Let’s hear it for the heart! This fist-sized muscle keeps our body going strong. Taking good care of the heart is where to start if you want to be healthy overall.
How to Improve Heart Health
Some key strategies for heart healthy living include:
- Enjoying heart healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high quality protein and healthy fats from oils.
- Knowing your limits. Keeping your body at a healthy weight is so important for heart health. Eating moderate portions and listening to your body before reaching for seconds can help keep calories check. Naturally portion-controlled whole fruits and veggies, and single-serving products like snack bars and nutritional drinks can help with portion sizing and prevent overindulging.
- Being physically active. Increasing your heart rate with moderate to vigorous physical activity helps keep your heart going strong.
- Refraining from smoking. We know that smoking damages the lungs, but don’t forget that the zlungs and heart work together. The lungs infuse oxygen to blood, which then travels to the heart to be pumped out to the rest of the body. Chemicals in inhaled smoke also gets into the blood, which can then cause damage to the heart.
7 Great Foods for Heart Health
When it comes to heart healthy eating, it’s helpful to have a few staple foods on hand. That way, if you’re in a crunch and can’t decide what to make for dinner, or if you’re in a pinch and need a quick snack, you know that you’ll have some heart healthy options to grab, like these:
- Fatty fish, like salmon, sardines and anchovies. These types of fish have EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats that support heart health. Plus, they’re a great source of protein for muscle health and vitamin B12 for creating red blood cells
- Nuts and nut butters, including peanuts, peanut butter, almonds and walnuts. Nuts are also great sources of unsaturated fats, the kind that doesn’t clog blood vessels.
- Berries, like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. All fruits are terrific for heart health, but berries tend to be the fruits highest in heart-healthy fiber.
- Oats of all types: steel cut, old fashioned, and quick cooking. Oats are a whole grain food, so they are low in fat and full of fiber. In fact, the type of fiber in oats, beta glucan, is especially important to support healthy blood cholesterol levels.
- Vegetables: the whole rainbow of them! Yes, greens are great, such as lettuce, spinach and broccoli, but don’t forget the oranges, yellow, reds, even purples and white. All vegetables have fiber and vitamins, but the bundle of nutrients is different from color to color. (The same is true of fruits, too!)
- Low-fat dairy like milk, yogurt and cottage cheese. Not only does dairy have bone-building and muscle-supporting calcium, but milk and yogurt also have heart-healthy nutrients like potassium and magnesium.
- Beans and other legumes like lentils and peas. Beans pull double duty as both a vegetable and a protein. These nutrient-rich power foods provide fiber, folate and iron to help support heart health.
Also look for foods and beverages that contain specific nutrients to help support heart health. Many BOOST® nutritional drinks contain thiamin (a B vitamin), magnesium and potassium, key nutrients to help support heart health. Even the most heart healthy diets might need additional nutrients to round them out and help fill nutritional gaps.
Look for BOOST nutritional drinks at your local grocery store. You can also purchase BOOST® products online at BOOST.com. Products are backed by the BOOST® Great Taste Guarantee. Terms and conditions apply.