According to the Women's Heart Foundation, 267,000 American women die from heart attacks every year, which is six times the number of deaths caused by breast cancer. Another 31,837 women die each year of congestive heart failure, representing 62.6 percent of all heart failure deaths.
Eating smart is one of the best ways to have a healthy heart.
According to nutritionist Malena Perdomo, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, it is essential to keep a low-fat diet, especially in saturated fat and transfat.
Here are some heart healthy foods to keep your precious ticker in shape. These recommendations were provided by registered dietitian, Jennifer Shea.
Avocados. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats and plant sterols, which are compounds that may help reduce bad levels of cholesterol in the blood. To add this magical fruit to your diet, consider incorporating some with your salad or sandwich.
Bananas. Bananas, which are loaded with potassium, help the body maintain a healthy blood pressure as well as balance the sodium and water in the body. Consider replacing oil in some recipes with ½ cup mashed banana and 4 tablespoons of oil to replace 1 cup of oil.
Black or Kidney Beans. Beans contain protein and carbohydrates, as well as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber can help reduce LDL (bad) levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Blueberries. Blueberries are one of the most powerful disease fighting foods. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. All berries are heart-healthy and packed with antioxidants, including raspberries, cranberries and strawberries.
Broccoli. Broccoli contains vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, calcium and fiber. Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are also packed with powerful antioxidants, which may have anti-cancer properties.
Oatmeal. According to the American Cancer Society, it has been found that those who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease. Oats are whole grains rich in a satiating soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan can help decrease the total and LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood. Shea recommends a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, topped with fresh fruit and walnuts, or in the evening as a heart-healthy dessert.
Salmon. The American Heart Association advises eating salmon and other omega-3 rich foods twice a week for heart health benefits. Salmon (including canned salmon) is rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Omega-3 fatty acids may help protect against irregular heart rhythms and may offer defense against depression and age-related memory loss.