5 Foods to Keep Your Heart Healthy

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5 Foods to Keep Your Heart Healthy

By: Joelle Klein

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than making sure your heart is strong and healthy? February is Heart Month so it’s a great time to focus on all facets of your heart, whether it’s about love or health. And, fortunately, foods that are good for your heart tend to be good for your head, too. It’s all about keeping your heart pumping properly and making sure your arteries are flowing freely. Here are five food types you should be consuming to keep your heart healthy.

Fantastic Fats

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, also known as “good fats,” like avocados, nuts, olive oil, and salmon, are healthier choices for your heart than saturated and trans fats (the “bad” guys) commonly found in processed and packaged foods. While the bad ones can contribute to your risk for developing heart disease, the good fats can actually decrease your artery-clogging LDL cholesterol level, which greatly decreases your risk.

Gorgeous Greens

Eating spinach won’t only make you strong like Popeye (for those of you who remember the cantankerous cartoon sailor), but because it’s packed with magnesium, iron, and folate (as is broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts) not to mention chockfull of vitamins and fiber, tossing it in your salad or pairing it with your favorite main dish can decrease inflammation in your blood vessels.

Precious Potassium-Rich Fruits

Bananas, oranges, mangos, and apricots can do more than make a nice tropical fruit salad, they can help lower your blood pressure, which lowers your risk for stroke and heart disease.

Wine and Chocolate

Both red wine and chocolate contain an antioxidant called resveratrol that may lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce blood clots. While some question the large amount of resveratrol that may be needed to actually produce health benefits, treating yourself to a little red wine and chocolate can only help your heart. The key is to consume these treats in moderation — too much of either can have negative effects on your health.

Nice Spice

Savory spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon add flavor to a variety of dishes — and can reduce your risk for heart disease and your desire to add salt, which is a major cause of high blood pressure. And the fiery kind of spice that comes from jalapeños and cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that makes them hot and healthy by improving circulation and heart health.




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