February is, appropriately, American Heart Month. I'm sure you, dear readers, all know someone who has heart problems or even worse, died from a heart related complication. According to The American Heart Association, heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the U.S. Whether heart disease runs in your family, or is cause by lifestyle, we can all take preventative measures to keep the ol' ticker pumping. One of the easiest ways is our diets. The other day while browsing food and health articles on Yahoo, I came across this one, The 10 Best Foods for your Heart. My only complaint is the use of the terms "good" and "bad" cholesterol. (Goes back to metabolism class in college) I also found the need to post this article on the HIC Facebook page. Since tomorrow is GO RED for women's heart health day, I wanted to share and summarize this article with you. While reading this, I could not help but notice the overlap with the seven Fuel Foods for female runners.
1: Oatmeal. I am really trying to master making oatmeal. Mr. Quaker helps lower LDL levels which leads to clear, unclogged arteries.
2: Salmon. Next time you find yourself at your favorite Cleveland restaurant or browsing the West Side Market, consider this omega-3 rich fish. Personally, it is one of my favorite seafoods.
3: Avocado. Don't feel guilty ordering the guacamole at Momocho. Avocado boost cholesterol metabolism, again lowering LDL and raising HDL. Or, make your own by mashing up fresh avocado, and mixing in minced garlic, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and peppers (I love jalapeno since I love heat). Its quick, easy, healthy, and DELICIOUS!!
4: Olive oil. This one is probably the easiest to incorporate into your diet. Use it in cooking. Mix it with balsalmic vinegar and your favorite herbs and spices for a quick salad dressing. Our body needs healthy fats and oils.
5: Nuts. Omega-3's, fiber, healthy fats. Carry walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts for a quick snack. Also, it's just fun to say you are carrying around a sack of nuts. (Pardon my attempt and humor)
6: Berries. I love mixed berried for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, anytime. Anti-oxidant rich and ready to fight disease and inflammation in your body.
7: Legumes! Such a fun word to say and I do love my legumes. Mash up chickpeas for easy homemade hummus or adde extra beans to that chili. Legumes are packed with omega-3's, calcium, and fiber.
8. Spinach. Add it to a salad, wilt it for a garnish. Spinach gives your heart lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.
9. Flaxseed. Sprinkle it on your cereal or yogurt to add not only omega-3, but also omega-6.
10. Soy. Great source of protein. Don't be afraid to try that tofu dish or pick up the soy milk.
Check out what the Gret River Affiliates are doing around Cleveland to promote heart health. We can all be hungry in Cleveland while also being Heart Healthy in Cleveland.
Until next time...follow your heart, fulfill your hunger.