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Heart healthy

The heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body -always functioning, even while we sleep. The human heart is a large muscular organ that circulates blood through the blood vessels to the body. The heart and blood vessels together make up the body's cardiovascular system and are vital to supplying the body with the necessary oxygen and nutrients needed to survive. When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen. The heart pumps blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen, and then it pumps blood through the body to deliver that oxygen.
Very simply, we need our hearts to survive. Therefore, it is vital that we do things to make sure our hearts are protected. Exercising, eating right, and living an active healthy lifestyle will benefit heart health. Adding some heart healthy foods will give you additional benefits to keep your heart at its best.
• Fresh herbs like sage, oregano, and thyme, which contain antioxidants, can make foods heart healthy when they replace salt, sugar and trans fats.
• Cherries are packed with anthocyanins, believed to help protect blood vessels. Cherries also have antioxidants.
• Black beans contain magnesium and fiber to control cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
• Oats in all forms can help your heart by lowering LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. A warm bowl of oatmeal fills you up, fights the need to snack, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable. This is especially beneficial to people with diabetes. You can also use oats in place of flour when baking.
• Salmon is rich in omega-3s, which may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure.
• Almonds have plant sterols, fiber, and heart healthy fat. They may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
• Oranges contain cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin and potassium to control blood pressure. Fresh OJ may make blood vessels work better.
• Blueberries are a super fruit when it comes to heart health. Their anthocyanins give them their deep blue color and support heart health. Blueberries also contain beneficial beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin c, folate, magnesium, potassium and fiber.