Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, killing roughly half a million Americans every year. Exercise and portion control can help you fight heart disease, but not if you continually eat a poor diet. Your diet is the first line of defense when it comes to lowering your risk of heart disease.
Americans have slowly entered into a world of processed foods, hormone-injected meats, and genetically modified organisms. People like things to be quick, easy, and cheap, which has consequently had negative effects on their health. Rather than trying to pull yourself out of hole you’ve dug yourself, we recommend not digging the hole in the first place.
Give your heart and body some love by removing processed foods, saturated fats, fast food, meat, meat products, added sugars, and dairy products from your diet. Replace these foods with plant-based foods like fresh fruits & vegetables, legumes, sprouted grains, and raw nuts & seeds. Eating these foods will help you get your daily dose of the vitamins and minerals you need.
In honor of American Heart Month, here are eight amazing foods that can help protect your heart.
Asparagus is loaded with fiber, folate, and vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that nourishes cells and helps fight free radicals in the body. Asparagus also has a lot of potassium, which helps regulate heart function and blood pressure.
Most people know that carrots are conducive to healthy eyesight. The beta-carotene gets converted to vitamin A, which helps prevent oxidation and arterial build-up. Carrots are also great for helping to lower cholesterol.
These powerful little seeds are rich in healthy fats and fiber, and are a great source of protein. The cool thing is that chia seeds supply all the heart-healthy benefits of flaxseeds without having to worry about the phytoestrogens.
Red Bell Pepper
Most people think that oranges are the richest source of vitamin C. They are not. Bell peppers have higher amounts and vitamins A and C, and they contain capsaicin, which helps to improve blood flow and cholesterol.
Spinach is a mighty green that should never be left out of your diet. The rich potassium content helps to lower cholesterol levels, while the dietary fiber can help remove toxins from the body. Spinach is also a great source of folate and antioxidants!
Tomatoes contain a super antioxidant, lycopene, which gives them their deep reed color. Lycopene helps to lower cholesterol levels and protects the heart against free radical damage.
Both walnuts and almonds can provide you with healthy, monounsaturated fats that help protect the heart. Walnuts are a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and magnesium, which is great for lowering stress levels.