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      Weight Watchers Shares Five Foods for a Healthy Heart

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      The World Health Organization says heart disease is the number one cause of death across the globe, which is why February is American Heart Health Month.

      Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and health officials are urging individuals to check food choices, not only for a smaller waistline, but for a healthier heart.

      Weight Watchers is sharing the five foods that should be kept in the pantry or refrigerator for a healthy heart.

      • Almonds are a nutritionpowerhouse. They contain high levels of vitamin E and many phytochemicals,compounds that may help protect you against cardiovascular disease and evensome cancers.
        • To avoid overindulging, Weight Watchers recommends dividing up a container into baggies of individual portion sizes.
      • Sweet potatoes are loadedwith the antioxidants vitamins C and beta-carotene. Antioxidants help preventyour cells from becoming damaged, and may help lower your risk of heart problems andother diseases.
        • Weight Watchers advises swapping out your next dish of potatoes for sweet potatoes, but warns of going too heavy on the condiments.

      • Arugula is also rich in theantioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene. It's a good source of magnesium as well, which seems to have a positive impact on blood pressurelevels.
        • Weight Watchers says instead of using romaine or iceberg when making your favorite salad, swap it out for arugula or mix it withyour favorite salad.
      • Black beans, like most beans,are a very good source of dietary fiber which can help to lower bloodcholesterol levels. One cup of canned black beanswill give you almost half of what the USDA has determined as your daily fiberneed. Black beans are also loaded with protein, folate,magnesium and antioxidants.
        • Weight Watchers recommends adding them to all kinds of dishes, suchsalads, rice dishes or dips.
      • Salmonis full of omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation, can lowercholesterol and may aid in better heart health. Salmon also contains vitamins D and B12 and is generally leaner than other meats.

      Weight Watchers says maintaining a healthy weight or focusing on lifestyle changes that lead to a 5 to 10 percent loss in body weight will play a significant role in reducing the risk of heart disease.

      For more information, go to weightwatchers.com.

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