Follow by Email

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nutrition from the Desk of Penny Matel! February and eating for your "heart's" content!

We have all begun to look forward to the month of February as being the last month of winter, and knowing we are heading into spring. But, February is also the month for chocolate,  and eating for a  healthy heart.

Eating for your “hearts” content, does not have to be bland or tasteless. With these heart-healthy recommendations, you can enjoy the Mediterranean approach to eating, and still have a chocolate lover’s delight.

These are some top food recommendations to for an overall healthy diet.

 *
salmon: super rich in omega 3 fatty acids that can reduce blood pressure and protect the heart by reducing inflammation and the risk of blood clots. The fats also help keep your cholesterol levels healthy.  Eat oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring or sardines, at least twice a week.
 *
Spinach: owe it to lutein, folate, potassium and fiber, those who eat at least 2 1/2 servings of vegetables a day lower their risk of heart disease by 25%.
 *
Berries: blueberries, strawberries, or whatever berry you prefer, the are full of anti-oxidants which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
 *
legumes: this alternative protein source is full of soluble fiber and packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium. Add a half cup of lentils, black beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans to your spinach salad for a heart healthy lunch or dinner.
 *
Flaxseed: full of fiber and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Sprinkle ground flaxseed on a bowl of oatmeal or whole fiber cereal.
 *
Nuts: almonds, walnuts, and other nuts, are full of omega 3 fatty acids and loaded with mono and polyunsaturated fats. Nuts also increase the fiber in your diet, and are a great source of vitamin E that help keep your cholesterol levels in check. Aim for one ounce of nuts a day.
 *
Oatmeal: Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta gluten that helps reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant - which contain more fiber. And a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.
 *
Soy: soy is another great source of lean protein. It has been shown to prevent heart attacks and is a great substitute for red meat, which will help reduce your saturated fat intake. Look for natural sources of soy such as edamame, organic silken tofu, or tempeh. Instead of adding water to your bowl of oatmeal, and a cup of soy milk.
 *
Dark chocolate: there is evidence that chocolate and cocoa based products are rich in sources of cardio-protective compounds in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  Make sure your source of chocolate does not come in a bag of Hershey minitures . My favorites,  Lindt dark chocolate.
 *
Olive oil: this monounsaturated fat helps lower levels of blood cholesterol. The phyto nutrient in olive oil mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease of breast cancer as well. Regular consumption of olive oil can both decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure.


Penny Matel, RDN, LDN, ACSM-ACE Certified AHFS

No comments:

Post a Comment