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Ask the RD: Heart Health

In honor of American Heart Month, we asked our Registered Dietitian… “How can I keep my heart healthy?”

February is American Heart Month, a time when we can focus on our cardiovascular health! Among many other ways to keep your heart healthy (reducing sodium intake, staying active, and managing stress), you can look to antioxidants to help. Antioxidants protect against damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are produced by natural processes in the body, but they can also be caused by sun exposure, tobacco, and pollution. Antioxidants help to keep the number of free radicals in your body down. An excess amount of free radicals can damage your heart and cause heart disease. Antioxidants are found in many foods including fruits, vegetables, and chocolate.

Types of Antioxidants:

Vitamin C: Found in citrus, fruits, berries, tomatoes and mangoes

Vitamin E: Found in vegetable oils like olive oil, nuts and whole grains

Beta Carotene: Found in a variety of dark orange, red, yellow and green fruits and vegetables

Polyphenols: Found in fruits, legumes, spices and dark chocolate