Five Things You Need to Know to Boost Heart Health

February 19, 2016

For all of us, this quick read can help incorporate more heart healthy foods into our diets. For supermarkets, this is an opportunity to highlight some of these nutritious foods with a focus on heart health in your stores this month.

It’s American Heart Month, a time when we recognize the contributing factors to heart disease (America’s number one killer) and try to eliminate as many in our lives as possible!

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.

Here are five things to think about when shopping for heart healthy foods:

Focus on antioxidants! 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 demonstrate that those who eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day had a 39 percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not.

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

Get your fat! 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!

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

Stay hydrated: drinking water and staying active are 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.