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9 Heart-Healthy Foods You Should be Eating

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.


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Healthier Cookies to Leave for Santa Claus This Year

While most of the United States is painfully aware that 25% of Americans are obese, the one person who might not be privy is jolly old Saint Nick.

That’s right: on Christmas Eve, as those who celebrate the holiday tuck their families into bed,  most leave cookies out for Santa Claus without thinking about the calories, fat and sugar that Santa has to consume in one night.

So, we’re here for Mr. Claus. We’ve pulled together our favorite recipes to get you through the last days of cookie season.

Chocolate Cookies: Every chocolate lover will agree that there is nothing better than a warm cookie right out of the oven. Whether it’s chocolate chips dotting your favorite biscotti or hints of chocolate in a traditional gingerbread cookie, there are plenty of ways to incorporate chocolate into holiday cookies.


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Learn to Bake Healthy Granola from Scratch

Granola is a popular breakfast option that we’ve all seen on grocery store shelves. Even though it can be less time-consuming to snag one from the market, baking a batch of granola at home is far more rewarding.  With a homemade version, you can create your favorite combination of fruit, nuts, grains and seeds.

When making granola, some people prefer to use a recipe, where others take a more rustic approach. If you’re planning to wing it, choose your ingredients for a fresh, healthy flavor that will make you want to wake up in the morning.
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Love Peanuts? We Have an iPhone App for You

National Peatnut Board App for iPhoneThe National Peanut Board has launched a free iPhone app, called Peanuts: Energy for the Good Life. It features recipes, facts and even a little tool to help you curb snack cravings. While peanuts are high in calories, they contain more protein than any other nut, and contain many other nutrients. According the to the board, 90 percent of Americans have a jar of peanut butter in their homes.

Naturally, the app discusses the health benefits of peanuts and has over 30 dietitian recommended recipes featuring the legume. I’m particularly excited to try the masala slaw, with ginger, cilantro, cabbage and, of course, peanuts. Some of the desserts look pretty high-calorie, although delicious–maybe not so diet friendly. But the app isn’t just about discovering new ways to eat peanuts. It also has a meditation feature, guided by the relaxing voice of Stephan Bodian. Bodian practiced as a Zen Buddhist monk for ten years and is the author of Meditation for Dummies. Finally, the app has a note tool that you can set to remind you take a break or even have a healthy snack.

Get Peanuts: Energy for the Good Life now.

Also Read:

Prevention‘s Peanut Butter Diet

The Best Low-Fat Peanut Butters

Diabetic Peanut Butter Cookies



Nuts Help Lower Cholesterol

According to a recent review of 25 studies, eating 67g of nuts on average every day – a portion the size of a small bag – reduces cholesterol levels by 7.4 percent.

The research team at Loma Linda University in Southern California believe that nuts help block the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream

“Increasing the consumption of nuts as part of an otherwise prudent diet can be expected to favorably affect blood lipid levels (at least in the short term) and have the potential to lower CHD [coronary heart disease] risk,” say the researchers in a prepared statement.


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