Updated: Jan 29
February: the month of love and chocolate! February is one of my favorite months: for a few reasons. For starters, it is my husband’s birthday and we celebrate birthdays big in our household! I love to buy gifts, my two favorite colors are pink and red, and I have a slight obsession with chocolate!
What else is meaningful in February: Heart Health Month. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in men and women, it is important that we take the time to be kind to our hearts!
Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day
Most heart attacks happen on a Monday
Christmas Day is the most common day for heart attacks to happen
Heart cells stop dividing, which means heart cancer is extremely rare.
Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system
My 8 favorite heart healthy foods on the WebMD list:
Black beans: packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Folate, antioxidants, and magnesium can help lower blood pressure. Their fiber helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add beans to boost soups and salads.
Salmon: it’s rich in omega-3s. Omega-3s are healthy fats that may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They may also lower triglycerides and curb inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week.
Walnuts: may lower your cholesterol. It may also protect against inflammation in your heart’s arteries. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, plant sterols, and fiber. The benefits come when walnuts replace bad fats, like those in chips and cookies
Almonds: they have plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds may help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Sweet Potatoes: swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes. With a low glycemic index, these spuds won't cause a quick spike in blood sugar. They also have fiber, vitamin A, and lycopene.
Oatmeal: fills you up for hours, fights snack attacks, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time -- making it useful for people with diabetes, too. Oats’ fiber can help your heart by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). Best results come from using steel-cut or slow-cooked oats.
Low-fat yogurt: When you think of dairy foods, you probably think, “Good for my bones!” These foods can help control high blood pressure, too. Yogurt is high in calcium and potassium. To really boost the calcium and minimize the fat, choose low-fat varieties
Blueberries: they have anthocyanins, those blood vessel-helping antioxidants, which give the berries their dark blue color. Blueberries also have fiber and more than a handful of other great nutrients. Add fresh or dried blueberries to cereal, pancakes, or yogurt
Eating for heart health doesn’t have to be difficult or boring! I have attached a recipe for a meal that your heart will thank you for!
Until next time, Take Care!