It’s American Heart Month and here at SSC, we strive to help you make small improvements in your overall lifestyle that will help you live a more sound life. Sometimes we forget that the role our heart plays in our everyday life is the most important role of all and we don’t care for it as well as we should.
Our hearts are about the size of a fist and pump, on average, 60-80 times per minute for adults and 70-190 times for newborns. Without a healthy heart, or bodies don’t receive enough oxygen to function. Heart disease is the number one killer in America and it’s time we start doing something about it. Here are 7 heart healthy snacks should be incorporated into your daily intake:
Salmon– Salmon contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, helping to lower irregular heart beat and artherosclerosis. Feed your heart Wild Sockeye Salmon(this is the best type of salmon) twice a week to maintain a healthy heart.
Oatmeal– One cup of dried oats equals about 8.2 grams of fiber. The recommended fiber intake is 25g for women and 38g for men. The soluble fiber in oatmeal has been shown to decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” by 10-15%, particularly when consumed as part of a low-fat diet. Studies show fiber can also decrease the risk of high blood pressure and reduce the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease. Who doesn’t want that?
Blueberries– Blueberries contain Anthocyanins that give blueberries their beautiful color, but they also offer a variety of health benefits to the human body. Blueberries help to lower blood pressure due to the low levels of sodium and high levels of potassium, magnesium and calcium. Plus, levels of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin B help to ward off heart disease. Pop a handful of blueberries instead of M&M’s and you’ll be well on your way.
Dark Chocolate- Cacao refers to the plant that produces cacao beans. If the seeds are not roasted, you have raw chocolate. Cocoa on the other hand, refers to the powder made from roasted, husked and ground seeds. The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value. Small amounts of dark chocolate can decrease the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. Choose a dark chocolate of 70% or higher for the most nutritional value.
Tomatoes– One of the great things about tomatoes is that they supply large amounts of fiber, vitamins A, C, K, potassium, manganese, vitamin E, thiamin… shall we continue? Tomatoes are jam packed with important nutrients, so be sure to include a serving of tomatoes on top of a salad with every meal.
Nuts– Nuts may be one of the most underrated snacks. Almonds, walnuts and Brazilian nuts are just a few varities that are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and they can boost your heart health by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of diabetes. Make yourself a mix of nuts and dried fruit as a snack or chop almonds on top of a salad. It’s an easy way to add another dimension to your salad, protein or vegetable.
Green Tea– Green tea improves blood flow and helps prevent heart disease and stroke due to its ability to relax the arteries. Green tea is naturally rich in flavanoids, so substitute your morning coffee for a few cups of home-brewed green tea (the pre-made stuff has no nutritional value)! Plus, you’ll get the caffeine boost you crave.
Incorporate these 7 heart healthy snacks into your regular diet and you will be on the road to a healthier you and happier heart! For more information or to read more articles, visit our blog.
–Kristiana Balac, Marketing Manager
http://www.healthyeating.org/Healthy-Eating/All-Star-Foods/Grains/Article-Viewer/Article/208/health-benefits-of-oatmeal.aspx http://www.livescience.com/34655-human-heart.html http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/31/dark-chocolate-health-benefits.aspx