What if I told you that was only 20% of the equation to a happy healthy and strong heart?

The other 80% of the equation comes from our nutrition so what we put into our bodies each and every day. Your nutrition plays a vital role in the health of your heart and it can also impact your risk of heart disease. Now, you may be asking yourself why should you care about this? Well, I am going to talk to you about why.

Diet plays a major role in improving you heart’s health, but it can also negatively impact your risk of heart disease. Certain foods can negatively influence blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation. This is important because all of these are risk factors for heart disease. Heart disease accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide so we want to create healthy habits to improve our chances and create and happy and healthy heart.

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So let’s chat about a few foods that positively impact our hearts health.

The first food comes from the good old group that our moms and dads were always telling us as kids we had to eat before we could leave the dinner table and they are leafy greens aka our vegetables. A few types of leafy greens include spinach, kale, and collard greens. I don’t know about you but as a kid, I hated to eat anything that was green, but my parents knew my body needed these greens and here is why. Leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Specifically, they are rich in vitamin K which helps to protect your arteries and promote proper blood clotting.

The next one we are going to chat about is whole grains. This includes whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat and quinoa. Whole grains are important because they are higher in fiber than refined grains which may help reduce bad cholesterol which is a risk factor for heart disease and decrease your risk of heart disease.

The last food we are going to go over is dark chocolate. Yes, you heard me right, I said dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants which can increase your heart’s health. There are numerous studies that discuss the benefits of dark chocolate and several of which are associated with eating dark chocolate can lower your risk of heart disease. I don’t know about you but any excuse to eat chocolate, I am totally down for.

Today, we only discussed a few types of foods that can help give us a happy and healthy heart. There are many more like berries, tomatoes, avocados, beans to name a few. Do some research and find out what foods you enjoy eating are also good for your heart. I always like to say color your plate with foods you love to eat.

Find a balance between heart healthy exercise and foods and you will be creating a happy, healthy, and strong heart because at the end of the day, you would rather be the one performing CPR than receiving it.