Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. You can help lower your risk by choosing heart-healthy foods and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine!
What are heart-healthy foods?
Fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids such as Salmon, Tuna, Trout, or Mackerel. Omega-3s help keep arteries healthy and smooth which prevents the clumping of blood platelets reducing plaque buildup.(Eatright.org, 2020)
Fiber rich fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, and cantaloupes. Fiber binds with LDL the “bad” cholesterol and removes it from the body.(Eatright.org, 2020)
Dark Chocolate…Yes, I said Chocolate! Dark chocolate made of 70% or higher cocoa (the higher the better) contains Flavanols. Flavanols offer healthy benefits including the ability to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and reduce blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots.(Ars.usda.gov, 2020)
The importance of heart-healthy exercise!
Physical activity and exercise lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and helps maintain a healthy body weight. Children should be physically active for 60 minutes or more each day while Adults are recommended 2 hours and 30 minutes each week. Get creative with your exercise by going for a walk with a friend, trying a dance class, or exploring a new hiking trail!(Eatright.org, 2020)
-Written by Alicia R. Leitch, M.S. Nutrition Educator
- Eatright.org. (2020). Fiber. [online] Available at: https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/fiber [Accessed 5 Feb. 2020].
- Eatright.org. (2020). Prepare Heart-Healthy Foods for Your Family. [online] Available at: https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/heart-and-cardiovascular-health/prepare-heart-healthy-foods-for-your-family [Accessed 5 Feb. 2020].
- Ars.usda.gov. (2020). In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity : USDA ARS. [online] Available at: https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2005/in-chocolate-more-cocoa-means-higher-antioxidant-capacity/ [Accessed 5 Feb. 2020].