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Thursday, February 16, 2012

February is Heart Health Awareness Month


What are you doing to keep your heart healthy? It not just about doing cardio and other exercises, your diet is a very important step to a healthy heart.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death among adults, with everything from cigarettes to fast food causing more and more heart problems. One in every three deaths in North America is caused by stroke and heart disease, which equals to 2,220 deaths per day!

Time to make a change!

Sodium

Cutting back on sodium is a great start. Many canned or packaged foods contain a lot of sodium which is meant to preserve foods or add flavor to them. Other foods that contain loads of sodium are smoked meats and cheeses.

If you want to jazz up your foods, use spices and other flavorings like lemon and lime and avoid pre-packaged spices that add sodium and MSG. I like to buy straight spices like paprika, cayenne, basil, onion powder and mix them up my way.

Heart Healthy Foods

These are a few of my favorite heart-healthy foods that I think everyone should add to their diets.

Olive Oil - helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels
Salmon - contains omegas which reduces inflammation and blood clot risks
Blueberries - contains anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant and also vitamin C
Oatmeal - fiber is good for your heart
Leafy Greens - contains folate and vitamin E
Apples - contains quercetin which acts as an anti-inflammatory
Almond- healthy oil and vitamin E to help cholesterol levels
Red Wine(just one glass!) - contains poly phenols
Tomatoes - lycopene reduces heart disease
Avocado - contains folate, omegas, oleic acid(helps lower cholesterol levels), and potassium(helps regulate blood pressure)

All these foods are delicious, especially the red wine(in moderation!). Add these foods in your diet to make a positive change in your health and your heart, and enjoy!

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