No one is immune from heart disease. It’s a growing epidemic in the United States, and to date, it’s the number one killer for men and women, alike. By taking your diet day-by-day, you can learn what foods to eat in order to nourish your body and keep your heart beating (in a thriving state), and what foods to avoid.
Here are some ways that you can have a healthier heart, today:
· Eat more fish! Omega-3 fatty acids are so good for your heart, and the recommendation is 2-3 servings per week of fish. However, not all fish are created equal. Stick to fatty types of fish rich in omega-3’s such as salmon (which studies prove are excellent for your heart’s health.) Bake the salmon with some olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and fresh herbs like dill, salt and pepper. Wrap it in foil with some fresh veggies, and you have the perfect weeknight meal!
· Choose tuna! A more affordable choice of fish (also loaded with omega-3’s) is tuna. Either from the can (choose tuna sold in water, not oil) or a nice piece from the seafood counter is very healthy for your heart and can help decrease inflammation, and lower cholesterol. Dress it up (and therefore limit the fat and sugar intake) by using fresh herbs—thyme, basil, rosemary—whatever you have on hand will work!
· Limit your sodium intake. A little sodium can support the most important organs in your body—but a lot of sodium, and cholesterol will skyrocket.
· Black beans. High fiber foods like black beans are excellent for your heart. They are loaded with magnesium (great for lowering blood pressure) and rich in antioxidants (your cancer fighting friend!) Just make sure to rinse them off before topping them on a salad in order to get rid of extra salt your heart doesn’t need.
· A glass of red per day may keep the doctor away. There’s nothing wrong with a little alcohol, especially if you make it red wine. Studies show that red wine, which contains catechins and resveratrol, may improve the health of your artery walls. Just go easy, and stick to one glass per night.
· Replace butter with oil. We’re not talking about any oil, but olive oil. Olive oil, made from mashed up olives, can help lower your cholesterol and can help improve the health of your body’s blood vessels. Serve with a bread basket, use as the base for a salad dressing, and cook your heart out! Olive oil is a wonderful staple that nourishes your body from head to toe.
There’s no quicker way to feel better, stronger and happier than by a healthy diet. What better way to treat yourself right than by being good to your heart? When you eat well by consuming more of the foods we just mentioned, your heart—and your mind—will thrive.