Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and affects hundreds of thousands of people each year. In honor of American Heart Month, St. Lucie Medical Center has put together for you a list of super foods geared toward heart health. Adopting these foods into your diet will go a long way in protecting your cardiovascular condition.
Oatmeal. This breakfast super food packs a punch with its high fiber content. It's been known to lower bad cholesterol levels and keep the arteries clean. Top your hot bowl of oats with some fresh fruit for an extra punch of flavor and antioxidants.
Greek yogurt. Greek strained yogurt contains more than double the amount of protein as regular yogurt. Eating the non-fat variety is even healthier for you, too. Having yogurt in a diet has been known to curb gum disease and improve heart health.
Blueberries. The tiny fruit have some of the highest antioxidant levels of all the fruits and are a great way to lower bad cholesterol. You can eat blueberries as a snack or pair them with tasty nutritious breakfast items like oatmeal or yogurt.
Salmon. This oily fish is enriched with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and does a tremendous amount good for a healthy heart. Just two servings a week can reduce blood pressure and prevent any major clots from forming.
Nuts. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios and pecans are filled with protein and nutrients. Eating a cup of nuts per day, unsalted, may prevent bad cholesterol. They are the perfect anytime snack that's healthy and delicious!
Olive oil. Using extra virgin olive oil to cook with instead of fatty butter can greatly reduce bad cholesterol and help you lose weight. Drizzle some on your side salad or on a piece of fresh cheese and tomato for a yummy Italian appetizer.
Eating right is only half the battle. Make sure that you are keeping up with fitness and staying active, even if it means just twenty minutes a day. For more information on heart healthy super foods or to consult a physician, visit us online at St. Lucie Medical Center. You can also call our Consult-A-Nurse hotline at 800-449-8345.