February is National Heart Month, but how many of us really worry about our heart health, as opposed to whether or not we are alone on Valentine’s Day? Everywhere you go the retail version of cupid slaps you in the face with a reminder to buy your loved one a precious bouquet…of overpriced cheap candy bars that the grocery store florist taped to a stick and put in a cheap vase…go ahead and plan on spending the rest of your Valentine’s Day alone if this is the item you have selected for your loved one.  Instead of focusing on a Hallmark holiday, we should be more concerned about the actual health of our heart. You know, that thing that keeps us alive.

Nearly 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, according to the CDC. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and contributes to 1 in every 4 deaths. The good news is that about 80 percent of heart disease is preventable, but you have to be proactive, living a healthy lifestyle and following a healthy diet.

Ditching processed foods, is highly encouraged, of course, but also, make sure you’re loading up on foods that will help your heart. Here, are 7 foods you should consider adding to your diet on a regular basis:

1. Wild Salmon. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it can reduce blood pressure and may help prevent clotting. Remember, wild salmon is better than farm-raised, because it is free of pesticides.

2. Avocados. Full of monounsaturated fatty acids, avocados will help lower cholesterol levels. The potassium in them also helps control blood pressure, not to mention, they are delicious and easy to add into anyone’s diet.

3. Nuts. Walnuts, in particular, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent blood clots. Almonds and macadamia nuts, for example, are full of mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which help improve “good” cholesterol, and lower “bad” cholesterol.

4. Berries. No matter your berry of choice, they are loaded with anti-inflammatories, which will help reduce your rise of heart disease.

5. Asparagus. Containing heart-healthy anti-inflammatory nutrients, asparagus can help regulate blood pressure and prevent clotting.

6. Dark Chocolate. Eating dark chocolate, 85% cocoa is best, can help lower bad cholesterol. And as if we need another excuse to eat chocolate, it can also help prevent blood from clogging your arteries.

7. Red Wine. They polyphenols found in red wine, can help prevent heart disease, and help increase good cholesterol. Keep in mind, of course, that excessive drinking damages the heart, so enjoy your red wine in moderation.

At our Indianapolis chiropractic clinic, we believe health is important all the time, because what you do now, you will feel later. Be mindful of your diet and lifestyle on a daily basis. Contact us today for more advice on how to become healthier and maintain that lifestyle.

Related: Are You Feeding Your Heart Attack?, Trying to Get Healthy, but Not Sure Where to Start?, and You’re Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle

About Integrated Health Solutions

Dr. Charbel Harb is a licensed chiropractic physician and the Medical Director of Integrated Health Solutions. Our core belief is that each patient who walks through the doors is a person, not just a medical record or chart. Our greatest pleasure is bringing joy to our patients and helping them to fully embrace life, allowing them to enjoy each day: active, healthy and pain free.