Berries: Fruits like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are full of anti-inflammatories, which help to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. They also contain beneficial minerals, and vitamins like A, C, E, and K. And they taste great!
Spinach: Green leafy vegetables, like spinach, help to lower homocysteine levels that can contribute to plaque formation in arteries. Spinach is also loaded with dietary fiber and contains folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, C, B6, E, and K.
Olive oil: How about taking that super healthy spinach and frying it up in some garlic and olive oil? All three are great foods for your heart. In addition to containing monounsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol and ward off heart disease, olive oil is crazy high in vitamin K. Vitamin K helps decrease calcification and protect against heart disease. Choose extra-virgin oils that are less processed and use them instead of butter when you cook.
Do you care about proper nutrition and good health? Healthcare workers help ensure the good health of patients across the country. If you’re interested in a healthcare career, check out all the healthcare programs at Career Quest Learning Centers. Give us a call at any of our three campuses: Lansing 877-481-4930, Jackson 877-365-8144, and Mt. Pleasant 877-345-8505.