Obviously there are more than 5 foods that are good for your heart, but we found the easiest, best ones to add to your diet to keep your cardiovascular system running smoothly.

So you don't smoke, you exercise, and you keep your fast food and dining out experiences to a minimum. First of all, awesome! That's more than tough to do, but your body will thank you, especially your heart. But there are some foods you can pick up on your next grocery shopping trip and start incorporating them into your everyday meals, without even really noticing. But your heart will notice... In a good way.

WebMD released an article naming the top 11 heart-healthy foods. Yes, all these foods are great and should be added to any diet, but some of them aren't as easy to add to your diet (and let's be honest, some of them aren't the tastiest). We picked five of our favorites off their list, that we think you'll easily be able to add them to your eating habits. And here they are:

Walnuts: It's easy to grab a handful of walnuts and add them to a salad, or eat them by themselves as a snack. According to WebMD,

Nibbling on 5 ounces of nuts each week may cut your risk of heart disease in half...

That seems like a good enough reason in itself. WebMD also says that walnuts cut the bad cholesterol, while raising "good" cholesterol.

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Raspberries: Again, raspberries can easily be added to a salad or eaten by themselves. Or make a healthy fruit smoothie packed with these guys. WebMD says,

These berries are loaded with polyphenols -- antioxidants that mop up damage-causing free radicals in your body. They also deliver fiber and vitamin C, which are both linked to a lower risk of stroke.

Avocados: It's hard to go anywhere without hearing about the benefits of avocados. This food is a bigger hit than kale was when it was named a "superfood." But avocados are a lot easier to stomach and can be eaten many ways. A simple light breakfast of avocado toast goes pretty far. You can add avocados into your lunch or dinner, put it on a sandwich, turn it into guacamole for dipping chips... The list goes on. Avocados are full of antioxidants and "good fats," which keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

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Dark Chocolate: We saved the best for last. Okay, so it's not the best, most-great heart healthy thing you can eat, but it is good for your heart, and adding chocolate to your diet shouldn't be too hard to do. BUT remember, we're talking about dark chocolate here, not milk chocolate. According to WebMD,

Cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, is rich in flavanols, which can help lower your blood pressure and prevent blood clots. It also acts as an antioxidant, which can keep “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls.

They suggest having dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa, to get the best heart-healthy results.

Whether you're on your final steps of being a very healthy, well-rounded adult, or you're just starting on your journey to health and fitness (and bettering yourself), heart health should always be a priority. And with these five foods, being heart-healthy has never been so easy.

We're proud to once again team up with the American Heart Association of Central New York and their Go Red for Women Campaign. Over the next few months we'll continue to give you information on everything from diet and exercise for heart health, to articles bringing awareness to heart disease and stroke. We'll be sharing local survivor stories of heart attacks, disease, and stroke, and bring awareness to the warning signs and precautionary measures to help us all live longer, healthier lives.

Our next big event is the "Go Red for Women Luncheon" coming up in May. We'll keep you updated on this event and other events in the area in the next few weeks.

 


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