Heart Healthy Foods You Can Find at the Farmers Market

Heart disease was once considered only a man’s problem, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cardiovascular disease is also the number one killer of women in the U.S. In fact it’s estimated that 1 in 9 women ages 45- 64 have some form of heart disease and that ratio jumps to 1 in 3 for women over 65. So it’s essential that women as well as men, especially those with a family history of heart disease, adopt a heart healthy lifestyle and maintain it, as they get older.

“One way to jump start your heart healthy lifestyle is by paying careful attention to the types of foods you eat,” said Renee Greene RD, LDN, Wellness Dietitian at CVMC’s Health First Center. “Eating more naturally-grown foods like the berries, fruits and vegetables you can find at your focal farmers market can help in maintaining a healthy weight and benefit your heart/improve the function of your heart.”

There are so many options for local, naturally grown food in our area, giving us easy access to heart healthy produce. Did you know that the Unifour area hosts over 10 farmers markets through out the week?

Do your heart a favor by adding these foods to your list on your next visit to the famers market:

Tomatoes are high in lycopene which aids in disease prevention and an excellent source potassium, vitamins C and A, and fiber – a great heart-healthy combination of nutrients. They also help reduce inflammation that leads to heart attack and stroke

Berries (Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) are full of soluble fiber which helps lower blood-pressure and risk of heart attacks. They also have high levels of compounds that widen arteries which helps blood flow smoothly and prevents plaque buildup.

Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are low in cholesterol and high in fiber. They have detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant properties that help keep arteries from clogging.

Kale (or any leafy green) is great source of a specific kind of Omega-3 fatty acid (known to improve heart health) as well as inflammation-fighting minerals that help prevent plaque formation on your arteries.

Oranges lower blood pressure and reduce artery inflammation. Citrusy fruits contain a plant chemical that improves blood flow to the heart. It’s also rich in vitamin C which is known as a protector against stroke.

Apples contain pectin which blocks absorption of cholesterol, and fiber, which sweeps out cholesterol.

If you have additional questions about heart health and your diet, contact your primary care provider or visit Catawba Valley Medical Group online to find a primary care provider near you.

Special thanks to Catawba County Public Health for providing these photos from their Farmers Market. Check them out every Thursday in September from 10am – 1pm.