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5 Foods for Your Heart

February is Heart Health Month - look for advice throughout the month intended to help you manage cardio-related health concerns.
Adopting prudent lifestyle habits and eating a healthy diet are the best ways to achieve optimal fitness. You can help minimize risks of heart disease and promote a strong cardiovascular system by adding these anti-inflammatory foods to your diet:
•Nuts. Nuts, especially macadamias, almonds, walnuts and cashews, contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Eat a moderate portion every day.
•Whole soy protein. If you substitute whole soy protein, such as edamame(soy) or tofu, for animal protein each day, you can lower levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid linked to increased risk of heart disease.
•Fresh garlic. This medicinal herb may help lower cholesterol levels. Use one or two raw or lightly cooked cloves a day.
•Green tea. It provides EGCG, a polyphenol than may help to moderate inflammation and lower cholesterol. Substitute a cup of heart-healthy green tea for your morning coffee or afternoon soda.
•Soluble fiber. It has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. Beans, legumes and whole grains are good sources to add to your diet - aim for 1-2 servings per day.

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