The 25 Top Heart Healthy Foods Help Fight Heart Disease

11Heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death in the Unites States. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing almost 380,000 people annually.

In the United States, a heart attack occurs every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event. Heart disease kills 1 in 3 women, more than breast cancer and all forms of cancer combined.

71 million American adults, 33.5% of the population have high cholesterol; a major contributing risk factor for heart disease and only 1 out of every 3 adults have the condition under control.

The Role Of Diet In Heart Disease

Diet and exercise are the main ways to prevent heart disease, ensure long-term health, and prevent chronic disease. Heart healthy foods deliver power-packed phytonutrients that help to prevent and repair cellular damage and valuable macro and micronutrients to ensure optimal heart health.

Many foods also aid in preventing high cholesterol and clogging of heart arteries that can lead to the need for bypass surgery or premature death from heart attack.

Olive oil has been shown to reduce heart disease and is one of the main staples of the Mediterranean diet that a recent study showed to reduce heart disease by 30% in high-risk patients and by 9% in healthy individuals.

In addition, here are 25 more foods that are chock full of heart-healthy nutrients, which can aid in the protection of your cardiovascular system.

1. Salmon

According to the American Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy fats that fall under the category of polyunsaturated fats. Regular intake of these healthy fats helps to lower the risk of heart arrhythmias that often result in sudden death, slow plaque buildup in the heart and lower triglyceride levels.

2. Flaxseed

Flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids, along with fiber and phytoestrogens that help to lower bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Ground flaxseed can be added to cereals, yogurt, homemade muffins, and to steamed vegetables for a nutty flavor.

3. Oatmeal

Many studies have confirmed that soluble dietary fiber intake greatly reduces the risk for developing heart disease. A ¼-cup serving of steel cut oats provides 15% of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily allowance of fiber. Hot oatmeal and fresh berries is a treat for you and your heart.

4. Beans

Beans are very high in both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps control cholesterol, and they are a great source of lean protein as opposed to animal protein that is much higher in saturated fat that can clog heart arteries.

Beans also provide:

Magnesium

B-complex vitamins

Niacin

Folate

Omega-3 fatty acids

Calcium

5. Blueberries

Blueberries are high in fiber and low in sugar and offer essential carotenoids, the flavonoid, anthocyanin, Ellagic acid, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.

6. Tofu

Tofu is a great alternative to animal protein that is high in saturated fat and provides, Niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

7. Red Wine and Grapes

The catechin and resveratrol flavonoids in red wine are believed to reduce risk for heart disease. Red grapes are rich in flavonoids so there is no need to start drinking just for heart health. Raw fresh garlic and garlic supplements are also great sources of catechin.

8. Tuna

Tuna is a fatty fish that is rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also provides folate and niacin.

9. Walnuts

Like almonds, walnuts offer essential nutrients for heart health, including heart-favorable mono and polyunsaturated fats, magnesium, folate, fiber and vitamin E.

10. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a healthy whole grain that is much better for heart health than white processed rice. It gives you, B-complex vitamins, niacin, magnesium, and fiber.

11. Soy Milk

Soymilk is fortified with heart healthy nutrients, including: isoflavones, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and phytoestrogen, potassium and B-complex vitamins

12. Almonds

Almonds are nutrition powerhouses that provide heart friendly mono and polyunsaturated fats, and:

Magnesium

Vitamin E

Phytosterols

Choose raw nuts without added salty or sugary toppings. Cacao dusted almonds are a great option to get an added boost of antioxidants from the chocolate. Pure almond butter is a super food that provides healthy fats and makes a great snack as a dip for fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth or on whole grain toast for breakfast.

13. Carrots

Carrots offer beta-carotene and fiber. They are also beneficial for vision health. They make a great sweet snack.

14. Spinach, Kale, And All Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are nature’s super foods and provide the best of what plant foods have to offer, including, lutein, B-complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium calcium, and fiber

Choose spinach instead of lettuce for nutrient-packed salads and sandwiches.

15. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are delicious and sweet, and while we often refer to them as vegetables, they are actually fruits.

For heart health, tomatoes offer lycopene, beta and alpha-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium.

Eat them in salads, as snacks, in smoothies, baked with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and in healthy sauces over whole grain pasta.

16. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a much better choice than white potatoes because they offer more nutrients, are lower on the Glycemic index, which makes them more effective for blood sugar control and offer these nutrients for heart health:

Beta-carotene

Vitamins A, C, and E

Fiber

17. Whole Grain Cereals

Whole grain cereals, like whole wheat and oat bran help to lower cholesterol.

