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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

With high blood pressure you want to have a diet low in sodium and fat, so here are the top foods you should really avoid.

Pickles

Pickles are low calorie, which is great, but they are loaded with sodium. One medium pickle (about 5 inches long) can have around 570 mg of sodium. That’s over 1/3 of your sodium limit (2300 mg) for the day!

Canned Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is often considered a comfort food, but it is not so comforting to know that there can be up to 880 mg of sodium in a one cup serving

Sauerkraut

It’s low calorie and a great way to add vegetables to a bratwurst, right? Nope. A half cup may only have about 13 calories, but it also has over 460 mg of sodium.

Fast Food French Fries

While many fast food chains are now frying their fries in trans fat free oil, not all of them are. Regardless, french fries still provide a large dose of fat and sodium. A medium serving of fries has about 19 grams of fat and 270 mg of sodium

Bacon

Bacon is mostly fat. Three slices have 4.5 grams of fat and about 270 mg of sodium. Opt for lower sodium varieties and try turkey bacon instead of pork. Even with these switches bacon should remain a “special treat”, not an everyday indulgence.

Whole Milk

Dairy is a great source of calcium, but high fat dairy sources, like whole milk, provide more fat than you need. A one cup serving of whole milk provides 8 grams of fat, 5 of which are saturated. Saturated fats are worse for you than other types and has been linked to heart disease. Try using 2% milk, or even better – 1% or skim.

Frozen Pot Pies

A single pot pie equals a serving of about 1300-1400 mg of sodium PLUS about 35 g of fat! Keep in mind that this is over 50% of your daily recommended values for both. The fat also includes trans fat, which you want to eliminate from your diet completely, and an unhealthy dose of saturated fat. Clear out your freezer!

Donuts

Donuts may be popular, but they sure aren’t very good for your health and body. Just one donut packs in 200 calories with 12 grams of fat.

Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are popular among college students, but they are not a healthy meal. One package of Ramen noodles adds 14 grams of fat to your day AND 1580 MG of sodium! Interestingly, it is actually the flavor packet that contains most of that sodium. (To the left is a look at the dry noodles before adding hot water).

Margarine

Margarine is not necessarily bad, you just have to make sure to pick the kind with no trans fats. Read the label closely. It is important for your health to avoid trans fats all together.

Sugar

Foods with extra calories and full of sugar cause you to gain weight. Obesity is a significant determinant for high blood pressure. The extra weight puts surplus strain on the heart and slows down the blood flow.

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption actively causes the blood pressure to elevate.  It also damages the walls of the blood vessels, while simultaneously increases risks of further complications.

Red Meat

A healthy eating plan should include only a small amount (if any) of saturated or trans-fats.  Fatty foods are bad for both the heart and blood vessels.  Avoid red meat and fast food along with other fats that include hydrogenated oils.

Table Salt

Too much sodium does direct damage to the heart and arteries and raises blood pressure significantly.

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10 common myths about food and diet

With an abundance of false advertising and old wives’ tales surrounding the healthy eating industry, it can be tough to know what’s really healthy and what just looks that way. Here are the truths behind some common food misconceptions.

Healthy equals low fat

Many people think that healthy food is low-fat food – and vice versa – but this is actually not a valid equation. Firstly, many low fat foods are not actually all that healthy. Many ready-meals, yoghurts and snacks for example, are advertised as low-fat, but that by no means makes them healthy if they are instead full of salt, additives and sugar.

The second thing to consider is that all fats are not the same, and some are actually very healthy. Monounsaturated fats, found in avocados, olive oil and nuts, can actually help weight loss, as well as keeping your heart healthy and lowering cholesterol. When comparing foods, it is important therefore to consider the type of fat in your foods – and also the food’s nutritional value – as well as quantities of fat.

