February is the month that heart disease is discussed nationwide. Heart disease is a condition in which the heart’s arteries harden due to a buildup of plaque. As the arteries become more and more clogged, dangerous clots may form and the amount of oxygen-rich blood reaching the heart is greatly reduced. Nearly 1 in 4 deaths in America are caused by heart disease, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Heart disease is a complicated health condition with many factors attributing to it. Genetic predispositions and lifestyle choices can play a part in the development of the disease. There are many actions you can take to reduce your risk of developing the disease. So in honor of American Heart Month, I have compiled a list of some of the best foods for heart health.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that are necessary to keep our bodies functioning normally. Foods rich in omega-3s are:
- Fish such as salmon and tuna
- Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
- Ground flaxseed which can be added to foods such as cereals, ground beef and baked goods
Carotenoids are nutrients that contain many healthy elements like vitamins and antioxidants. They are found in bright colored fruits and vegetables like:
- Red bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
Flavonoids are plant-based compounds that have strong anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Some foods that contain these antioxidant-rich nutrients are:
- Dark chocolate
- Soy Milk
Start incorporating these healthy foods into your diet this month.