February is American Heart Month. Earlier this month I wrote a post about nutrition tips for a healthy heart. Below are 5 heart healthy foods you want to make sure you’re including in your meals. Stay tuned for Part 2 for the complete list!
Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and pistachios are a great protein source and have healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain vitamin E. One quarter cup of nuts provides 7 g of protein. Walnuts are especially good because they contain omega 3 fatty acids so they are great to include at breakfast or in your snack- just remember to choose unsalted nuts!
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout, and sardines are high in omega 3 fatty acids which help protect the heart. Consuming 2 servings of fish (8 oz total) every week is associated with reduced cardiac deaths among individuals with and without preexisting cardiovascular disease.
Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. When replaced with saturated fats avocados may lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, which helps with reducing your risk for heart disease. Try using avocados instead of butter on your morning toast or making a chickpea avocado toast sandwich.
Pulses is a term for beans, chickpeas and lentils. These plant-based proteins are high in fiber, which help reduce cholesterol. Try to include more pulses in your diet by adding them to stews, tacos, or snacks. Half a cup of beans has 7 g of protein.
Tomatoes get their rich color from lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent or delay cell damage that can lead to cancer and heart disease as we age. Lycopene may also reduce inflammation and cholesterol. Try making your own tomato juice or sauce.
Which of these heart healthy foods do you regularly eat? Let me know!
Welcome! I'm Rahaf, a Registered Dietitian with a mission to inspire you to Eat healthy, Enjoy Foods, and Empower you with practical nutrition advice for a happy nourished life.