Potatoes count as one of your recommended fruit and veg

With the government advising we increase our daily portions of fruit and veg, many of us are confused about what exactly counts towards this. Many joke about the nutritional value of chips and crisps as they come from potatoes, but the actual fact is that potatoes – in any form – are not the best choice of vegetable; in fact they do not even count in the UK as one of the recommended five a day.

While potatoes are still a good source of fibre, B vitamins and potassium, in terms of the UK’s five-a-day scheme, they are classified as a starchy food – or carbohydrate – rather than a vegetable. To increase your portions of veg, try replacing your baked potato with a sweet potato now and then, or mash a parsnip, sweet potato or swede in to your mash.

Only fresh fruit counts

Fortunately, it is not all bad on the fruit and veg score, as getting in your recommended portions of fruit is actually a lot easier than many people think. While eating whole fresh fruit is a great way to fill up and get healthy, fruit juice, dried fruit, frozen fruit and tinned fruit also count towards your recommended portions.

Not only that but many fruit-based desserts – such as apple pie, fruit crumble and fruitcake – count too. Although they may not be as great for your waistline or general health, provided they contain a relevant amount of fruit they will still count toward your recommended daily intake.

Natural means healthy

Just as a low-fat label does not automatically signal a healthy snack, neither does an “organic” or “natural” one. Although organic foods may be healthier than non-organic versions of the same snack, being organic or natural does not exclude foods from being loaded with salt, sugar or saturated fats.

Also, be wary of labels that state foods “contain” organic or natural ingredients, as very often this does not mean much at all. A fruit-flavoured product, for example, may claim it contains real fruit, but this doesn’t mean there is any substantial amount in the product – or indicate what the rest of the ingredients are. Although it is good to eat naturally and organically where possible, it is also important to check labels to make sure “natural” products are really as healthy as they seem.

Vegetarian diets are protein deficient

A common myth about the vegetarian diet is that it does not contain sufficient protein. One idea that contributes to this perception is that the body needs high levels of protein for health. However, studies have suggested that eating protein at very high levels could actually be bad for us, while Dr Matthew Piper, from the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London, has suggested that the vegetarian diet may actually help us live longer for this very reason.

The second misconception here is that meat is the best source of protein. In fact, most foods (including vegetables and grains) contain some level of protein, and there are many great sources of vegetarian protein around, which also have the added benefit of being free of the saturated fats found in most meat.

Food intolerances are the same as allergies

Many people use the phrases ‘food allergy’ and ‘food intolerance’ as though they were interchangeable, however this is not the case. Although many people believe they have food allergies, it is more likely they are suffering from food intolerance. While up to 45% of the UK population suffer from food intolerance according to Allergy UK, allergies are a lot rarer, affecting only 1-2% of people.

Also, while they are less common, the effects of food allergies are also a lot more severe since they involve the immune system, meaning that symptoms are often severe and can even be life-threatening. In contrast, food intolerances mainly involve the digestive system – with sufferers having trouble digesting food – and symptoms, although uncomfortable and even painful, are never life-threatening.

Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar

With many people longing for a way to indulge their sweet tooth and stay healthy at the same time, sugar is a common cause of misconceptions. One theory that many buy into is the idea that brown sugar (in the way of brown bread and rice) is healthier than the white variety, however this is not true.

Although brown sugar contains small traces of minerals (due to the presence of molasses), in reality they are such small traces that they are no real benefit to our health. Also, at the end of the day brown sugar is still sugar, and it brings with it all the same calories and health risks of white sugar, including increased risk of heart disease, tooth decay and obesity.

Cereal is the healthiest way to start the day

With many breakfast cereals packaged as health foods – perfect for weight loss and growing kids alike – it is not surprising that many of us view them in this way. However, this image is surprisingly inaccurate, as sugar levels in packaged cereals are often extremely high, even in the most “healthy” sounding brands. A recent study by Which? found that only one of the 100 leading brands of cereals they tested had healthy levels of fat, sugar and salt, while 22 of the cereals aimed at children contained more sugar per serving than a jam doughnut.