18. Broccoli

Broccoli, like all green vegetables is low in calories, nutrient rich and can be eaten in abundance. Broccoli gives you many nutrients for heart health, including beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, A, B-6 and fiber.

Eat it steamed as a side dish, or chop fresh broccoli into soup. It also makes a great snack when dipped into nutrient rich hummus.

19. Oranges

Oranges are high in fiber and provide essential antioxidants to protect from free radicals. They also provide beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, flavonoids, and lots of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium. Eat the whole fruit as juicing removes the pulp and eliminates the fiber.

20. Asparagus

Another awesome green vegetable that is low in calories and heart healthy offering essential nutrients, such as beta-carotene and lutein, B-complex vitamins, fiber and folate.

21. Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash is a vegetable rich in antioxidants, including, beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex and vitamin C. This tasty vegetable also provides folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

22. Cantaloupe

This juicy sweet fruit is good for heart health due it’s rich content of antioxidants, including, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. It is also a high fiber fruit that can help prevent high cholesterol.

23. Papaya

Papaya is another sweet and delicious fruit that can help lower risks of heart disease by providing you with beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamins E and C, lutein calcium, magnesium and potassium.

24. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate that is at least 60% cacao contains resveratrol and cocoa phenol flavonoids that are effective antioxidants in preventing heart disease.

25. Green Tea

Green tea has many health benefits, some of which are rooted in its content of catechin and flavanols that help to reduce heart disease risks. It also helps with weight loss, which naturally improves health and significantly lowers the risks for heart disease.

Bottom Line

Incorporating these 25 heart-healthy foods into your everyday diet can help to reduce your risk of developing heart conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. The site encompasses a wide variety of health and fitness activities including general health matters, pilates, yoga, CrossFit, treadmill training, running, kettlebell, swimming, baseball, camping, hunting, HIIT, triathlons, extreme sports, equestrian and more. Should this subject matter be of interest you can visit the HF & S Club home site where you’ll find over 1,300 quality posts with new posts being published daily. To quickly access those that are of interest you can select any of 20 Categories broken down by over 260 Sub-Categories for easy access. You can also visit visit any of the HF & S Club’s four Stores all of which feature 1,000s of sports and health products at the very best prices. Access this website by going to http://www.healthfitnessandsport.com

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Reinventing Myself – Realizing What Really Matters

meditateThis week marks exactly one year since our dog, Jack, abruptly left us.

Appearing fine with the rising of the sun, by nightfall he was no more. That’s a grim progression to experience any time, but to complicate this horribly unpleasant and unexpected bump in our highway of life, Jack’s passing occurred the exact morning I was slated to leave town for three months of contracted work. My wife and I, heartbroken, left the veterinarian and, upon arriving home, tearfully hugged each other as I slid into my rental car, and left her forlorn and isolated in our grievously hollow home.

Intertwined throughout the choking weight of sadness I carried was woven a heavy rope of guilt. But what are you going to do? It was three months worth of employment, planned well in advance. If your occupation takes you away – even when it’s more than inconvenient – you’re bound to go.

Life goes on – so to speak.

When my travel concluded, my wife requested, “I know you love what you do – and I want you to be happy. But, I really need you not to travel so often. Would you please try and earn more of your income here?”

I agreed, not only because of her request, but also because I had been growing weary of the travel hassles. Her vocalizing my thoughts cemented the decision. So, for the last several months, I have been “reinventing myself at 60,” not something I intended – nor something I recommend, but as they say, “Life is what happens while we’re making other plans.” Mostly, short of scurrying hither and yon sussing out new modes of income, I’m doing okay. To that end, I do more coaching, both in person and on-line. I’m producing my own local seminars. I’ve snagged more hours assisting clients with marketing and consulting. And, I’m pleased as heck that even after 20 years together, I really do still enjoy spending so many hours with my lovely bride (and how cool is it that she says she enjoys having me around).

Today however brought forth an unexpected revelation: The most difficult component of my reinvention is that I no longer know who I am.

For decades, I have been a “professional speaker.” I mean, technically I still am, as I continue to speak professionally. Yet the vast majority of income in this new normal is via on-line and local presentations. I guess my definition of “professional speaker” involved airplanes, hotels, larger venues, and going to places that were not “home.” I didn’t realize that until now.

Some say it’s a “guy thing” to have so much of who I am wrapped up in what I do. Yet I’m confident there is plenty a lady whose identity is evenly swathed in what she does.

