Food That’s Good for Your Heart

Nearly 48 million women in the U.S. are either living with heart disease or are at risk, according to WomenHeart, a national coalition for women with heart disease. 

With work, kids, spouse and other obligations, it can be difficult to eat and prepare foods that are good for us and our families. Your diet plays a large role in your heart health. There are foods that can affect your triglycerides, blood pressure, inflammation and cholesterol levels, and all of these can place you at risk for heart disease. 

February is heart health awareness month, and with one in four women dying from heart disease each year, you don’t want to add additional risks to your heart health by not eating the right foods. Read below to learn about foods you should be eating right now to help take care of your heart.

Berries. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are full of important nutrients, and studies have shown that eating lots of berries can reduce risk factors for heart disease.

Walnuts. Walnuts have wonderful micronutrients such as copper, manganese and magnesium, as well as being high in fiber. 

Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can help your heart, and many studies have indicated that eating chocolate may lower the risk of heart disease.

Beans. Beans have resistant starch that may lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

Tomatoes. Tomatoes are full of the antioxidant lycopene. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals that can be harmful to your health.

Green tea. This has been associated with numerous health benefits, such as improving insulin sensitivity and increased fat burning. Brimming with catechins and polyphenols, these can reduce inflammation, prevent cell damage and protect your heart.

Olive oil. Also full of antioxidants, olive oil can decrease the risk of chronic disease and inflammation. In one research study, people who consumed a higher intake of olive oil had a 48 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease.

Remember that how much you eat is just as important as the foods that you eat. Going back for seconds, putting too much food on your plate and eating until you feel really full can cause you to eat more calories than you should be eating for a healthy body weight. Always consult with your primary care physician before beginning any diet program. She will work with you to develop a plan that is tailored to your individual needs. WGW

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