While it is true that many of these cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals, these nutrients are better taken in their natural form if possible, so stocking up on foods naturally abundant in vitamins and minerals and low in sugar – such as oats, sugar free muesli, wholegrain bread or eggs -would be a healthier, more nutritious breakfast choice.

Bottled water is better than tap

We are constantly encouraged to drink more water for our health, and a common misconception is that drinking it by the bottle is a much healthier way of doing this. While there has been no scientific evidence that bottled water is better for us, some studies have actually suggested it is worse.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) did a four-year review of the bottled water industry and found the water to be no safer or healthier, findings that were also confirmed in a separate study by the University of Geneva. The NRDC further concluded that 25% of the water they tested was in fact just tap water in a bottle. Studies have also suggested that bottled water may be worse for our health as chemicals (phthalates) from the bottles leach into the water over time, which may lead to hormone imbalance when consumed in high levels.

Craving is your body’s way of saying it needs something

A big misconception about food cravings is that they are our body’s way of telling us we are lacking a certain nutrient and need to remedy this immediately via a huge slab of chocolate cake (or your particular food of choice). However, while this theory may help ease our guilt over giving in to cravings, it has yet to be proven true, and more recent research has suggested that food cravings are in fact all in the mind.

A study published in the journal Appetite has suggested that many people crave the foods that they most attempt to resist, such as junk food. Research has also suggested that people simply crave the foods that they are most exposed to and familiar with, which is demonstrated by the fact that most people crave sugary, salty and fatty foods. Your body and mind will only crave the foods they remember, meaning that eating a healthy, balanced diet – with a little of what you fancy – should help to reduce those junk food cravings.

http://www.realbuzz.com/articles/top-10-food-misconceptions/#pagination-top

by Kiera Aaron August 30, 2011, 02:30 am EDT

Working out can eliminate signs of depression in people who are already taking medication, but still having symptoms, according to a new University of Texas study.

“About 70 percent of people on medication will still have signs of depression,” explains study author Madhukar Trivedi, M.D., professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “One treatment usually leads to improvement, not remission.”

In the study, 28 percent of people who worked out on a treadmill or stationary bike for 30 to 45 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week eliminated their symptoms. When another group exercised 2 to 3 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes, 16 percent saw symptoms disappear. “When we compared to other studies, we even found that exercise was just as effective as taking an additional medication,” says Dr. Trivedi.

This was especially true for men. Researchers found that men had a very low remission rate when they exercised only a little, but a high rate when they exercised a lot. (Women were less polarized.)

Researchers aren’t quite sure why depressed men need more exercise, but it certainly effects your hormones. “Exercise releases serotonin, which can help reduce symptoms of depression,” explains Dr. Trivedi. “We think that the feeling of accomplishment plays a role, too.”

If you’re feeling low, sign up for a 5K to boost both your serotonin and confidence, or better yet, try the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in a city near you. Just be sure to keep exercising after the race.

Trivedi also notes that exercise can’t replace a doctor when it comes to depression treatment. “Think of it like diabetes,” he says. “You’d eat right, but you’d still go for check-ups.”

http://news.menshealth.com/the-drug-free-depression-cure/2011/08/30/?cm_mmc=Yahoo_Blog-_-Health-_-5_Nutrients_You_Need_More_Of-_-Drugfree_Depression_Cure

By Bill Phillips and the Editors of Men’s Health Sep 01, 2011

After a long hard day at the office, I crave a manly dinner. Something that will sharpen my mind, feed my muscles, and infuse me with energy to keep up with two young kids till bedtime.

So, often, I have a bowl of cereal. With bananas and whole milk. Mmm.

Do I feel like I’m depriving my body of key nutrients? Quite the opposite, actually. My favorite dinner isn’t just for kids. It contains high levels of three nutrients that American adults need much more of: B12, potassium, and iodine. Our shortfalls with these nutrients—along with vitamin D and magnesium—have serious health consequences, including a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, fatigue, and weight gain.

