It is Valentine's day which often means indulgent chocolate covered goodies, rich dinners, and other ways to share food love with others, but February is also heart health month. So show yourself some love by adding in these heart healthy foods to help you keep ticker happy and healthy.
Here are 5 simple steps to lovingly supporting that heart of ours:
1. Reduce overall inflammation. Our heart is a muscle and like any other part of our body feels inflammation. By reducing and removing foods high in processed sugar, transfats and alcohol our body doesn't have to fight off inflammation and can instead focus its efforts on keeping you healthy.
2. Add in antioxidants! The most common antioxidants are vitamins A, D, E and K and yes, sure you can acquire these antioxidants in supplement form but our body actually likes them best in their whole food form. Making foods like bell peppers, blueberries, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, just to name a few you will drastically increase your body's chances at getting those wonderful antioxidants.
3. Get those good Fats. Sure excessive amounts of any type of fat isn't a good thing for heart health, but getting moderate quantities of healthy body supportive mono and polyunsaturated fats actually help to reduce overall cholesterol levels. These fats are liquid at room temperature such as olive oil, avocado oil and flaxseed oil. Consuming foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, flax seeds, chia seeds, and salmon are great ways to add healthy fats into your life. Just a little side note when it comes to cooking saturated fats such as coconut oil, ghee and butter are actually the best ways to cook at high heat (think frying an egg), but if you want to use an unsaturated fat for cooking your best and most healthy bet is to go with avocado oil.
4. Fiber isn't just for keeping you regular. Fiber found in fruits not only keeps our digestive system happy they also provide our body with hydration, the electrolyte potassium and polyphenols which help clean our hearts up so they can keep beating and being healthy.
5. Get moving! Although not a nutritional recommendation movement is just as important as what we put in our bodies. Remember our hearts are muscles and like any other muscle it is important to exercise it regularly. It doesn't need to be crazy sweat band required jazzercising it can be a stroll down the street with a friend, just get that body moving, get the blood pumping and keep that heart healthy.
Giving our hearts what they need to thrive not only helps to promote heart health but it will also spill over into all aspects of our life. Helping us to feel energized, sleep better, improved focus and just overall be happier healthier people.
Try one or all five of these changes out and you will begin to notice those positive changes quickly.
My name is Brittany, I am a Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher and Certified Personal trainer. My hope is to help inspire, encourage and motivate others to live their happiest and healthiest lives.