Heart Healthy Foods

February 6, 2012 Updated Feb 6, 2012 at 9:16 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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February 6, 2012 Updated Feb 6, 2012 at 9:16 PM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) February is Heart Month, and if you want a healthier heart, it begins at the dining room table. Your food choices can directly impact your risk for developing heart disease.
Dietitians say one staple of any heart-healthy diet is beans.

Julia Zumpano, registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic says, "It's a nice way to get soluble fiber, plant protein, some extra vitamins and minerals and not have the extra saturated fat and cholesterol."

Dietitians say beans will also help lower your cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.

Another heart-healthy addition to any diet: berries.

Berries are antioxidants that are also high in vitamin C and phytonutrients, which help blood flow.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help cut your risk for heart disease, and salmon is one of the best sources.

Then, wash it all down with some red wine.

Red wine is packed with polyphenols that help lower blood pressure and increase your good cholesterol.

And for dessert, try a little dark chocolate. The flavinoids it contains protect your cells.

Dietitians say it's not about cutting out things you like from your diet to make it healthier for your heart; it's about finding good replacements.

Zumpano says, "Maybe you're replacing a red meat with salmon. Maybe you're replacing cheese with beans on a salad. Maybe you're replacing your beer or a margarita with a glass of red wine."

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