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Foods That Are Good For Your Heart

February is time to think about hearts – both the kind on Valentine cards and the vital organ that pumps blood. It’s American Heart Month.

There are many good reasons to give your heart some tender loving care. It works around the clock, non-stop every moment of your life. Keeping it strong with a healthy diet and exercise makes your heart stronger so it is more efficient at pumping blood throughout your body.

A healthy ticker is also a ticket to a longer life. Cardiac disease the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In fact, one in four deaths is linked to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

To help your heart beat at its best, we’ve put together this list of foods that are good for your heart.

Salmon: Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. These compounds lower heart rate and blood pressure, and they improve the health of blood vessels. The recommendation is to eat fish such as salmon twice a week. Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Avocados: Eating an avocado every day as part of a heart healthy diet can help improve cholesterol levels in overweight and obese people. American Heart Association

Nuts: Tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and cashews, contain unsaturated fat, as well as fiber and nutrients. Studies have found that people who regularly eat nuts are less likely to have heart attacks. Harvard School of Public Health

Vegetables: Vegetables top any list of heart healthy foods because they are rich in fiber and vitamins and low in calories. Mix in a variety of vegetables and those that are deeply colored – such as spinach, carrots and berries – because they have the highest content of micronutrients. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Beans: They’re good for your heart. Beans are low in fat, high in fiber and packed with protein. Research has shown consuming beans as a regular part of the diet helps lower cholesterol. USDA Agricultural Research Service

Herbs: Most Americans consume too much sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure. One way to cut down on the amount of salt in dishes is to try other flavors, such as fresh herbs, spices like turmeric and pepper, garlic and lemon. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

These are all some good foods to try this month to show some love to your heart.

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