February is Heart Health Month!
The heart is one of the most critical organs in the human body. In fact, it is divided into two pumps that works alongside the lungs to ensure that your body functions as optimally as possible. Blood from your body’s tissues and organs is delivered to the right pump of your heart. Your heart then delivers the blood to your lungs which remove waste from the blood and recharge it to oxygen for the body to utilize. This is the magic of the cardiovascular system which is why it is very important to fuel your body with the right foods to ensure you have a healthy heart! Unfortunately though, heart health has been an American public health issue for decades now.
When eating a heart healthy diet, you should try to limit and/or avoid foods high in sugar, sodium and bad fats. Additionally, avoid food products that have been heavily processed. Two rules of thumb that I use when shopping at the store is if I cannot pronounce the ingredients or it it has more than eight, it won’t go in my cart. Instead, choose whole, natural foods that support cardiovascular health.
Try these 12 Heart Healthy Snack Ideas
1. Non-fat or Low fat cheese
2. Fruits like apples, berries, pears…
3. Veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli…
4. Smoothies made with fruits and veggies
5. Whole-grain toast with peanut butter (Almond butter is good too!)
6. Seeds and Nuts like cashews, pistachios, almonds….
7. Hummus with veggies like carrots or cherry tomatoes
8. Low fat meat like salmon, tuna, chicken…
9. Plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt (Pairs great with fruit!)
10. Popcorn(Avoid processed but choose whole grain!)
11. Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna or salmon
12. Steel Cut oatmeal with cinnamon for flavor
Enjoy those healthy and hearty snacks 🙂
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC