February is ‘Heart Healthy’ month. Here’s a list of very heart friendly foods! Some of these might incite allergy for some, so it’d pay to use one of those food sensitivity test kits first.
1. Salmon: An excellent source of omega-3-fatty acids. Choose wild, pacific salmon when you can, and you’ll be making an environmentally friendly choice as well.
2. Oatmeal: Rich in magnesium, potassium and soluble fiber, nothing packs a healthy punch like oatmeal! Add chopped nuts for a delicious treat.
3. Flaxseed: An excellent source of fiber and phytoestrogens, add flax to oatmeal, yogurt, salads and smoothies.
4. Walnuts: A source of omega-3-fats, heart healthy poly and mono-unsaturated fats, vitamin E and fiber. And, oh so yummy.
5. Brown rice: This complex carbohydrate is full of fiber and B-vitamins like niacin, that will help to keep your cholesterol in check. Cook and freeze extra servings to cut down on preparation time at mealtime.
6. Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants like beta-caroteine, anthocyanins, and vitamin C, you can’t go wrong with blueberries. On their own, or in a smoothie, blueberries can’t be beat.
7. Spinach: Like other dark green leafy vegetables, spinach is rich in antioxidants and minerals such as potassium. Keep in mind that greens need to be slightly cooked for best absorption.
8. Red Bell Peppers: Rich in carotenoid antioxidants, red bell peppers are also rich in potassium and fiber. Add to salads, stir frys and casseroles! Or, snack on raw peppers and hummus for a balanced snack.
9. Almonds: An excellent source of heart healthy fats, magnesium and b-vitamins. Add them to salads, or have them as a snack. Keep in mind that approximantely 23 almonds makes up a daily serving.
10. Dark Chocolate. Cocoa is rich in an antioxidant called reservatrol. But, quality and portion control is key. Go for >70% dark chocolate, and limit yourself to 1 0z/day.