Three Ideas to add Heart Healthy Foods to Your Diet

February is “Heart Healthy” month. Millions of people are diagnosed with heart disease every year.

One of the best ways to prevent heart disease is by eating a heart healthy diet. Many people believe that switching to a heart healthy diet means changing everything they eat and denying themselves the things they love; this is not the case! Here are three easy changes you can make to eat healthier and give your heart, and body, the love it deserves.

#1 Add fruits and vegetables to your snacks and meals

Fruits and vegetables give your body vitamins, minerals, and fiber it needs to run smoothly.

Snack Ideas:

  • Celery slices with peanut butter
  • Fruit slices with Greek yogurt
  • Strawberries with ricotta cheese
  • Carrots and hummus
  • Prosciutto-wrapped figs

How colorful can you make your salad?

A great way to get your 5-7 daily servings of fruits and vegetable is in a salad with your meal. A salad doesn’t have to be the boring iceberg, carrots, and ranch dressing side salad most restaurants serve. Make it exciting with a colorful array of vegetables and fruit.

Red: peppers, onion, tomato, strawberries

Orange: carrots, oranges, peppers, cantaloupe

Yellow: pepper, lemon juice, bananas

Green: lettuce (iceberg, romaine, spinach, spring greens), pepper, broccoli,

Blue: blueberries

Purple : raisins, grapes, eggplant

#2 Eat More Fiber!

Did you know it is recommended that adult men should get 30-38 grams of fiber a day and adult women should get 21-25 grams a day? Not only does fiber help regulate your system, it helps you feel more full so you end up eating less. Here are some foods that are excellent sources of fiber:

  • Apples: 1 medium-sized apple has 5 grams of fiber
  • Raspberries: 1 cup of raspeberries contains 8 grams of fiber
  • Chia seeds: 1 tablespoon has 5.5 grams of fiber
  • Lentils: 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 15 grams of fiber
  • Broccoli: 1 cup has 5 grams of fiber

#3 Eat the Most Important Meal of the Day

In the rush of the morning, some of us forget to eat breakfast. One of the most significant changes a person can make is to start the day with a healthy breakfast. This may help keep the body’s energy level steady and prevent late morning “crashes” and the need to eat sugary snacks. Many healthy breakfast options take less than 10 minutes to make.

  • Oatmeal: 1 cup of oatmeal contains 5 grams of fiber. Add fruit and some milk for vitamins and calcium
  • Whole grain cereals: Whole grains help reduce “bad” cholesterol levels. These cereals provide a good base for adding fruit and milk to have a complete breakfast.
  • Healthy proteins: egg whites are an excellent source of protein. Combine them with different varieties of vegetables and herbs for a tasty omelet. Add slices of hard-boiled egg to a toasted whole-wheat English muffin.

Take time this February to show your heart some love by feeding it healthy, nourishing food.

For more ideas on how to eat a more heart healthy diet, please visit our heart healthy diet page.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.