The Healthiest Foods For Your Heart

Garnet Yams

Be Heart Healthy by Eating Orange Vegetables like Garnet Yams.

Upgrade what’s on your plate, and you have the power to prevent America’s #1 cause of death. February is American Heart Month, a time to turn the spotlight on essential heart health.

Every year, too many American families are affected by heart disease and stroke. More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined, and it is still the leading cause of death for all Americans. One in every 3 people in the United States has some form of heart disease – that’s 80 million adults. It often develops silently, without symptoms until it’s too late.

That’s why it’s so important to make heart-healthy changes today. Let this February be the start of – or revitalized commitment to – leading a heart healthy life. It’s good for you, and it’s good for your loved ones.

Eating right is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Some of the healthiest foods for your heart are vegetables, whole grains, fatty fish, nuts, legumes, seeds, and fruit. (You’ll find my hand-picked selection of seasonal heart-healthy foods at Healthy Living for Less.) Here’s a list of my favorite heart-healthy foods:…

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Seafood: Nutritional Powerhouse

Salmon

Salmon is filled with good-for-you Omega-3s!

Put seafood on your menu, and you’ll be in good company – the healthiest diets around the world include healthy protein foods like seafood (as well as plenty of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains).

For early brain development, a healthy heart for life, and overall well-being, nutrition experts agree on eating seafood twice a week; that’s at least 8oz per week (20% of protein intake) for most adults. Pregnant and nursing women should aim for 8-12oz per week. In stark contrast, most Americans eat just 3.5 oz per week (less than half what we should!).

To be fair, it can be confusing to shop for seafood. Just a few things that might be on a shopper’s mind are: Am I getting the good-for-me omega-3s? Is it sustainable? How much should I worry about mercury?

To answer some of these questions, Harvard School of Public Health conducted a comprehensive analysis of fish and health (Journal of the American Heart Association, 2006). What they found: the benefits of eating fish greatly outweigh the risks. Just what are those benefits? Eating fish, especially fatty fish – here’s what’s in it for you:…

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Delicious New Year’s Resolutions in Under 30 Minutes!

Chicken and shaved Brussels sprouts with blueberries

Chicken and Brussels sprouts with blueberries

Eat healthy food. Lose weight. Get fit. Manage stress. Quit smoking. Sound familiar? These popular (and admirable) New Year’s resolutions have one thing in common: They all improve your quality of life and sense of well-being. That’s worth working for – for you and for your loved ones!

Now, changing the way we behave takes a will, a way, and some inspiration along the way to stay motivated!

As far as healthy eating goes, I hear from people that they want to eat healthy but they’re short on time or ideas. So I spent this past weekend thinking about quick and simple healthy meal and snack ideas, all with the busy home cook in mind. Take a look at my pictures and recipes of what I came up with! Each dish took me 30 minutes or less to cook!…

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10 Tips for Healthy Eating in 2012

Veggies

Use your Dinner Plate (or large bowl) for Salads.

At the dawn of a new year, you may be taking a closer look at what or how you’re eating. Congratulations! Becoming more aware of your eating habits is an important step toward making changes to them. But did you know that what (and how much) we eat is a lot more complicated than logically deciding what (and how much) to put in our mouths?

What we eat is often more than just personal will – it’s also about our surroundings, including what’s available and what’s distracting us. Food choices involve complex decision-making processes and multiple spheres of influence, including family, culture, environmental cues, social situations, government policies, genetics, doctor’s orders — not to mention taste, price, marketing, and availability. It can be hard out there for an aspiring healthy eater.

In fact, many experts call the American food landscape obesigenic – which means that it actually promotes obesity. While we can’t change the world overnight, there are plenty of simple things we can do today to make our personal eating environments more conducive to healthy eating. The best part is, most of these solutions are the fix-it-and-forget-it type. Here are 10 easy ways to change your personal food landscape for better health….

