Bashers was awesome and sent this over for you all in time for Valentines Day but I have been very busy getting older with some celebrations of my own and well basically I took a little break. So forgive me for this being a little late.

As you know Solemother brings about so many positive changes. Some you can see and others you can’t. On the days that I feel like a whale (normally at a similar time each month) I remind myself of how skinny my heart is and I’m probably the fittest I have been since I was a child!

As February is the month full of hearts and romance I asked Bashers for some advice on how to keep our Solemother Tickers in tip top condition…

We know that healthy eating and living, make a huge difference to a healthy heart!

So what you should be including in your diet to keep your ticker happy for decades to come?!…Here are my top 12 guys….

Oats
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol. If you can, try and steer clear of instant oats/porridge, which often contains sugar, and heading instead for old-fashioned or even quick-cooking oats. Other whole grains such as bread, pasta and grits are also good for the heart as long as they still contain the entire grain.

Blueberries
Not just blueberries, but strawberries and other berries as well. According to a 2013 study women aged 25 through 42 who ate more than three servings of blueberries and strawberries a week had a 32% lower risk of heart attack compared with those who ate less.

Dark chocolate
Several studies have now shown that dark chocolate may benefit your heart, including one in 2012 that found that daily chocolate consumption could reduce nonfatal heart attacks and stroke in people at high risk for these problems. The findings applied only to dark chocolate, meaning chocolate made up of at least 60-70% cocoa. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids called polyphenols, which may help blood pressure, clotting, and inflammation. Unfortunately, milk chocolate don’t make the grade when it comes to protecting your heart!!

Citrus fruits
Women who consume high amounts of the flavonoids found in oranges and grapefruits have a 19% lower risk of ischemic stroke (caused by a clot) than women who don’t get as much of these compounds, a 2012 study found. Citrus fruits are also high in vitamin C, which has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Beware of citrus juices that contain added sugar.

Soy
Soy products, including tofu and soy milk, are a good way to add protein to your diet without unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Soy products contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats (good for your health), fiber, vitamins, and minerals. What’s more, soy may reduce blood pressure in people who eat a diet high in refined carbohydrates. And compared with milk or other proteins, soy protein can actually decrease LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

Potatoes
There’s no reason to shun potatoes because they’re white and look like a “bad” starch. As long as they’re not deep fried, potatoes can be good for your heart. They’re rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. And they’re high in fiber, which can lower the risk for heart disease. They are definitely not a junk food or refined carbohydrate. They have a lot of health benefits!

Salmon
Salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel are the superstars of heart-healthy foods. That’s because they contain copious amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, shown in studies to lower the risk of irregular heart beat and plaque build-up in the arteries. Aim to try and eat fish and preferably fatty fish at least twice a week. Omega-3 fatty acids are also available as dietary supplements if this is unrealistic or you just don’t like fish!!

Tomatoes
Like potatoes, tomatoes are high in heart-healthy potassium. Plus, they’re a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may help get rid of “bad” cholesterol, keep blood vessels open, and lower heart attack risk. And because they’re low in calories and low in sugar, they don’t detract from an already-healthy diet. They’re excellent for the body in a number of ways!

Nuts
This includes almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamia nuts, all of which contain good-for-your-heart fiber. They also contain vitamin E, which helps lower bad cholesterol. And some, like walnuts, are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Look for varieties that don’t have a lot of added salt.

Red wine
Red wine, or small amounts of any type of alcohol, are thought to lower heart disease risk. (Higher amounts, more than a drink or two a day, can actually increase risk.) While some say a polyphenol found in red wine, resveratrol, gives that beverage an added benefit, research suggests that any type of alcohol in moderation works. You can also get resveratrol from non-alcohol sources, like natural peanut butter and grapes.

Broccoli, spinach and kale
When it comes to your health, you really can’t go wrong with vegetables. But green vegetables may give an extra boost to your heart. These are high in carotenoids, which act as antioxidants and free your body of potentially harmful compounds. They’re also high in fiber and contain tons of vitamins and minerals. Kale also has some omega-3 fatty acids. Green vegetables are super health-promoting foods!

Avocado
These soft, tasty fruits have a well-established reputation for providing the body and heart with healthy fats. Like olive oil, they’re rich in the monounsaturated fats that may lower heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol. They’re also high in antioxidants and in potassium They can be eaten on their own or try blendung into guacamole, perhaps with some heart-promoting tomatoes!

Incorporating just a couple of these food/drink sources into your diet will really help to keep those hearts happy, warm and healthy!!
Happy Heart Munching Solemothers!
xx

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