March is National Nutrition Month, and with Fat Tuesday’s decadent gastronomy behind us until next year and Spring (hopefully) right around the corner, a food blogger’s thoughts turn to healthy eating. Thanks very much to Naomi Shaw for this heart-healthy contribution.
What Foods Your Heart Loves and What Foods It’s Totally Over
By Naomi Shaw
Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body. It is the center of the cardiovascular system, transporting blood and oxygen throughout your body. Since your heart is such a vital part of your body, if it isn’t healthy, you aren’t healthy.
The foods that you eat can greatly affect the health of your heart. Foods that are high in saturated fats can clog your arteries and affect the way your heart functions, potentially causing high blood pressure, heart disease and a range of other heart-related problems. As such, consuming foods that are high in excess fat can negatively affect the health of your heart, and your overall health.
Foods Your Heart Hates
Foods that your heart hates include those items that are high in saturated and unhealthy fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates. These foods clog arteries and affect the function of your heart.
What foods should you stay away from? Here are some items that you definitely want to minimize your consumption of:
· French fries
· Sodas and other sugar-based drinks
· Processed cheeses
· Fried chips
Basically, anything that is deep-fried, that is made from processed ingredients or that is high in sugar is bad for the heart.
Foods Your Heart Loves
In order to keep your heart in great health, eat a diet that is rich in foods that are heart-healthy. There are tons of tasty heart-healthy options, including:
· Oranges: High in potassium and fiber, both of which are thought to prevent heart disease, oranges are a food that your heart simply adores. Fiber reduces cholesterol and potassium reduces blood pressure. So, make sure to munch on oranges a few times a week.
· Salmon: This super food is super good for your heart. Eating two servings of salmon a week will supply you with Omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for your heart, since they lower cholesterol levels and prevent inflammation of the heart and can prevent heart disease.
· Oatmeal: High in fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol, oatmeal is a very heart-friendly food. Try eating a few servings of oatmeal every week.
· Green Veggies: High in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, green veggies are great for nourishing your heart, reducing cholesterol and fighting high blood pressure. There are so many green vegetables that will provide you with these heart-healthy benefits, including leeks, spinach, kale, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and bok choy. Add these veggies into your diet any way that you can; in your breakfast omelet (made with egg whites, of course), in your salad at lunch or as a side dish for dinner.
· Nuts: All nuts, walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts, in particular, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are excellent for the health of your heart.
Ditching foods that are high in saturated fats and refined sugars and replacing them with these healthy options will boost the health of your heart and ensure that your overall health is in tip-top condition. To make sure you are getting the right amount of fruits and veggies for every meal, pack separate containers with correct servings and put them in your lunch.
Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home mom from Southern California. After being a stay-at-home mom for seven years she works full-time as a writer. She enjoys blogging about healthy eating and food tips providing insight, advice and more! She hopes you enjoy this article.