Heart Healthy & Cancer Fighting Foods:
1) Blueberries & Other berries
Why: Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); anthocyanin (a flavonoid); ellagic
acid (a polyphenol); vitamin C; folate; calcium, magnesium; potassium; fiber.
How to use them: Add blueberries to your oatmeal (which is also heart healthy) or yogurt. Use dried cranberries in trail mix with heart healthy nuts and seeds.
Why: Beta-cryptoxanthin, beta- and alpha-carotene, lutein (carotenoids) and flavones (flavonoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.
How to use them: Think fresh squeezed orange juice or a grab ‘n go snack!
Why: Alpha-carotene (a carotenoid); fiber.
How to use them: Baby carrots are a great snack. Sneak shredded carrots into pasta sauce.
Why: Lutein (a carotenoid); B-complex vitamins; folate; magnesium; potassium; calcium; fiber.
How to use it: Use fresh spinach leaves in place of iceberg lettuce on sandwiches and in salads.
Why: Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; fiber.
How to use it: Grill or steam with olive oil and lemon juice or lemon pepper.
Why: Omega-3 fatty acids; folate; niacin.
How to use it: Canned tuna (Chicken of the Sea brand) over salad greens or Ahi Tuna for meal.
Why: Omega-3 fatty acids.
How to use it: Grill and eat by itself or serve in pasta or salad.
1) Black Beans
Why: B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber.
How to use them: Add to a soup or even in brownies. Try Brooke’s Black Bean Brownies.
Nuts & Seeds
Why: Omega-3 fatty acids; fiber, phytoestrogens.
How to use them: Throw ground flaxseeds into smoothies, in yogurt, or your morning oatmeal.
Why: Plant omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin E; magnesium; folate; fiber; heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats; phytosterols.
How to use them: Add crunch to a salad, eat as a snack, or use as an add in to Gilda’s Gluten-Free Pancakes.
1) Herbs such as rosemary, oregano, cilantro, thyme, basil, parsley, peppermint, sage all help to protect against cancer and heart disease.
1) Red Wine
Why: Catechins and reservatrol (flavonoids) help improve HDL levels.
2) Dark Chocolate
Why: Reservatrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids) lowers blood pressure, but choose 70% or higher cocoa content.
Heart Protective Nutrients Defined:
Phytoestrogens are substances in plants (like flaxseed) that have a weak estrogen-like action in the body. Studies suggest that flaxseed lowers the risk of blood clots, stroke, and cardiac arrhythmias. It may also help lower total and LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, and even blood pressure.
Phytosterols are plant sterols that chemically resemble cholesterol -- and seem to reduce blood cholesterol. All nuts and seeds have phytosterols.
Carotenoids are heart-protective antioxidants in many colorful fruits and veggies. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene are carotenoids.
Polyphenols are another set of antioxidants that protect blood vessels, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol. Flavonoid polyphenols include catechins, flavonones, flavonols, isoflavones, reservatrol, and anthocyanins. Non-flavonoidpolyphenols include ellagic acid (found in all types of berries).
Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic fatty help boost the immune system, reduce blood clots, and protect against heart attacks. They also increase good HDL levels, lower triglyceride levels, protect arteries from plaque buildup, are anti-inflammatories, and lower blood pressure.
B-complex vitamins protect against blood clots and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Niacin (vitamin B-3) helps increase HDL cholesterol.
Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage.
Magnesium, potassium, and calcium help lower blood pressure.
Fiber-rich foods help lower cholesterol levels. Fiber is the body’s natural cleanser!
** Come see Brooke Thomas at Frye Regional’s Day of Dance event on February 23rd from 9 to 11am at the Hickory Foundation YMCA – for more information go to Fryemedctr.com
Source: WebMD & Brooke’s Top Tips on Grocery Shopping.