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Holiday Recipe Makeover

Endive salad

This beautiful crab salad placed on endive leaves makes for a healthy alternative.

Is it weird that the holiday season makes me look forward to spending some quality time in the kitchen? If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. I tend to prefer fresh flavors, bright colors, and foods that won’t make me feel heavy or comatose after eating. Enjoy the holiday season without suffering food hangovers. It’s easier than you think to make crowd-pleasing dishes that you won’t regret in the morning.

If you can make something taste delicious and shave off a hundred calories here and there, isn’t that better than letting those extra calories add up, leading to weight gain and health concerns? Save yourself from the all-or-nothing mentality and make some smarter choices this holiday season!…

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Eat Well to Stay Well (or Feel Better)

Citrus

Citrus fruits are packed with immune-boosting Vitamin C.

Have you ever come down with a cold while your office mate stays perfectly healthy? Here’s why: Even though you may have come in contact with the same germs, your body’s ability to protect itself depends on the power of your immune system.

Healthy living and a balanced diet is your best defense. That means reducing stress, getting enough rest, working out, and eating right. The nutrients that are best known for their immunity-boosting power are vitamins A, C and E and zinc. Read on for how these key nutrients boost the body’s immune system, with ideas for seasonal foods that fit the bill for these health-promoting vitamins and minerals.

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Chocolate for Health!

Dark Chocolate fondue

Yes, this Dark Chocolate fondue is good for you...in moderation and shared with others!

Even if you’ve heard the news about chocolate and heart-health before, it still sounds almost too good to be true, right?

Halloween is near, and as our collective thoughts turn to sweets, it’s nice to know there are sweet treats out there that can also boost health.

Before we all get too excited, keep in mind 2 big caveats in order to truly reap the benefits of enjoying chocolate for health:

  1. Adding chocolate to your diet must be done isocalorically (a fancy way of saying, “without increasing how many calories you eat for the entire day”).
  2. Choose dark chocolate (sorry, but the milk, sugar, and other fats in some varieties cancel out possible benefits).

Now that that’s out of the way, on the to the good stuff….

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Verlasso Salmon

Sustainable Salmon

Sustainable Salmon: Good for you and the environment!

If you’ve ever been confused about making the right seafood choices for you and your family, you’re not alone. Among the competing concerns out there are: health benefits vs. sustainability issues vs. mercury levels. And if you’ve grown to love the taste of farmed salmon, you may be especially conflicted, because on the one-hand, it’s a heart-healthy fish with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and selenium that is also low in mercury; but on the other hand, it’s gotten a bad wrap for being a poor choice when it comes to sustainability….

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11 Healthy Reasons to Love Apples

Healthy Breakfast

"An apple a day" might be one of the best sayings. One medium apple is under 100 calories, and a good source of fiber and vitamin C, with zero fat, cholesterol or sodium.

A healthy diet is packed with a lot more fruits and vegetables than the average American diet. And with overweight and obesity impacting the quality of life for more Americans than ever – from our young children to our elderly – it’s time to change the way we eat. The ever changing science about micronutrients may be fascinating (it is!), but part of pushing back the tide of today’s poor eating habits can be as simple as this: eat more fruits and vegetables.

May I offer up the quintessential fall apple for your consideration. Apples are not only in season and locally available right now (read: high quality and affordable), they’re also widely loved, making them a simple choice for adding more produce to the day’s diet.

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My Morning myPlate

Healthy Breakfast

Start your day off right with a fried egg over greens, FreshDirect salsa, local heirloom cherry tomatoes, grilled red onions, shishito peppers and a side of whole wheat toast.

Don’t just have a morning, have a great morning! How? By starting your day with a healthy, well-balanced breakfast.

It doesn’t have to be a big meal, but a little something in the AM really does get the day started right.

Skipping breakfast makes it more difficult for the brain and body to perform well.  Adults who eat a healthy breakfast are better able to focus and be productive throughout the morning, and are more likely to have lower cholesterol levels and better weight management….

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