Here’s the good news: These nutrients are readily available in the foods you know and love. You can get more of one simply by spending more time outside. That doesn’t sound so hard, does it? Here’s how to fortify your diet—and your health.

1. VITAMIN D This vitamin’s biggest claim to fame is its role in strengthening your skeleton. But vitamin D isn’t a one-trick nutrient: A study in Circulation found that people deficient in D were up to 80 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. The reason? Vitamin D may reduce inflammation in your arteries. Also, a University of Minnesota study found that people with adequate vitamin D levels release more leptin, a hormone that conveys the “I’m full” message to your brain. Even more impressive, the study also found that the nutrient triggers weight loss primarily from the belly. Another study found that people with higher D levels in their bloodstream store less fat.

The shortfall: Vitamin D is created in your body when the sun’s ultraviolet B rays penetrate your skin. Problem is, the vitamin D you stockpile during sunnier months is often depleted by winter, especially if you live in the northern half of the United States, where UVB rays are less intense from November through February. When Boston University researchers measured the vitamin D status of young adults at the end of winter, 36 percent of them were found to be deficient.

Hit the mark: First, ask your doctor to test your blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. “You need to be above 30 nanograms per milliliter,” says Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Boston University. Come up short? Eat foods like salmon (900 IU per serving), mackerel (400 IU), and tuna (150 IU). Milk and eggs are also good, with about 100 IU per serving. But to ensure you’re getting enough, take 1,400 IU of vitamin D daily from a supplement and a multivitamin. That’s about seven times the recommended daily intake for men, but it takes that much to boost blood levels of D, says Dr. Holick.

YOU, IMPROVED: If you have a problem, we have your solution. Click here for surprising ways to improve your life today!

2. MAGNESIUM This lightweight mineral is a tireless multitasker: It’s involved in more than 300 bodily processes. Plus, a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that low levels of magnesium may increase your blood levels of C-reactive protein, a key marker of heart disease.

The shortfall: Nutrition surveys reveal that men consume only about 80 percent of the recommended 400 milligrams (mg) of magnesium a day. “We’re just barely getting by,” says Dana King, M.D., a professor of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. “Without enough magnesium, every cell in your body has to struggle to generate energy.”

Hit the mark: Fortify your diet with more magnesium-rich foods, such as halibut, navy beans, and spinach. Then hit the supplement aisle: Few men can reach 400 mg through diet alone, so Dr. King recommends ingesting some insurance in the form of a 250 mg supplement. One caveat: Scrutinize the ingredients list. You want a product that uses magnesium citrate, the form best absorbed by your body.

DID YOU KNOW? There are 46,000 foods in the average supermarket. How to choose what to put in your cart? Here’s your shopping list: The 125 Best Foods.

3. VITAMIN B12 Consider B12 the guardian of your gray matter: In a British study, older people with the lowest levels of B12 lost brain volume at a faster rate over a span of five years than those with the highest levels.

The shortfall: Even though most men do consume the daily quota of 2.4 micrograms, the stats don’t tell the whole story. “We’re seeing an increase in B12 deficiencies due to interactions with medications,” says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., director of a USDA program at Tufts University. The culprits: acid-blocking drugs, such as Prilosec, and the diabetes medication metformin.

Hit the mark: You’ll find B12 in lamb and salmon, but the most accessible source may be fortified cereals. That’s because the B12 in meat is bound to proteins, and your stomach must produce acid to release and absorb it. Eat a bowl of 100 percent B12-boosted cereal and milk every morning and you’ll be covered, even if you take the occasional acid-blocking med. However, if you pop Prilosec on a regular basis or are on metformin, talk to your doctor about tracking your B12 levels and possibly taking an additional supplement.

