February is the month of love and sending the ones you love sweet messages, flowers, and hearts. While all of these are great and good way to show your love lets not forget this is the month of heart health and taking care of you on the inside. Our heart is one of the most powerful organs we have to help keep us living and breathing. Without this powerhouse we wouldn’t be able to run that race or even get up each day.
Below I am sharing what to avoid and what to add to your lifestyle each day to live a healthy live feeling your best you!
What to AVOID:
Get rid of the processed foods:
- Our bodies were meant to eat food in its most natural form. When we start to change the food aka process it our bodies cannot breakdown the foods the same way. The more processed the food is the more nutrient depleted it is and chemically altered it becomes.
- Apart from losing its nutritional value, processed food loses most of its other properties like color, flavor, and taste. To compensate for that various chemicals are added to enhance flavors, color, and various other additives.
- These chemicals have been shown to contribute to inflammation, cancer, memory loss, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and other health problems.
- Natural foods tend to not have a long shelf life which leads manufacturers to add in solvents, other chemical concoctions to keep the food fresher longer.
- Fats: hydrogenated
- Carbs: modified
- Proteins: denatured
- Wheat: most of the wheat products you are buying are processed and being “enriched” with preservatives, pesticides, chemical substances to prevent it from absorbing moisture, and color and flavor enhancers.
- Wheat flour digests and absorbs very quickly and will overload your system with glucose.
- Sugar: is in almost every processed food. It is responsible for overloading the body with glucose, causing blood glucose roller coaster, having a detrimental effect on gut flora, and the same effect on the immune system.
- Processed Fats: margarines, butter replacements, vegetable oils, cooking oils, hydrogenated oils, shortenings, and many other artificial fats. All vegetable oils are extracted from plants and contain very fragile polyunsaturated fatty acids which are easily damaged by heat, light, and oxygen. When we eat these plants we can get these oils in their most pristine state but when they are extracted out for further use in something else something very different happens. Very high temperatures, pressure. and various chemicals are employed which can change the structure of the fatty acids and now they become harmful to the body.
- Processed Salt: Industrial sat applications are in the form of sodium chloride which means they have stripped the salt of all other minerals that the body needs. Pure sodium chloride ( table salt) draws water to itself and causes water retention with many consequences such as high blood pressure, tissue edema, and poor circulation. When we consume salt in a more natural state like sea salt, these contain all the minerals and trace elements our body actually needs and is made of.
Foods that actually help your heart:
Omega Fatty Acids:
Salmon,lake trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed, and flaxseed oil.
For many years, the American Heart Association has recommended that people eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Omega 3 fatty acids are those that actually help to reduce inflammation within the body. Inflammation in the body can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease and strokes.
Beetroot juice is one of the richest dietary sources of nitrates, which help improve blood flow and heart health. As such, the nitrates in beet juice may help improve blood flow and exercise ability in
If you live in the Knoxville area you can check out my friends at Juice Bar Bearden below to get good quality beet juice and other great options:
Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, and Blackberries
These fruits are all high in antioxidants called flavonoids that also help with inflammation, lower blood pressure, and dilate blood vessels.
These guys are full of vitamin C another strong antioxidant that pretty much helps with all things.
These are high in antioxidant, lycopene which again helps to fight inflammation which causes heart problems.
They contain vitamin E which is great for lowering cholesterol.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Contains antioxidants known as catechins which can contribute to the lowering of inflammation in the body and improve heart health.
Broccoli, Spinach, and Kale
These are high in carotenoids, which act as antioxidants and free your body of potentially harmful compounds. They’re also high in fiber and contain tons of vitamins and minerals. Kale also has some omega-3 fatty acids.
They’re rich in the monounsaturated fats that may lower heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol. They’re also high in antioxidants and in potassium both of which are beneficial for lowering risk of heart disease.
Pomegranates contain numerous antioxidants, including heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins which may help stave off hardening of the arteries.
Best bets are oats, barley, and lentils. This type of fiber helps to lower cholesterol.
Good Sourced Meats:
We all tend to think that meat is bad and that it can cause cholesterol build up and be a link to heart disease when in fat blood levels of cholesterol may not really be directly linked back to dietary intake of cholesterol. Instead of processed meats look for those that are fresh meats local, pasture raised, grass fed and grass finished.
Meat is actually shown to have a higher content of vitamin and minerals than plants do. Not to mention that the ones in plants are a little harder for the body to digest. We can get most all of our B vitamins from meats including poultry, beef, fish, and eggs.
One of my favorite Sites to use for Good Quality Meats is listed below you can click the BLUE LINK to take you straight to the site:
I hope all of you can learn a little from this post and make a small lifestyle change to help you and your family live a happier and healthier life. Have a happy Sunday!
Healthfully Yours ,
Krystal Goodman NTP, CPT