Heart disease is number one killer among both men and women in the United States. And though we all realize that eating nutrient-dense healthy foods help reduce the risk, we may not know which foods the best choices are to battle this deadly disease head on.
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The key is stepping up fiber and choosing unsaturated fats. Eating unsaturated fats, like omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil, can help to reduce triglycerides. And a diet rich in soluble fiber, which is often found in legumes and some fruits and vegetables, helps to decrease LDL cholesterol levels.
Sardines are an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acids, along with calcium and niacin. You can prepare fresh ones on the grill, or canned sardines work great in salads or sandwiches. Mackerel is another excellent source of omega-3s, and is full of selenium, which is an antioxidant mineral which may help protect the body from heart disease and cancer. A great way to get omega-3s on the go is by grabbing a handful of walnuts for an afternoon snack. Add some to your green salad or give chicken salad a nutrition boost by adding ground walnuts.
Kidney beans are an affordable source of high fiber, are low fat, and have no cholesterol. Add them to salads and chili, as they truly are almost a perfect health food. Since canned varieties tend to be higher in sodium, try to use the dried varieties whenever possible. Soak dry beans for an hour, rinse, and boil for another hour or until tender fork. Pressure cooking takes about 20 t 25 minutes depending on the amount of beans and appliance. Once beans are tender, cool down, portion in freezer bags. Be sure to label the bags with type of bean and date. You will be glad to have fresh beans available in the freezer at all times, for any meals.
Whole-grain barley is rich in soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which is good for combating constipation. It’s also a good plant based protein source and has a good supply of iron and minerals. Choose whole-grain barley cereals or substitute whole-grain barley for rice and pasta side dishes once a week.
Oatmeal (preferably organic) is a great way to boost your fiber content early in the morning, and it also has a low glycemic index, which helps to provide lasting energy stave off hunger. Choose rolled oats, and add some raisins, apples, and honey for flavor. Instant oatmeal isn’t a healthy option as it’s usually loaded with sugar.
Cashews are a, high fiber low glycemic nut full of healthy fats. Cashews grow from trees and are considered a super powerful plat-based protein, full of energy producing nutrients. Nutritionist, also recommend cashews as a source to encourage brain health, boost immunity and strengthen bone health. Raw or roasted, cashews have grown popular in use, among vegan recipes. Their creamy texture (when blended) is used instead of animal based creams, and cheese.
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