You’ll love what’s on the menu for maintaining heart health

In recognition of February being Heart Health Month, in this post, we focus on the best foods and lifestyle tips to encourage optimal heart health. 

Think you’re safe from heart disease? According to the CDC, many of the conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease are appearing at younger ages:

  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking

If you’re a smoker, the only solution to avoid the health risks is to quit. But there are many foods with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol. 

Best Heart Healthy Foods

It’s actually not particularly difficult to eat a heart healthy diet. There are loads of delicious foods that promote heart health. Take a look at this list of some of the best options:

  • Leafy green vegetables – Greens are full of vitamins (C, E, and folate), minerals (potassium and calcium), antioxidants, and fiber. 
  • Whole grains – Oats, wheat, quinoa, and other whole grains offer tons of fiber. 
  • Fruit – Berries offer a wealth of antioxidants, while oranges provide beta-carotene, potassium, and magnesium. Both are good sources of fiber.
  • Avocados – The trendy vegetable is a great source of monounsaturated fats, so it’s no surprise that the health benefits of avocados make it an incredible superfood to add to your dishes.
  • Fatty fish – Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, provide omega-3 fatty acids and have been shown to have multiple heart health benefits
  • Nuts – Walnuts and almonds offer fiber and minerals. 
  • Legumes – Beans and lentils have something known as resistant starch—a naturally occurring ingredient that studies have shown to reduce bad cholesterol. 
  • Dark chocolate – A fantastic (because, hey, it’s chocolate) source of antioxidants. 
  • Tomatoes – Another tasty antioxidant source. 
  • Green tea and red wine – More antioxidants!
  • Olive oil – Olive gives us monounsaturated fats and—you guessed it—antioxidants. 

Steps to Prevent Heart Disease

Maintaining heart health isn’t limited simply to eating the right foods; there are other significant steps you can take to protect your heart: 

  • Limit portion sizes. We all tend to eat more than we need to. Limiting our intake of less-than-healthy foods goes a long way. 
  • Limit sodium intake. Likewise, reducing the amount of sodium is an almost universal requirement. 
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables and less unhealthy fat. Again, if we eat more of the heart healthy foods listed above, we’ll be in much better shape. 

Want to start eating heart healthy foods today? Try our Heart Healthy Turkey Chili recipe from The Pickled Beet’s Executive Chef Elizabeth Willard. This delish chili won the People’s Choice Award for Best Chili In Miami at the Pinecrest Gardens Chili Cook-off. 

You can eat healthy and enjoy delicious meals without having to ever go in the kitchen if you live in the Miami area. Whether you want heart healthy recipes—or any other specific nutritional regimen—we can customize meals for you. Contact us for more information.

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