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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Heart Healthy Foods!

What are some of the healthiest foods we can eat that will benefit our hearts? Here's what we found...

1. Salmon 

With a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, salmon has a high likelihood of reducing inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease. Fish high in Omega-3 may also lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting- both key risk factors in heart disease!

2. Ground Flaxseed

Another Omega-3 rich food, ground flaxseed has been found to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. I like to sprinkle a tablespoon of ground flaxseed on my Greek yogurt and local honey (good for allergies)- the ground flaxseed has a tasty, nutty flavor. I love it!

3. Oatmeal

Chris, one of our tech-support guys, loves his oats! Every morning during the group meeting he has a bowl of oatmeal. He likes it plain, but I like to add fresh blueberries or strawberries to mine. Oatmeal is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and soluble fiber.

4. Black or Kidney Beans

Beans, beans, the magic fruit, the more you eat the more you...load up on B-complex vitamins, magnesium, Omega-3 fatty acid, calcium, and soluble fiber. I bet you thought I was going somewhere else with that...

5. Almonds

Protein rich almonds are a great snack to tide you over before a meal! I like to pack a small zip-lock of almonds just in case I get hungry mid-day. Piet puts a few almonds in her yogurt with berries for an afternoon snack. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber, these small nuts are great for heart health!

6. Walnuts

With a lot of the same nutrients as almonds, it isn't much of a surprise that walnuts are another heart-healthy snack. I really like toasted walnuts sprinkled on a strawberry and spinach salad with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

7. Red Wine

I was skeptical at first - red wine is heart-healthy? It is! The catechins and resveratrol help to improve HDL cholesterol (AKA the good cholesterol). So, toast to your heart health with a glass of red!

8. Tuna

Whether it's in a tuna fish sandwich or on top of a salad, tuna is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

9. Tofu

I know there are a lot of skeptics out there and I can't blame them, but there's no denying the health properties of tofu. It's rich in calcium, magnesium, and fiber. I like tofu in a stir-fry with lots of veggies and a teriyaki-sesame sauce. Yum!

10. Brown Rice

Brown rice is the perfect complement to a healthy stir-fry and it's rich in B-complex vitamins, fiber, niacin, magnesium, and fiber. I recommend swapping white rice with brown rice- if only to add a few more nutrients to your meal.

Do YOU have a favorite heart-healthy recipe? We're always looking for new things to cook! Share your recipe here or on Facebook.

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