February is American Heart Month, but that doesn’t mean you should only worry about having a healthy heart for 28 days out of the year. Heart health is incredibly important; if you take care of your heart, you’ll be less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, the most common killer in the USA.
The foods that you eat can have a great impact on your heart’s health. Think of your heart as a high performance sports car: if you put super-premium fuel in, you’ll get better results. Here are nine super-premium foods to keep your ticker in tip-top shape:
Oatmeal Oatmeal is good for your heart because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and folate. The fiber in oatmeal is very beneficial for your heart because it can lower levels of your bad cholesterol (LDL), which can clear up your arteries.
Avocados Like oatmeal, avocados will help lower your LDL cholesterol levels; they will also raise the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. They also make it easier for your body to absorb other nutrients that are good for your heart, such as beta-carotene and lycopene.
There’s something about Mexican food that makes people want to gather together and turn any ordinary afternoon or evening in to a celebration for nothing in particular. The center of these gatherings being chips, guacamole and salsa. Now, these snacks can be high in calories and fat and just one more empty calorie fiesta. The best way to handle this is to prepare it yourself, but not everyone has the time (or even the money) to make a fresh batch of salsa or guacamole on demand. Eat, I mean meet, the next best thing – Wholly Guacamole!
You might think any ‘ole guacamole from the store will be fine, but an article at Yahoo! this week by Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko revealed that those premade guacamoles aren’t actually made with avocados. In fact, their ingredient labels show less than two-percent avocado with the rest being “green goo [and] a cluster of fillers and chemicals, including modified food starch, soybean oils, locust bean gum, and food coloring.”
Wholly guacamole starts with fresh Haas avocados, then adds onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro for a flavorful, fresh snack that can’t be beat by other grocery brands. (more…)
One of the best ways to lose weight and be healthy is to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies and make them a large part of every meal and snack. Filled with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and water, fruits and veggies fill you up and give you quite the nutritional bang for your bite. In fact, studies show that high consumption of fruits and veggies can prevent cancer and lower blood pressure.
Although you may think of summer when it comes to the best fresh produce (strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon, oh my!), fall and winter are also a surprisingly tasty time to eat fresh. The in-season fruits and veggies for November are hearty, chock full of nutrition and darn delicious, and because they’re in season, these guys are usually cheaper and easier to get fresher than out-of-season produce. Bonus!
Women’s Health has released a list of 9 Power Food Pairings – combinations of food items that give you more nutritional value when eaten together. Even better, they seem like pretty easy combinations to work into your diet. Check out Women’s Health for the full list and read my favorites below.
That time of the month may have you reaching for less nutritious foods, but research shows less pre-menstrual irritability in women who ingest the most calcium and vitamin D. Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, and broccoli provides easily-absorbed calcium. I tend to crave a little fat, so a broccoli and cheese omelet sounds ideal to me. (more…)
Today, September 16, is National Guacamole Day! It’s also Mexican Independence Day. Who knew?
This doesn’t mean that you should go crazy with the chips transporting said guacamole into your mouth. But guacamole is an amazing source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Avocados contain the same type of fat found in olive oil and almonds. Avocados are one the best choices in fruit for magnesium, vitamin E and folic acid. They have 60% more potassium than bananas. If that’s not enough reason to make avocados a part of your daily diet, they are also free of sodium, cholesterol and trans fats.
In one study, volunteers who ate avocados every day for a week experienced an average 17% drop in total blood cholesterol (Archives of Medical Research, Winter 1996). Try guacamole on a grilled chicken breast, as a spread for a whole grain turkey sandwich, or dip your carrots into it for an out of this world snack. (more…)