4. POTASSIUM Without this essential mineral, your heart couldn’t beat, your muscles wouldn’t contract, and your brain couldn’t comprehend this sentence. Why? Potassium helps your cells use glucose for energy.

The shortfall: Despite potassium’s can’t-live-without-it importance, nutrition surveys indicate that young men consume just 60 percent to 70 percent of the recommended 4,700 mg a day. To make matters worse, most guys load up on sodium: High sodium can boost blood pressure, while normal potassium levels work to lower it, says Lydia A. L. Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.

Hit the mark: Half an avocado contains nearly 500 mg potassium, while one banana boasts roughly 400 mg. Not a fan of either fruit? Pick up some potatoes—a single large spud is packed with 1,600 mg. Most multivitamins have less than 100 mg of potassium, so eat your fruits and vegetables, folks!

5. IODINE Your thyroid gland requires iodine to produce the hormones T3 and T4, both of which help control how efficiently you burn calories. That means insufficient iodine may cause you to gain weight and feel fatigued.

The shortfall: Since iodized salt is an important source of the element, you might assume you’re swimming in the stuff. But when University of Texas at Arlington researchers tested 88 samples of table salt, they found that half contained less than the FDA-recommended amount of iodine. And you’re not making up the difference with all the salt hiding in processed foods—U.S. manufacturers aren’t required to use iodized salt. The result is that we’ve been sliding toward iodine deficiency since the 1970s.

Hit the mark: Sprinkling more salt on top of an already sodium-packed diet isn’t a great idea, but iodine can also be found in a nearly sodium-free source: milk. Animal feed is fortified with the element, meaning it travels from cows to your cereal bowl. Not a milk man? Eat at least one serving of eggs or yogurt a day; both are good sources of iodine.

Also, check out our list of the 40 Foods with Superpowers—foods that, even in moderation, can strengthen your heart, fortify your  bones, and boost your metabolism so you can lose weight more quickly.

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/menshealth/5-nutrients-youre-not-getting-enough

Food poisoning is a horrible, even potentially life-threatening experience. But it’s hard to determine if food is safe to eat, partly because problems are relatively rare. But knowing which foods are potentially risky can help.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has issued a list of the top 10 FDA-regulated foods linked to outbreaks since 1990. (That includes produce, seafood, egg, and dairy products, but not meat.)

Be aware of the risk, but don’t avoid these types of food. “They are everywhere and are part of a healthy diet,” says CSPI staff attorney, Sarah Klein.

1. Leafy Grains

Yes, they’re your favorite go-to salad greens—lettuce, escarole, endive, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula, and chard.

But they also caused 363 outbreaks involving 13,568 reported cases of illness since 1990. (Remember bagged spinach in 2006?)

Greens can be contaminated by manure, dirty water rinses, or unwashed hands before you even purchase them.

To avoid getting sick, wash produce and prevent cross-contamination (improper handling of meat in the kitchen can spread bacteria to other types of food, including greens) by washing hands and using separate cutting boards.

2. Eggs

This breakfast favorite has been linked to 352 outbreaks since 1990, most often due to Salmonella bacteria.

The bacteria can lurk inside the egg, so proper cooking is key (which kills the germs). Avoid eating any products containing raw eggs, including cookie dough.

“Our food supply is safe,” says Craig Hedberg, PhD, of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis. “There is roughly one illness for every three to four thousand meals served,” he says.

Still, “raw food items like eggs may have contamination and need to be handled properly.”

3. Tuna

This type of fish can be contaminated by scombrotoxin, which causes flushing, headaches, and cramps.

If it is stored above 60 degrees after being caught, fresh fish can release the toxin, which cannot be destroyed by cooking (and is unrelated to mercury contamination or other problems related to tuna and other fish).

Tuna has been linked to 268 scombroid poisoning outbreaks since 1990.

“You just can’t cook out all the things wrong with food supply right now,” CSPI’s Klein says.

4. Oysters

Before being transformed into a pricey delicacy, oysters lurk on the ocean floor doing what they do best—filter feeding.

