February is American Heart Month! And we want to spotlight great foods that have amazing heart healthy benefits!
American Heart Month is a Federally designated month, proclaimed in 1963 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year. * And women are especially at high risk of heart disease. We want to help you and your families reduce the risks and become healthier and happier.
Try to incorporate them into your diet this week!
1. Healthy Nuts
Not only a great source of protein but a great source of heart healthy Omega-6, Omega-3 and polyunsaturated fat, along with various vitamins and minerals that benefit the heart.
Grab a handful or toss some on your salad or morning oatmeal.
Berries contain power antioxidants and fight chronic diseases and cancer! They are naturally sweet and tasty and are among one of the healthiest foods to eat. How can you say no that?
The best berries are those you find at the Farmer’s Market (or grown in your yard if you have a green thumb).
Check out this great slideshow for a few berry recipes.
A Whole grain that helps fight heart disease and inflammatory issues. Did you know the Ancient Egyptians used flaxseed as a both food and medicine? Certainly the definition of an ancient grain.
Flaxseed contain heart healthy Omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).** Flaxseed helps with fighting cholesterol, heart disease, and some cancers.
Grind flaxseed and put it in smoothies, oatmeal, muffins, on salads, soups or sandwiches. And drink plenty of water to help the mucilage, a gummy material, expand and help to move stool through your intestines quickly.
High in fiber and low in saturated fat. It’s great with some berries and nuts! You can hit 3 of these 6 heart strong foods all in one meal!
This amazing food can help to reduce cholesterol and help keep you regular. Other whole grains such as bread and pasta are for the heart so long as they contain the entire grain.
5. Dark beans
These are my favorite in a fresh salad. Full of protein and rich in fiber that helps to reduce cholesterol. B vitamins and phytonutrients in dark beans.
Here is a great recipe (and some tips on reducing gas and bloating from beans) from the Chopra Center for Black Bean & Vegetable Stew
6. Spinach, red, yellow & orange veggies (Eat the Rainbow)
Oh the Rainbow – and we’re not talking that candy Rainbow! Oh how happy our kids would be if we were, right?
Eating the rainbow is a simply way of reminding people to eat an array of vegetables. A plant-based diet, or a diet rich in all fruits and vegetables, is the way to get the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and other beneficial nutrients that we all need for healthy hearts and healthy bodies.
So of course we want to share this amazing Rainbow Salad with you! Not only is it beautiful to look at, it’s delicious to eat.