Heart Healthy Food Recommendations
February is the month when we focus on our hearts, with Valentine’s Day being the day we open up our hearts to express how much we love those that mean the most to us. After Valentine’s Day has passed, let’s keep the focus on our hearts and keep them healthy and loving for years to come.
An unhealthy heart can lead to a myriad of serious health concerns, such as heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrest, and death. How can you promote your heart health? With a reduction of stress, a good sleep schedule, exercise and a healthy diet. In this article, we recommend the food you should be consuming to keep your heart working as it should.
Omega-3 Rich Fish
Fish is a great source of lean protein, and the healthiest options for heart health are salmon, tuna, trout, sardines and mackerel. These fish are full of omega-3s, a healthy fatty acid that promotes blood flow by unclogging arteries. These unsaturated fats reduce inflammation that can damage blood vessels and cause a stroke or heart disease.
In addition, omega-3s have been found to “decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure slightly, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk and reduce irregular heartbeats,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Doctors and The American Heart Association recommend at least two servings of omega-3 rich fish weekly. Some fish has high levels of mercury; therefore, it is beneficial to find wild or responsibly farmed-fish from trusted sources. Staying educated about how much mercury each type of fish may contain and limiting that kind is another beneficial strategy.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, such as cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed, are extremely beneficial to heart health. Not only are they good sources of monounsaturated fats which replace the bad, saturated fats out of your diet, but they also have tons of omega-3 fats.
Nuts and seeds help to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), while raising levels of HDL cholesterol (the good kind). LDL cholesterol can gather on the walls of blood vessels, causing blockages which can lead to heart disease.
Nuts are versatile, and can be incorporated into any meal. Add them to your cereal or oatmeal in the morning, grab a handful as a snack or crush them and add to salads for dinner.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the staples of any healthy diet regime, and are especially good for keeping your ticker ticking. University Hospitals lists the top five heart-healthy fruits and vegetables:
- Asparagus – a vegetable that contains vitamin B6, which lowers homocysteine, an amino acid that can lead to heart disease.
- Bell pepper – a vegetable that has folate, another source that reduces homocysteine.
- Carrot – all vegetables with the orange/reddish pigment have carotenoids, antioxidants that fight damaging free radicals that can lead to heart disease.
- Tomato – another carotenoid, specifically lycopene, which benefits the heart.
- Broccoli – a vegetable that contains Vitamin C, which protects the immune system from both fatal and non-fatal heart conditions.
When changing your diet to focus on healthy eating, don’t forget to add Willard Water® to your routine. This catalyst-altered formula works to maximize the amount of nutrients and vitamins your body absorbs from foods and vitamins. For example, the next time you eat carrots and want to protect your heart with an increased amount of antioxidants, add some Willard Water® to your water during the meal as our patented formula increases the absorption of antioxidants across the board, which promotes free radical scavenging and destruction!