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Heart Health Month

Friday, February 06, 2015

February is Heart Health Month and a timely reminder to look after one of our most important organs, the heart. As well as exercising daily and trying to reduce stress levels, our food choices influence the health of our hearts. Concentrating on fresh foods, full of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants can help reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Check out these top foods for heart health. 

Oats
Begin your day with a bowl of oats - full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate and potassium. This fibre-rich superfood can help lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol.

Salmon
Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can help reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. It is recommended that we eat salmon and other oily fish at least twice a week for maximum health benefits. Other oily fish include mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines. 

Avocado
Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to increase the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. 

Nuts
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and macadamias are nutrient rich, full of omega-3 acids and mono and polyunsaturated fats. Nuts help to increase fibre in the diet and are a great source of healthy fat.

Berries
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries - any berry you like - are all full of anti-inflammatories, which help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Lentils
Legumes like lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans should be part of your health toolbox. They are full of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, soluble fibre and nutrients that help to lower cholesterol levels.

Brown rice
Wholegrains are important when looking at a heart-friendly diet, and brown rice provides loads of fibre which can help to promote better heart health.

Spinach

Spinach can help keep your heart in top shape thanks to its supplies of lutein, folate, potassium, and fibre.