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Heart Healthy - Body Healthy Foods

As we start out this new year let's reaffirm to eat healthy.  I realize this statement can be a bit overwhelming.  There is so much information these days on nutrition and toxic foods.  But here are 7 simple suggestions to start you down the path of healthy eating.  If you can simply add these 7 foods into your diet you will be off to a great start.

A review of 67 studies show that diets high in soluble fiber, like that found in steel cut oats, lower total "LDL" (the undesirable) cholesterol.  Steel cut oatmeal is a slow digesting carbohydrate that digests and delivers nutrients without spiking blood sugar levels.  In short, when we have multiple blood sugar spikes the body produces fat, especially visceral (organ) fat.  Any excessive fat on the organs is unhealthy. Fresh, cold water fish, not farm raised, high in Omega oils such as salmon have been proven to strengthen the heart and protect the body.  Fresh, not farmed raised is important because you don't want to ingest the antibiotics and hormones used in farm raised fish. Get a little nutty.  Selecting raw nuts such as almonds, walnuts and macadamia provide the body with healthy much needed monosaturated fats.  However, you need to make sure they are raw and not processed in oils or have added salt or sugar.  Many people say they raw nuts are too bland.  What you will find is the less salt and sugar you eat, the more your tastebuds will begin to recognize sutle flavors.  The tastebuds can become desensitized from salt and sugar. Add a little extra virgin olive oil, coconut or seseme oil to your diet.  There has been extensive research showing monosaturated fats help lower the "LDL" (undesirable) cholesterol.  When cooking with oils remember that seseme or coconut oil can withstand much higher temperatures than olive oil. So reach for those two when cooking and the extra virgin when seasoning salads or veggies. Add some color and sweetness by eating berries.  All berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, you name it, if it is a berry it lowers inflammation in the body and boosts cardiovascular and brain function.  WARNING:  Please remember that berries are on the dirty dozen list so when purchasing this item you want to be sure you buy organic. The next suggestion comes from reports showing that people who ate  beans or lentils four times a week had a 22% less chance of having heart disease than those who ate them less than once per week.  If you are one of the many humans who have a difficult time digesting this healthy food try soaking the beans or lentils overnight in purified water.  This helps remove the husk from the legume decreasing enzyme inhibitor.  You can also try using a bean-zyme anti-gas digestive enzyme such as Beano. Go green and I don't mean environmentally.  Go dark green as in broccoli, spinach and kale.  These foods are rich in anti-inflammatory and detoxifing ingrediants as well as highly alkaline.  Disease flurishes in an acidic environment so eating foods that are high on the alkaline scale help create an environment where disease cannot thrive. If you are trying to make healthy choices and changes in your diet we suggest taking simple steps.  Try adding two of these foods to your regular diet each week or two.  Start by eating them a couple times a week.  Within two months you will have incorporated all of these healthy ideas into your regular shopping list and meal preparations.  Then you will be ready to make some other simple changes. Here's to eating healthy in 2012!!

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