Ahhh, sweet summertime! The summer weather begs for outdoor BBQ’s, pool parties and backyard picnics. While many summer foods (hamburgers, hotdogs, and heavy cream-based salads) might not be so great for you, the fresh produce abounds during this time and many of them are great for a healthy heart. The heart health experts of AMS Cardiology are sharing some of their favorite healthy summer foods that are a particularly good choice to consume for a healthy heart this season.
One of our favorite good fat foods, avocados can be used as a great alternative to many heavier cream-based favorites like pasta or potato salad and dips. Avocados are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and just ¼ cup of pureed avocado clocks in at just 90 calories.
Tomatoes contain two main ingredients that are great for heart health—lycopene and potassium. Lycopene can help protect your cells from damage (think protection from sun damage) and it has also been shown to potentially lower LDL levels, or “bad” cholesterol. From July to October, these bright, juicy summer foods are in season so make sure to incorporate them into your diet today.
While many types of fish are chock full of beneficial omega-3’s, our favorite type to add to our healthy summer foods list is wild-caught salmon. Eating just 4 ounces of salmon twice a week can provide you with the recommended amount of EFA’s. EFA’s can help reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of developing heart disease. For an added nutritional boost, try grilling your wild-caught salmon, as this is one of the healthiest ways to prepare fish.
A healthy summer food staple, watermelon has many amazing benefits not only for your heart, but your overall well-being. Watermelon is rich in an amino acid called citrulline, which may help lower blood pressure. It’s also high in lycopene which helps to lower and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Dark, Leafy Greens
The easiest, no-cook meal of the summer, a giant salad filled with dark, leafy greens! Start with a base of romaine, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, arugula, spinach, or cabbage. Each type of cruciferous powerhouse delivers vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants and they’re extremely low in calories. Abundant in vitamin K, this vitamin is great for proper blood clotting.
While maintaining regular checkups and health screenings are essential, incorporating these heart healthy foods into your diet can also help protect your heart. At AMS Cardiology, we take pride in always being here for our patients, providing the best in comprehensive and preventative cardiology care. Contact us today at 215-517-1000 to learn more.