In February, our hearts are on our minds as we celebrate both Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month. That makes it the perfect time to take a step back and make sure we are taking care of our ticker. When it comes to heart health, there are three specific types of food you should incorporate into your diet on a daily basis: fiber, fat and color.
Fiber: The single most effective way to cut down on your “bad” LDL cholesterol is to make sure you are getting enough fiber in your diet. This fiber will help transport the bad cholesterol out of your body, making sure your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Shoot for eating 30-35 grams of fiber each day.
Try adding these high fiber foods to your diet to get the recommended amount of daily fiber: oatmeal, legumes, ground flaxseed, whole grains, fruits and vegetables (the kind with skin you can eat).
Fat: This one might surprise you, but fat is a very important part of our diet and heart health. Now don’t get too excited – I’m not talking about the kind in a juicy burger or the double chocolate fudge sundae! I’m talking about Omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. Instead of putting an extra burden on your heart, as trans-fat or too much saturated fat will do, these fats actually help protect your heart.
Try adding in these foods with healthy fats: salmon, olive oil, avocado, nuts and flaxseeds.
Color: Although it is not 100 percent understood why, but inflammation is present in most heart attack patients. Inflammation can cause an extra burden on your heart while “eating the rainbow” (adding more color to your diet) can help offset that inflammation. The most vibrant and colorful foods are typically those associated with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. By eating the “rainbow” you will also get a balance of vitamins and minerals, as each color usually contains a different set of nutrients.
Try adding these colorful anti-inflammatory foods and spices into your diet: blueberries, spinach, papaya, turmeric, sweet potatoes, broccoli and green tea, like Salada Classic Lemon Green Tea or Salada Decaffeinated Purple Antioxidant Green Tea.
One of the best ways to show your loved ones that you care about them is to take care of your own health. Consider adding the above mentioned foods into your daily diet, and remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes.
Article first appeared on unbottleyourtea.com/tara.