And if the water they are filtering is contaminated, so are the oysters. (Or they can be contaminated during handling.)

If served raw or undercooked, oysters can contain germs—mostly a gut-churner called norovirus and a bacterium known as Vibrio vulnificus—that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

5. Potatoes

A freshly scrubbed spud that’s properly cooked is unlikely to cause illness. But watch out for potato salad.

Cross contamination—the transfer of germs from one type of food, usually meat, to another—can be the source of the problem.

Potato-related outbreaks of illness have been traced to germs like Listeria (which can live on deli counters ), Shigella, E. coli, and Salmonella

6. Cheese

While restaurants are a key source of other food-related outbreaks, most people who get sick from cheese do so from products consumed at home.

Cheese can be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella or Listeria, which can cause miscarriages.

(That’s why doctors warn pregnant women to avoid soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, and Mexican style cheese.)

7. Ice Cream

I scream, you scream. We all scream from ice cream? Ice cream has been linked to 75 outbreaks caused by bacteria like Salmonella and Staphylococcus since 1990, according to the CSPI.

The largest outbreak occurred in 1994, when a batch of pasteurized ice cream premix was transported in a Salmonella-contaminated truck, and then used to make ice cream without re-pasteurizing.

“People are making ice cream at home and using raw eggs in the household,” explains Hedberg.

8. Tomatoes

Although tomatoes were found “not guilty” in a 2008 outbreak that sickened thousands (the culprits were jalapeno and Serrano peppers), this summer favorite has been linked to at least 31 outbreaks.

“Lettuce or tomatoes may be contaminated, but once they enter a household, you can make sure that you don’t allow the bacteria to grow and multiply,” says Hedberg.

To do this: wash hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing fresh produce; wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking, even if you plan to peel it before eating; and keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from other foods.

9.  Sprouts

While sprouts are practically the poster child for healthy food, they can also be vulnerable to bacterial contamination.

The seeds used to produce the sprouts can be contaminated in the field, and water and warm growing conditions that encourage germination can also boost bacterial growth.

The FDA and CDC recommend that the elderly, young children, and those with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts.

10. Berries

Another common source of food poisoning is berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

A 1997 outbreak that sickened thousands of children via school lunches was traced to hepatitis A-contaminated frozen strawberries (possibly from a farm worker in Baja California, Mexico).

Other cases—linked to imported raspberries from Chile and Guatemala—have been caused by a germ called Cyclospora, which causes severe diarrhea, dehydrations, and cramps.

http://health.yahoo.net/articles/nutrition/photos/10-types-food-can-make-you-sick#10

by Health.com, on Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:09am PST

Take heart with berries, beans, and other healthy fare.

Oatmeal
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.

Salmon
Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.

“Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant,” says cardiologist  Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Not a fan of salmon? Other oily fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give your heart the same boost.

Health.com: 20 healthy salmon recipes

Avocado
Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body.

“Avocados are awesome,” says Dr. Sinatra. “They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health.”

Health.com: 8 avocado recipes besides guacamole

Olive oil
Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.

Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they’re the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking.

Nuts
Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. Plus, nuts increase fiber in the diet, says Dr. Sinatra. “And like olive oil, they are a great source of healthy fat.”

Health.com: 8 super nuts

 

Berries
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whatever berry you like best—are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

“Blackberries and blueberries are especially great,” says Sinatra. “But all berries are great for your vascular health.”

Legumes
Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.

Spinach
Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.

But upping your servings of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost.  The Physicians’ Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn’t eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.

Health.com: What can you make with fresh baby spinach?

Flaxseed Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast.

Soy
Soy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it’s still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet.

Health.com: Supplements for cholesterol: What works?

Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. But watch the amount of salt in your soy: some processed varieties like soy dogs can contain added sodium, which boosts blood pressure.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/the-10-best-foods-for-your-heart-2441820/


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