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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Nicole RDN

5 Heart Healthy Tips ♥️

February is famous for the romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day, but it’s also known for the American Heart Association Month. The heart is essential because the heart is the power supply for the whole body. Your heart creates electoral pulses that run through your body, supplying energy to everything. Without the power supply, nothing else works.

Blood needs to keep flowing for our organs to have a constant supply of blood and oxygen. Therefore, a strong heart and clear arteries are essential. Cholesterol may form and clog the blood flow.

The following are some simple ways to a heart-healthy diet and to stay healthy to enjoy Valentine’s day with your loved ones ♥️

Load up on fiber

Research has found fiber can lower LDL cholesterol or “bad cholesterol.” Soluble fiber binds to the small intestinal wall picking up cholesterol before it enters the bloodstream. The soluble fiber will exit the body as stool. Incorporate soluble fiber into your diet. Soluble fiber is in oats, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, psyllium husk, apples, pears, figs, nectarines, apricots, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and avocados.

Go nuts for nuts

Nuts can lower the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation in the body. Nuts can also raise HDL cholesterol or “good cholesterol.” Incorporate nuts in your day by eating them for a snack or adding on top of salads or other dishes. You can also easily consume nuts in nut butter and put on top of fruit, crackers, or toast. Eat a variety of nuts to receive the heart-healthy benefits.

Eat fish twice a week

Observational studies have found individuals who eat fish regularly have a lower likelihood of heart attacks. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids that help to protect our hearts from heart disease. The fish highest in omega-3 fatty acids are; wild-caught salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring. Fish can be prepared in many different ways that are delicious, such as baking, sautéing, or grilling. If you do not enjoy the taste of fish, you can simply take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to receive the benefits.

Spice up your food without salt

Reducing salt intake can help to lower blood pressure. Sodium can raise the sodium level in your bloodstream, making it harder for the kidneys to remove water from your system. Therefore, your heart may have to work harder and result in higher blood pressure. Try these different ways to add flavor to your food without using salt: herbs, lime, lemon, cumin, paprika, pepper, salt-free blends (Mrs. Dash).

Eat dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has heart-healthy flavonoids. Flavonoids help lower inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Bioactive components in dark chocolate can reduce the risk of cholesterol, creating plaques in the arteries. Plaque is a blockage of blood flow to the heart leading to heart attacks. Also, studies have found that components of dark chocolate are found to lower blood pressure. Look for dark chocolate, over 70% to receive the heart-healthy benefits. Make your loved one dark chocolate covered strawberries this Valentine’s day for it is the perfect heart-healthy dessert!

These ideas are simple to implement. I want to help you to reach your goals to become the healthiest version of your self. For more individualized nutrition programs, feel free to contact me!

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