February is American Heart Month. While we should be making heart-healthy choices year round, February is a month to educate about the best ways to care for your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but you can keep your heart healthy by eating healthy, exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. The vital nutrients in whole and enriched grains make wheat an essential part of a hearty-healthy plan.
According to the American Heart Association, a number of studies support the connection between consumption of whole grain foods – such as whole wheat – and the reduced risk of coronary heart disease. In addition to their many nutrients, whole grains are a good source for dietary fiber. Fiber, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce cholesterol levels and may lower risk for heart disease.
Whole and enriched wheat is also an important source of many other nutrients that provide heart healthy benefits:
- B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate): Play a key role in metabolism which can help manage weight.
- Folate (folic acid), one of the B vitamins: Help the body form red blood cells
- Iron: Used to carry oxygen in the blood.
- Magnesium: Build bones and release energy from muscles.
- Selenium: Important for a healthy immune system.
Wheat loves your heart year-round. Make wheat an essential part of your diet – combined with exercise and healthy living – for a heart-healthier you.
I “Heart” Wheat Campaign
This February, show your love for wheat! Download an “I ‘heart’ Wheat” sign here, snap a photo with the sign, and share your photos with NWF on social media throughout the month.