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What Should I Eat to Keep My Heart Healthy?

Did you know? Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. In fact, one person dies every 37 seconds from heart disease.

February is American Heart Month, so our team at AFC Urgent Care Chelmsford wants to offer some insight into how you can eat to protect your heart.

What Is a “Heart-Healthy” Diet?

There's no one-size-fits-all diet, even when it comes to your heart health. But research suggests that following the basics of the Mediterranean diet is a good place to begin. This set of healthy eating basics comes from the habits of those in the Mediterranean, which have been shown to promote good heart health.

Fill up your plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, including a good bit of fatty fish. Supplement with a small amount of healthy fat, like what's found in nuts and olive oil.

Worst Foods for Your Heart

  • Processed and cured meats
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Candy
  • Soft drinks and sugar-sweetened juices
  • Sugary cereals
  • Cookies and pastries
  • Margarine

Why Is Heart Health Important?

That's an easy question! It's important to keep your heart healthy because your heart is essential to keeping your body functioning optimally.

The heart is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body, so when it's not running effectively, it can negatively affect your entire body. Fortunately, healthy habits can help you protect your heart.

Ways to Strengthen Your Heart

  • Get moving more often.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat heart-healthy foods, such as fatty fish and olive oil.
  • Avoid overeating.
  • Practice stress management techniques, like meditation.
  • Control your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

A checkup can help you gain a good understanding of your health and how it can be improved. Stop by AFC Urgent Care Chelmsford today—no appointment is needed!