So now that you’ve learned that heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death for women, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.
If this is the first time you are hearing this……like OMG right?!
The good news is that nearly 80% of all cardiac issues in women can be prevented. Caring for your heart through a healthy diet can prevent heart disease.
You are probably aware that some key components to a healthy diet are to minimize refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and sugars, focus on lean proteins, and eat fruits and vegetables daily. Did you know that there are specific foods that are considered “heart smart” because they work to clear your arteries, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure?
Here’s what you need to know –
Fish is jam packed with omega-3 fatty acids which have been studied extensively and shown to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Some great omega-3 options include salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Not too keen on fish? Try incorporating a fish oil supplement into your daily vitamin routine.
Studies have shown that whole grains have helped to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) to ultimately decrease your risk of heart disease. The best whole grains to add into your diet include oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and whole wheat.
Who doesn’t love delicious, juicy berries? The nutrients in berries help lower cholesterol, control blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. Go stock up on some blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and even blackberries to kick-start your heart healthy journey.
Green leafy vegetables are packed full of vitamin K which helps promote blood clotting and protects your arteries. Spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, and asparagus are great options for your diet.
Double bonus! Nuts are heart healthy and will satisfy your hunger! Walnuts and almonds are great to snack on through the day.
Beans and Legumes
Legumes and beans can help to reduce cholesterol and reduce blood sugar levels. Here are some of our favorites; chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, soybeans, and pinto beans.
BONUS – Dark chocolate
We wouldn’t steer you wrong! Dark chocolate is good for your heart. Find a chocolate option with at least 70% cocoa and you are headed in the right direction. Dark chocolate is a great dessert option to satisfy your sweet tooth and to stay heart healthy!
The Bottom Line
Your heart should be your #1 priority. Eating a heart healthy diet is no longer an option, but a lifestyle change that all women and men need to make to avoid cardiac issues.