February is National Heart Health Month, making it the perfect time to highlight some foods that promote heart health, as well as list those that do more harm than good.
While heart disease can be hereditary, its prevention begins with a healthy lifestyle. For starters, this means no smoking, monitoring your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and incorporating exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet into your everyday routine.
Diet alone can play a huge role in heart disease prevention. In general, heart healthy foods are ones that are natural, whole foods that don’t come in a box and instead come straight from nature. Fresh fruits and vegetables are certainly a cornerstone of heart-healthy foods for their high nutrient and vitamin content and their amazing ability to cleanse free radicals from the blood stream. (more…)
Alzheimer’s: The word conjures up scary thoughts of slowly losing your memory as you become a shell of your former self. Experts project that diagnoses of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the primary cause, will triple worldwide by 2050. But scientists tell us that preventative measures can go a long way in protecting the brain from memory loss diseases, and they are as simple as doing things like making changes in your diet.
Here are 10 super foods that work to boost brain power and, in turn, lessen your chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. No one food has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but healthy eating habits appear to be one of the top factors in lowering your risk for developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
1. Wild Salmon, Tuna, Sardines (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week because it contains vital omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help the body function properly and may slow cognitive decline by 10 percent, studies show.
“The main concept is that a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids creates BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), a protein between nerve cells that helps increase the strength between connections,” said Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, author of “Super Body Super Brain.” Trout, mackerel, and herring are also good choices, and taking a fish oil vitamin can also help your body obtain this much-needed nutrient. (more…)
These days, things for Pom Wonderful are anything but. Last week, federal regulators upheld a ruling that states the popular juice company has engaged in deceptive and misleading marketing practices. The Federal Trade Commission’s decision is the culmination of a multi-year action against the California-based pomegranate juice maker.
In September, 2010, the FTC accused POM of making false and unsubstantiated claims for 36 of their products, saying they could “treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.” The commission said the company had a “lack of sufficiently reliable evidence” to back up those claims.
The number of POM products the FTC is citing was bumped up to 36 from the 19 instances found by FTC Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell in May 2012. (more…)
At the beginning of fall I got bit by the chili bug and was eating the stuff non-stop for weeks. I was offering it up to friends, feeding it to my husband and packing it as a quick lunch for work almost daily. I didn’t realized I’d hit my max until a friend and I were discussing ideas for an upcoming dinner party and she said “anything but chili.” I agreed with her at the time but secretly I thought, “What are you talking about? I could chili year round!” And I do.
My all-time favorite chili companion is cornbread, which I made plenty of this fall drizzled in a little maple syrup for good measure. Absolutely smitten with the traditional kind, I had never tried the blue which is apparently healthier for you than the yellow stuff. Why? Let me explain.
Grapes have always been one of my very favorite fruits. With each bite their crisp skin gives way to a sweet, soft center that I simply can’t resist. Once I start eating a bowl, I’m hard pressed not to finish. Though I enjoy grapes very much as is, I’ve also loved plucking them from the vine and freezing them for a light and delicious after-dinner snack.
Health benefits: Grapes are considered a low glycemic index food, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar upon consumption. They’re also a great source of manganese, vitamin C, and potassium. Grapes also contain resveratrol, which is a polyphenol that helps improve brain health, and are also widely known for their ability to aid in digestion. In fact, they are considered a laxative food as they help relieve cramping and constipation.
In addition, purple grapes have even been found to help prevent breast cancer and even macular degeneration according to recent research studies. And among many other health benefits, grapes contain powerful antioxidant-containing flavonoids that fight free radicals in the body and even prevent cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer.
Nutritional statistics: One cup of red or green grapes contains approximately 104 calories, 0 grams fat, 3 mg sodium, 27 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 23 grams sugar, and 1 gram protein. (more…)