National Heart Health Month

Tomorrow is February 1st!  And do you know what February is?  It's National Heart Health Month.  Makes sense, right?  Month of love.  Valentine's Day.  Hearts everywhere!  So, this month, I'm going to focus on a few food items that are good for your heart.  For now though, here's a list of some foods that are good for your ticker:

1. Oatmeal - Start your day out with a bowl of  steel cut oats.  They are not processed like the instant varieties.  They are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

2. Salmon - Can I just say yum?!  This pink seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Want a recipe, try my Asian Grilled Salmon.

3. Nuts - Need a little crunch for an afternoon snack?  Walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fiber in the diet.  They are a great source of healthy fat.

4. Berries - Yes please!  Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, oh my!  These are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Toss some on your morning bowl of steel cut oats!

5. Soy - Don't get all stand-offish just yet.  Soy is found in many places, not just tofu.  Ever tried a steaming bowl of edamame?  My kidlets cannot get enough of it!  We always have to place 2 orders of the yummy green soy bean when we have sushi.  Soy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it's still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. 

So there you go, 5 example of heart healthy foods.  Look for more this month!

Source: Best Foods for Your Heart, Health.com