A healthy diet equals a happy heart. When reconsidering your food habits, think of meals that have everything in its natural form. The way it comes from the ground, not canned or processed. Fresh foods and produce are the cornerstone for a healthy diet and a healthy heart. If we want to protect our hearts and bodies from disease, we must begin by eating foods that our organism needs. Cardiovascular health begins by wiping free radicals from the bloodstream.

Hearty foods like whole grains, beans and legumes, fatty fish and nuts are important in providing the heart’s protective phytonutrients. It is true that there is not a “magical food” that is going to give you all the nutrients your heart needs; however, there are several ways to get the right combination of nutrients to make that perfect cocktail for your heart. Here are some foods that you may want to consider for your daily meals.

1. Salmon: It’s fishy, but rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon has been listed as a top performer for overall cardiovascular health. It is a great fish to add to your menu.

2. Oatmeal: Hearty and filled with fiber, it has magnesium potassium, which plays an important role in controlling blood pressure.

3. Kidney Beans: This super food contains B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, soluble fiber. You can boil them, store them and add them to salads anytime. They are also a great side dish for dinner or to add them in soups.

4. Almonds: This great snack is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats and phytosterols. You can have them when stuck at the office, or add them to a smoothie, oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast.

5. Red Wine: Yes, wine. Studies have shown that one glass of red wine could improve HDL cholesterol –the good one. It has Catechins and reservatrol (flavonoids). There is evidence that people who drink wine have half the risk of dying from coronary heart disease or stroke as those who never drink it. Cheers! Here’s to good health!

There are so many factors that lead to heart disease: what your diet consists of, what age you are, what type of lifestyle you lead. There are some risk factors that you can’t control, but there are some you can. Why not take initiative of your own health and contribute to your heart by making better choices? I am a big fan of preventative care; I believe that you can take measures that can target the causes of these diseases. Many people out there are dealing with these very difficult diseases symptomatically, by taking medications instead of changing their diet. It is important to pay attention, a little change in what you are eating can have a huge impact on your heart’s life.

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com

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