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Heart Healthy Food

February is the perfect time to talk about heart-healthy food.


I don't know about you but I like my chocolate and don't want to give it up.


When I made the decision to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle back in 2018, I lamented over having to give up chocolate.



I was willing to give up all fast food, junk food, and sugary drinks, but the chocolate was the one thing I wanted to keep.


It is admittedly one of my biggest weaknesses but who can resist such silky indulgence?


The truth is I can do all things! 👍🏻


We all have self-discipline but it's like a muscle, it has to be worked over and over again until it's strong.


With a made-up mind, you can do whatever you need to do. Having a strong mind is key.


Fortunately, after some extensive research, I've found that dark chocolate has some major health benefits when eaten in moderation. Woohoo! No guilt.


Fiber


Doctors tell you to eat more fiber but they don't really take the time to tell you why you should eat more fiber.



Fiber is basically the part of food your body can't digest or absorb.


Soluble fiber means it dissolves in water and creates a gel that aids in digestion. It can also help improve cholesterol and blood sugar, among other benefits.


Insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve in water but it does attract water from your body into your stool, promoting bowel health and regularity.


When it comes to heart-healthy food, you'll want to be sure to incorporate as many high-fiber foods as possible.


The reason is that fiber helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol), raises HDL (good cholesterol), normalizes bowels, helps control sugar, aids in weight loss, and helps you live longer.



What to Eat:


This is not an all-inclusive list but will give you a good start.

FRUITS: Apples. avocados (these are high in fat & calories so eat in moderation), low-carb berries such as strawberries/blueberries/raspberries, citrus fruits, grapes


LEGUMES: Beans (especially black beans), peas, lentils, soy


NUTS: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, chestnuts, pine nuts, hazel, macadamia, peanuts


SEEDS: Chia, flaxseed, squash, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower,


FATTY FISH: Salmon, sardine, cod, herring, trout, fresh tuna (not canned as it contains high amounts of mercury known to cause cancer)


WHOLE GRAINS & DIETARY FIBER: (the word whole needs to be first on the ingredient list for whole grains) Oats, barley, farro, brown rice, wild rice, popcorn with no butter, quinoa, bulgur, cracked wheat


VEGETABLES: Most fresh veggies are okay but leafy greens are the best, tomatoes, okra, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, and canned vegetables need to be low in sodium but are not recommended


PROTEIN: Cut back on fatty meats, most fish is good but eat in moderation due to high mineral content, poultry, lean meats, eggs, beans, peanut butter


DAIRY: Almond milk (unsweetened vanilla is my fav!), fat-free or plain probiotic yogurt, low-fat cheese, or cottage cheese, Cut back on full-fat dairy


TREATS: Dark chocolate & organic cocoa, low-carb fruits (especially oranges), probiotic yogurt, organic fresh cherries, walnuts, sweet potatoes (try them baked with monk fruit brown sugar & a dab of ghee), oats (try my chai-tea recipe for homemade oatmeal below)


HERBS & OILS: Garlic, fennel, hawthorn, cinnamon, cardamom, garlic supplements, cardamom, ginger, turmeric curcumin, berberine, vegetable oil, olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette or Italian dressing, avocado oil


SWEETENERS: Monk fruit, allulose, stevia, erythritol, xylitol


DRINKS: Water, herbal teas such as green or chai tea, black coffee, almond milk


What to Avoid:


Sugar, red meat, highly-processed food (boxed goods, pre-made frozen food, canned goods because they are high in sodium and other non-healthy ingredients), fast food, sauces, high-fat dressings, whole milk products, fried food, whole-fat cheese, and processed meat such as lunch meat.


A simple heart-healthy diet can mean the difference between being healthy or sick. Protect your heart and other organs by eating as healthy and organically as possible.




*Results may vary. Please speak with your doctor before using our products if you are on any type of medication. Minerals & supplements such as essential oils may change the effectiveness of medication. Consult your doctor before starting any kind of diet, exercise program, or skin-care routine.

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