Of the risk factors we can control to prevent heart disease, what we eat and how much we move our bodies are the two most important. In this special Heart Month edition of Vive!, we'll share five delicious super foods that can lower your risk of heart disease, links to our dieticians' favorite healthy recipe websites, and a reminder of our fitness programs. Here's to your heart health!
|Five Foods that Could Save Your Heart|
Five Super Foods for Heart Health
"While there are many heart healthy foods out there, there are five standout superfoods for heart health," says dietitian Meagan Kennedy, RD, CSO, LD. Try adding these to your menu this heart month, and throughout the year:
- Salmon and cold water fish. "These fish are super rich in omega 3 fatty acids which can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, raise your HDL (good) cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure," Kennedy says. "Eating two servings a week can reduce your risk of a heart attack by a third." If you are not a fan of salmon, oily fishes like mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines offer the same benefits.
- Nuts. "Nuts contain heart healthy fats as well as Omega 3's," Kennedy says. "Nuts can also increase fiber in the diet and be a non-animal source of protein." The recommended serving size for nuts is 1 oz (a small handful). "Eating a handful of nuts about five times a week can reduce your chances of having a heart attack by at least 15%," Kennedy says.
- Oatmeal. This fiber rich superfood can lower your LDL cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. Oatmeal is full of Omega 3s and rich in folate and potassium. "Opt for coarse or steel cut oats over instant varieties to get a higher fiber content," Kennedy says. "Adding fresh fruit and flaxseed can make this comforting breakfast dish even more fiberlicious!"
- Beans and Legumes. "Eating beans and legumes is a great way to fill up on soluble fiber, and they are packed with Omega 3's and calcium," Kennedy says. Mixed with whole grains, legumes like beans, peas, lentils, soy and peanuts can be a complete protein and a healthy way to get vegetarian based protein. "To keep your sodium levels in check, avoid canned beans and legumes unless they are low in sodium or rinsed before cooking," Kennedy says.
- Berries. All types of berries are full of anti-inflammatory properties which have been linked to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. "All berries are great for your vascular health, so it does not matter if you prefer strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or blueberries - take your pick!" Kennedy says. Eating berries with skins is another way to increase your daily fiber intake.
To make an appointment for a personal nutrition consultation, visit us online or call 864-675-4323.
Best Clicks: Healthy Recipes
Who couldn't use some health meal inspiration now and then? Click around some of our dietitians' favorite heart healthy recipe websites to add some healthy flair to your weekly meal plan:
HealThy Self Medical Fitness Program
Eating healthy is critical to good heart health, but getting some sort of exercise most days of the week is another major piece of the puzzle. Need some motivation? We invite you to join the HealThy Self Medical Fitness Program, a 12-week program guided by medical professionals that gets (and keeps) you moving at the level that's right for you. For more program and rate information, call 864-400-3651.
Get to Know the Newest Additions to the Bon Secours Medical Group
The Bon Secours Medical Group consists of outstanding physicians and specialists who work together to bring a special level of care to our patients. We are delighted to welcome the following physicians to the St. Francis family:
Doctor's Family Medicine
Michael C. Chappell, Jr., MD
Benjamin A. Hester, Jr., MD
Commonwealth Women's Care
Everett P. Fuller, MD, FACOG
David A. Godwin, MD, MSPH, FACOG
Chyrel E. Stoner, MD, FACOG