It’s Valentine’s Day and February is heart health month, so let’s eat to the beat!  The following are foods to include this season to keep your ticker, ticking:

  1. Avocados- fat is the new black, especially heart-healthy, mono-unsaturated fat. Add some avocado chunks to your salad or tacos or spread it on toast in place of butter or margarine.

 

  1. Kiwi- the fuzzy fruit has been found to lower blood pressure because of its high potassium content. Three kiwi a day reduces systolic blood pressure (upper number) by over 3 points.  Systolic pressure measures the pressure in the arterial wall when the heart contracts. Try kiwi in Greek yogurt or eat solo.

 

  1. Citrus fruit- citrus fruit are in season, so add a variety to your fruit bowl! Oranges are high in soluble fiber to lower cholesterol as well as potassium to lower blood pressure.  Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with cholesterol lowering medication, so read the label on prescription medications.

 

  1. Kale- this leafy green just won’t quit. Kale is high in potassium to lower blood pressure and vitamin C and beta-carotene to protect cells from oxidative damage.  Add to salad or soup or bake into kale “chips”.

 

  1. Greek yogurt- this thick, tangy yogurt is not only higher in protein and lower in sugar to curb appetite, it’s also a great source of calcium and potassium, nutrients found to reduce blood pressure. Mix in fresh or frozen fruit or substitute plain yogurt for sour cream in dips

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