There are a lot of foods that are heart healthy, but which ones should you eat during the summer months?
1) Berries – it's berry season and that means time to stock up on your flavonoid intake. Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries all contain healthy ingredients in their brightly-colored skins that improve the lining of your arteries and your heart.
2) Spinach – go pick it from your garden or pick it up fresh at the farmer’s market! Spinach is high in magnesium, which is important for blood pressure. It helps to relax your smooth muscle, thus lowering your numbers. Eating at least a half cup will give you 75 mg of this powerful vitamin!
3) Artichokes – each one gives you 100 mg of magnesium (see spinach). Artichokes are also full of fiber that can help lower your cholesterol and cleanse your liver.
4) Avocados – once summer comes around, it’s the perfect time for chips, dip and guacamole. Switch out the chips for carrots and not only will you lower your salt intake, but you’ll greatly increase your potassium with 540 mg per avocado! Potassium is an important mineral (like magnesium) to help lower blood pressure. Be aware that not every person is a good candidate for potassium – talk with your health care provider.
5) Broccoli – this member of the cruciferous family contains about 100 mg of calcium and is high in an ingredient that helps fight atherosclerosis of your arteries.
Vary your food routine and make sure you are eating a colorful palate of fruits and vegetables every day. Remember vegetables are just as important as fruits and do not contain much sugar. Drink enough water, exercise and consult with your health care practitioner about a heart-healthy plan specifically designed for your needs and concerns.