NEW YORK (CNN) – February is Heart Month, a good time to be thinking of your heart and how to keep it healthy. Looking for easy ways to keep it pumping? Look no further than your kitchen.
It’s no secret one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy is to eat right. Cut out saturated fats and look for natural foods that can cut your risk of heart disease.
Veggies, especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, contain a lot of nutrients that have shown to strengthen heart muscles. Broccoli also seems to boost levels of heart protective proteins in the body.
Green tea has been shown to lower cholesterol and improve blood flow.
Oily fish, like salmon, tuna and sardines are filled with omega 3 fatty acids that actually counteract the negative effects mental stress puts on the heart.
Go nuts. Researchers say people who eat nuts lower their “bad,” cholesterol level in their blood which is one of the primary causes of heart disease.
Indulge your sweet tooth, a little. Dark chocolate is full of flavanols which have been found to reduce dangerous inflammation and cut down on atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. The key to all this is moderation and eating smart.
Replace red meat with oily fish, snack on walnuts instead of chips, eat a small piece of dark chocolate and sit down to a glass of iced green tea instead of a soda.
Small changes; your heart will thank you.