In conjunction with recognizing February as American Heart Month, here is a list of heart-healthy foods:

Wild-caught Salmon (avoid farm-raised)

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Broiled, grilled or baked, this tasty, fleshy fish is replete with omega-3 fatty acids that improve the metabolic markers for heart disease.  It also has rich levels of selenium; an antioxidant that studies have shown boosts cardiovascular protection.

Sardines

These spiny little creatures are also loaded with omega-3’s in the form of fish oil, which increases “good” cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of sudden heart attacks in people who have experienced previous attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic.  Fresh and/or wild-caught are best.

Walnuts

This nut is chockfull of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E and folate, all of which promote healthy hearts.

Almonds

Like walnuts, these crunchy, meaty nuts are big in omega-3’s and provide an alternative to folks who may not like the bitter taste of walnuts. 7387890830_eaea2462c9_q

Chia seeds

Just a spoonful of this plant-based omega-3 powerhouse contains only 60 calories and helps reduce bad cholesterol and plaque buildup.  Mix them with yogurt, soups, or sprinkle on a salad.

Blueberries

These dark berries are packed with resveratrol and flavonoids, another antioxidant that helps prevent coronary disease.

Green tea

Lower hypertension by pouring yourself a cup of this beverage, long favored by Chinese herbalists for its medicinal benefits.  Contains powerful antioxidants with multiple cardio benefits, including reducing blood clots.

Dark Chocolate

Just pick one that contains at least 70 percent cocoa, which has been linked to lower blood pressure – contains flavonols that relax arteries and increase blood flow.

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Broccoli

This one’s a no-brainer!  Broccoli is low in cholesterol, high in fiber, and contains a wealth of antioxidants.

Brussels sprouts

Whether you love or hate this vitamin-rich veggie, there’s no disputing its heart-healthy benefits, including inflammation reduction and improving blood vessel health.

Cauliflower

It’s not green, but it’s bursting with antioxidants and fiber and contains allicin, a component of garlic shown to help lower the risk of heart attacks and reduce cholesterol.

Yams

A great source of vitamin C, calcium, and iron, which help reduce high blood pressure.  Eat the skin, too!

Apples

Leave the peel on when eating apples – that’s where all the antioxidants are, notably polyphenols, which shield cholesterol from free-radical assaults.  Apples (of any color) also contain pectin, which blocks absorption of cholesterol, as well as fiber which sweeps out excess cholesterol.

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Another source of pectin, this citrus fruit is also packed with flavonoids that lowers blood pressure and reduces arterial inflammation.  Citrus also contains hesperidin, a plant chemical that improves blood flow to the heart and vitamin C, a potent protector against stroke.

Avocado

This fruit is loaded with monounsaturated fats, also known as “good fats” that can help minimize blood cholesterol and blood clots.

Olive oil

Make sure it’s organic and extra virgin.  The purer olive oil contains higher levels of healthy fats and antioxidants to help unclog your arteries.

 

http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Keeping-Those-Hearts-Ticking-During-Heart-Month-290629811.html

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