Have A Plant®: The Plant-Forward Eating Guide
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American Heart Month is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to show your heart some extra love. Though miniature in size, they are also proof that, when it comes to nutrition, good things really do come in small packages. And it’s as simple as Grabbing A Boost of Blue.

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major public health concern in the United States, and is currently the leading cause of death among both men and women Approximately 17.8 million deaths recorded in 2017 and can be attributed to CVD, with this number expected to grow to more than 22.2 million by 2030, according to a 2014 study (“Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2020 Update: A Report from the American Heart Association,” 2020). Pre-existing conditions that increase an individual’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, obesity and high blood-lipid levels.

Did You Know?

A growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that blueberries can be part of healthy eating patterns to improve cardiovascular health, especially as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated the intake of blueberries and heart health outcomes in individuals with metabolic syndrome.

4 Simple Ways To Love Your Heart

1. Talk About It: While it may be awkward to discuss heart disease, especially if someone you know is at risk, it could save a life. Have an honest heart-to-heart with your loved ones, even if it’s over a Zoom coffee chat.

2. Prioritize Healthy Eating: Start with small, attainable changes and then work your way up! Sub in a few healthier choices on your grocery list, create a healthier version of a traditional family recipe and boost your intake of fruits and vegetables are great places to begin. And don’t forget to add a boost of blue!

Here are some smart tips to add heart-healthy blueberries in your eating pattern:

  • Toss into a refreshing salad, or add as a topper to cereal or oatmeal.
  • Mix up a satisfying smoothie. You can even use frozen blueberries instead of ice!
  • In a hurry? Grab a handful of blueberries to enjoy on-the-go. They make a quick, packable snack for adults and kids alike.
  • Pair a handful with nuts, yogurt, granola, nut butter toast, cheese or a protein bar for a robust snack or mini-meal.

3. Move More: More time indoors has made it challenging to reach our physical activity goals. Sneak in some extra steps by taking a walk around the block during your lunch break, parking further away from the grocery store and finding a new workout on YouTube to get you in the fitness mood.

4. Hone In On Health Care: Have you had your blood lipid and cholesterol levels checked recently? If not, place a reminder in your phone to schedule an appoint with your healthcare provider. Your heart will thank you later.

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