7 Heart Healthy Foods to Add to Your Diet TODAY ❤️

February is all about the heart! Yes, we’re talking about Valentine's Day, but it’s also National Heart Health Awareness month, too, which is a cause that’s really near and dear to our hearts here at CLEAN.FIT! ❤️ So in honor of National Heart Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing 7 Heart Healthy Foods you need in your diet, below!

🌱 Leafy greens 🌱 ALL THE GREENS. 🌱 We don’t discriminate! Except, the greenier, the leafier, the better. 😉 Spinach, kale, bok choy, collard greens pick your poison! Except poison is totally the wrong word here 😅 because you’ll only find essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Studies show that a higher intake of leafy greens is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

🍣 Fatty fish such as salmon 🍣 Eating fatty fish like salmon regularly has numerous benefits, including improved heart health. We NEED omega-3 fatty acids in our diet, and fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. 🐟 Did you know that many Americans do not get enough omega-3's in their diet? Yup. It’s time to load up your cart at the grocery store!

🍫 Dark Chocolate 🍫 YES: we’re telling you that chocolate has health benefits! 😍 Dark chocolate, that is. Dark chocolate is well-known for its antioxidants like flavonoids, which make it a great heart healthy treat to enjoy in moderation! Eating chocolate is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Consuming chocolate in moderation (less than 6 servings a week) may decrease your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, studies show.

🥣 Whole Grains like Oatmeal 🥣 Arguably one of the most versatile foods for breakfasts - oats are nourishing whole grains and a great source of vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol-lowering fiber. It is an incredible source of beta-glucan fiber, a form of soluble fiber that is linked to improving LDL and total cholesterol levels, and therefore aiding in heart health.

🍏 Fruit 🍏 Fruit (yes, fruit) has the power to improve your heart health. “Eat the rainbow” works for both fruits and vegetables! 🌈 However, different fruits contain different nutrients, which is why it’s important to consume a variety. It’s loaded with nutrients that can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and help you lose weight—all three of which are good for your overall heart health.

🧆 Legumes 🧆 As a terrific, low-fat source of fiber, B vitamins and plant-based protein, legumes (think beans, lentils, and peas) help satiate you in a healthy way. Protein comes from plant sources as well as animal sources. In fact, every plant we eat has at least a little bit of protein in it, and some have a lot—like beans, Beans and other legumes benefit cardiovascular health as they are high in minerals, fiber, and various micronutrients without the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. Eating beans as part of a heart healthy diet and lifestyle may help improve your blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease.

🌰 Nuts 🌰 Go NUTS! (but just a little!) 😜 Crunchy nuts are petite powerhouses of taste and nutrition. They’re portable and delicious; both whole and in nut butter form, spread on apple slices, celery sticks and bananas. Rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese, nuts provide another plant-based protein source. Walnuts are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids, similar to the heart-healthy fat found in oily fish, but they are a lot easier to stash in your pocket or purse. Thus, eating walnuts, in particular, can help reduce blood pressure, decrease inflammation, lower LDL and total cholesterol levels.

We challenge you to incorporate at least ONE of these foods into your diet today, to take care of that big, beautiful heart of yours! 😍💕

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