February is National Heart Health Month!  As we consider Valentine’s Day and affairs of the heart, it’s a perfect time to shine the light on heart health. What we eat makes a big difference to our hearts and simple changes can go a long way to support a healthy heart!  

Healthy Diet The American Heart Association recommends we eat a healthy diet with these basic guidelines:

  • a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains
  • low-fat dairy products
  • skinless poultry and fish
  • nuts and legumes
  • heart-healthy oils – this includes olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, canola oil, and nut oils
  • Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Grassfed Beef

Eating grassfed beef offers some benefits for those looking out for their hearts. CLA, a naturally occurring fatty acid, is the superstar of grassfed beef and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

According to Dr. Axe, here are the top heart-health benefits of grassfed beef:

  • Less overall fat and unhealthy fat
  • Lower levels of dietary cholesterol
  • Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids
  • More CLA
  • More heart disease-fighting antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin E

Top Foods for Heart Health

Looking for a little more inspiration? Here are a few top picks to help you win in the game of heart health.

Salmon.  Rich in omega-3s which have an anti-clotting effect and keep your blood flowing! The American Heart Association suggests two servings of salmon per week.

Berries.  Packed with antioxidants, berries help fight off free radicals and prevent disease. Plus, berries are loaded with nutrients your heart needs including fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.  

Olive Oil.  Good news for your heart – olive oil is loaded with monounsaturated fats including extremely heart-healthy oleic acid. Monounsaturated fats can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory food and cardiovascular protector. Go Olive Oil!

Avocados. This excellent source of heart-healthy fats is also fortified with other helpful nutrients including potassium, vitamin E and vitamin K.

Happy National Heart Health Month!   Here’s to your health and celebrating it with those you love.