Love Your Heart with These Foods, Including Chocolate
One of the best ways you can improve heart health, and decrease your risk of heart disease, is to reduce, if not eliminate inflammation. Inflammation is the #1 cause of health issues, weight gain, and degenerative disease, such as heart disease. AND the SAD (Standard American Diet) is the #1 cause of inflammation.
About 1 in every 4 deaths each year are the result of heart disease, which is slightly higher than cancer. One in 4 men and women will develop heart disease each year which is only slightly higher than cancer, where 1 in 4 men and 1 in 3 women develop cancer each year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. AND it is reversible with the right foods, and lifestyle changes!
Contrary to popular belief, eating foods high in cholesterol are NOT the problem. Sugar, and high glucose and glycemic carbohydrates are the real culprits of heart disease. If you eat a balanced diet of lean protein, high nutrient and low carbohydrates (vegetables and some whole grains), and healthy fats, then you are well-on your way to eliminating and reducing your chance of developing heart disease. It is not as hard as it sounds, if you follow these three basic principles.
4 Basic steps to Reducing Inflammation, Heart Disease and other illness and Diseases
- Eat a whole-food, plant-based pesticide-free diet. Plant-based does not mean vegetarian, but it means eating more plants on your plate than animal products.
- Eat a diet rich in nutrients, high ant-inflammatory and low glycemic foods
- Eliminate refined carbohydrates, starchy foods and grains – overtime eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves that control your heart. Eventually this puts you in the path for blood sugar dysregulation, diabesity and obesity.
- Exercise – regular exercise 3-5 times a week reduces heart disease by strengthening the heart muscle, and other muscles of the body, reducing high blood pressure and developing all around fitness as well as other benefits, such as weight loss, lowers inflammation, improves sleep, stops or slow the progression of diabetes. And exercise can help you make better nutrition choices.
Top 10 Foods for Heart Health
Eating to nourish your heart and prevent as well as reverse heart disease does not have to be difficult and expensive. There are many anti-inflammatory foods to include in your diet and fight inflammation and prevent and eliminate heart disease.
Several studies show these as the Top Foods (or categories of foods) for Heart Health:
1 Salmon is the number one food to fight inflammation, heart disease, and a whole host of other chronic diseases, so I will include a number benefits for eating this delicious fish:
- High in omega 3’s which decrease inflammation, reduce risk of cancer, improves cell function in the arteries
- Supports bone health – high in Vitamin D which helps the body use calcium; omega 3’s aids ones, especially canned salmon that contain the bones, and quality protein which supports bone growth
- High in quality protein and rich in healthy fats
- Contains most of the B vitamins known to support energy, DNA health, reduce inflammation, and nourish the brain
- High in potassium – lowers blood pressure
- High in selenium – major anti-oxidant that fights inflammation, protects bones, and supports auto-immune thyroid issues
- Rich in astaxanthin – reduces LDL and increases HDL, supports brain/nervous systems, good for skin health
- Good for brain health – reduces depression, anxiety, and slow-age-related memory
2. Flaxseed or flax oil – omega 3’s, protein, fiber, #1 source of lignan’s known to support hormone related issues such as menopause, osteoporosis, breast cancer and more
3. Green leafy vegetables – high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals
4. Strawberries/ berries – anti-oxidants and polyphenols which cut inflammation; fiber
5. Avocados – rich in heart-health mono-saturated fat, as well as some omega 3’s; high in heart healthy and bone supporting vitamins: Vitamin K, C, E Folate, Potassium (contains more potassium than a banana), Vitamin E, Boron, Copper, and other B vitamins
6. Pomegranates – anti-oxidants that fight inflammation and more powerful than red wine and green tea; supports cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis and join pain, breast cancer, bone health and memory; lowers LDL oxidative damage
7. Olives/olive oil – healthy monounsaturated fat known to decrease LDL and increase HDL
8. Walnuts/nuts – nuts area good source of phyto-nutrients known for coronary heart damage prevention; high in heart healthy and bone supporting nutrients: Vitamin E, B Vitamins, magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium and arginine (known for heart health). Walnuts contain the most omega 3 fatty acids of all nuts.
9. Legumes – high in minerals and soluble fiber without saturated fat; lowers cholesterol; low glycemic index, high potassium and magnesium known to lower blood sugar.
10. Dark chocolate – oh so delicious and mighty good for you. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids associated with lower risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate is higher than nearly all foods in anti-oxidants which is good for lowering inflammation. Raw chocolate is high in fiber, iron, magnesium copper, manganese, as well as potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. However, the cocoa you choose is highly important, since the common store-bought box of chocolates or candy bars are processed at high heat and full of sugar and fat. To read more about the benefits of chocolate and what kinds to consume, go here:
Want to make these changes, but don’t know how. You are invited to a complementary Functional Health Assessment to discuss how you can do this. I will walk you through exactly what steps you need to take to begin making changes now! https://p.bttr.to/361E25K
Dietary lignans: The phytoestrogens with amazing health benefits for women and men – Us Smart Publications (smart-publications.com)
To learn more about how Veronica can help you with the above changes in your life, schedule a complimentary session with her now! https://p.bttr.to/361E25K