Heart Health 101

February is all about our heart! Find out SupermarketGuru's top healthy heart tips here

February 3, 2014

February is all about our heart! Since 1963 Congress has required the president to proclaim February as “American Heart Month,” a time when we recognize that heart disease is our nation’s number one killer - and also a time when we recognize the contributing factors and try to eliminate as many in our lives as possible!

Now let’s remind ourselves here, heart disease is largely preventable, through a healthy lifestyle including a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as staying active and maintaining meaningful relationships. 

SupermarketGuru’s healthy heart tips:

First things first! Create a shopping list, creating a list ahead of time not only allows you to make meal plans for the days ahead but also helps you focus your grocery trip. With a list, you can expect saving of around 20 to 25 percent and you wont be tempted by heart unfriendly foods not on your list!

So what should your list include? 

Heart healthy antioxidant rich foods include: tomatoes, oily fish (such as salmon and sardines), green tea, carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, alfalfa sprouts, cocoa (dark chocolate), berries, apples, and whole-grains. Studies have shown that those who ate 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 39 percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not.

Blue and purple produce like eggplant, plums, red cabbage and grapes are rich in anthocyanidins which help lower risk of heart attack and stroke by dilating blood vessels and protecting vessel walls - keeping the blood flowing freely.

Included on your list should be foods rich in essential fatty acids like nuts (unsalted), olive oil, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, avocados, salmon, chia seeds, trout, sardines, herring, and mackerel. Not only are these foods anti-inflammatory, great for the immune system, brain and more, but they are delicious too!

Garlic and onions are also important for heart health as they contain compounds that can help reduce cholesterol levels.

Drinking water and staying active is also great for your heart. Purchase a reusable water bottle and refill with filtered water - available in most places - so you can have water on the go, remain hydrated, and save money.

Making conscious choices when shopping or eating out can go a long way. Help out your heart with SupermarketGuru’s shopping tips. And as always, please consult your physician before making any changes to your diet.

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