From fresh food to outdoor activities, summer is a great season for cardiovascular health.
The arrival of summer means days at the pool, outdoor activities, and family picnics. Summer also provides extra opportunities to improve your heart health. The warm weather and longer days allow you to squeeze in more exercise, for example. The season also gives you a chance to enjoy your favorite summer foods. Here are the top five summertime foods that can improve your cardiovascular health.
The Five Sensational Summer Foods You Need for a Healthier Heart
Avocados are a heart healthy alternative to butter or mayonnaise. Slathering on a ¼ cup serving of pureed avocados or tossing a one-quarter cup of diced avocados onto a salad provides six grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, yet it is only 90 calories, which is less than a tablespoon of mayo or butter. Monounsaturated fat can lower cholesterol, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Tomatoes are one of summer’s tastiest heart-healthy foods. There is a wide variety of fresh tomatoes available from July to October. Anything, from cherry tomatoes to Roma tomatoes, are grown during those months. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect your body cells from damage and may also lower your cholesterol.
Eating a 4-ounce serving of wild-caught salmon two times each week supplies you with all the essential omega-3 fatty acids you need for cardiovascular health. These fatty acids help to lower your risk of sudden cardiac death, reduce the formation of blood clots, and slow the accumulation of plaque in your arteries. Omega-3 fatty acids can also decrease triglycerides, which are a type of fat.
Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are not just for salads anymore! Your summer sandwich cries out for fresh red or green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, or spinach. Add kale, collards, turnip greens, Swiss chard, and red or green cabbage to your favorite salads or summertime dishes. Dark leafy greens have the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your heart needs for good health. These greens are also low in calories, with a cup of raw spinach providing only 7 calories.
Is there anything better than fresh fruit on a hot summer day? Probably not! A serving of fresh fruit is the ultimate refreshment on a hot day, and it helps your heart stay healthy. Diets rich in fruits can help lower your blood pressure. The water in fruit can also keep you hydrated on hot days.
For more information on the best foods to eat for optimal heart health, speak with a doctor, nutritionist, or other health professional. Schedule an appointment today with Virtual Imaging, Inc by calling 770-730-0119.