I’m not looking for sympathy about my post-midlife crisis. Many, many folks face far worse decisions; and I’m grateful that I have the skills and resources to weather this transition. Yet, this readjustment in thought requires some support, which arrived today via one of my wiser associates (who is indeed quite successful in his own career). When others ask of him what he does, he replies, “In reaction to what?”

It made me realize that too many of us have given up the moniker, “human beings,” having exchanged it for “human doings.” None of us are here to “do.” We exist to “be” – and doing that to its fullest potential has next to zero to do with the title on a business card. I am reminded that nobody’s final thought will be, “I wish I would have worked more.”

Who we are is determined by the quality of the relationships we weave, and the appreciation we hold in each moment for the marvelous beings we are – no matter what label we choose.

Scott “Q” Marcus is a motivational weight loss expert who specializes on helping baby boomers live happier, healthier lives. He is a professional speaker, Syndicated Columnist, and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a site for people who are tired of making promises to themselves but are willing to do what it takes to actually makes changes. In addition, he conducts speeches, workshops, and presentations throughout the country on how to achieve goals, improve attitude, and enjoy the process. You can contact him for speaking, coaching or consulting, or you can sign up for his free weekly “Monday Motivational Memo” at http://www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com

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The Real Scoop on Meditation

There is a lot of flowery, poetic language about meditation and what it will do for you. Let me give it to you straight. Meditation is setting aside a fixed amount of time, even a minute, to do nothing, achieve nothing and be free of daily demands. It is just a space.healthy-heart-e1395869781212

Within this space you can calm your breath, practice relaxing and releasing, calm your thoughts, discover something new. OR NOT. Who knows what will fill the space but

  • set your timer,
  • put your body there
  • and see what happens

Here is a typical meditation session for me and I don’t do it every day. I know I should but I’m being straight with you. I set my timer for 10 minutes and this time I settle into a low chair that lets me rest my feet on the floor. I like to try different chairs and pillows to see how they feel.

So, I remember to focus on my breathing, in and out, and within seconds I’m thinking about what I want to wear because I’m still in my PJs. This switch happens so fast I didn’t even feel it until I realized I was in the middle of it. So dutifully I go back to my breath, this time amusing myself by making it go to one side more than the other side, my elbow raising like a chicken wing. And zap! I’m making a grocery list!

Back to my breathing I remember I’m supposed to learn to relax and I do notice my jaw is tense and my toes curled. I enjoy releasing some muscles and do begin to feel a little softer. Nice.

Zap, incoming judgment where I wonder why I’m bothering to meditate. Does it really make a difference? Wouldn’t a nap do the same thing? Back to my breathing, back to noticing tension in my body and then I’m surprised to have the image of my brain as a calm pool of water. Where did that come from?

I sit back and enjoy the calm and notice a couple of worries bubbling up but they are in the water and I’m watching from the side. The water is silver blue and the worries break the surface. Well, what do you know? Both the worries are about someone else’s problem that I think I can fix. I wonder if I do that a lot? I let those two worries swim away to their own pool.

Zap again but this time it’s the timer and I’m surprised because, for a moment, I really traveled inside and forgot I was forcing myself to meditate!

Mindful Minutes are short suggestions for experimenting with bringing more peace and clarity into your life. Join me as I deepen my practice of mindfulness and share my experience. Sign up for Mindful Minutes at [email protected].

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Personal Views on Aging

benefits-of-juicing_grandeWhen I think of aging, I think of my grandparents. They are old, retired, vacationers, wise, stubborn, strong-willed, move slower, nap often, funny, loving, and many other things. My grandparents are my prime example of aging. They are the oldest people that I am around most often. My ideas of aging are likely heavily influenced by these important figures in my life. But I also look towards the media to form my ideas of aging.

My basic idea of aging has to do with the passage of time and accumulation of wisdom. I think of aging as a process. It happens as time passes and includes physical changes. When someone is wrinkly and begins not to be so nimble, I tend to see them as aging. I often equate the words aging and old. Many times, I use chronological years to determine whether a person is aging or old, but I think what most significantly determines who is old to me is the amount of wisdom someone acquires. For example, I do not think of myself as old, but when I see someone my age that has more experiences and insight, they seem older to me.

There are many symbols and celebrations of aging in our culture: a child first learns to walk, starts speaking, loses a baby tooth, starts school, learns to drive, graduates, moves away, gets married, has children, retires. A person’s aging is also signified with each birthday that passes.

There are many positive and negative aspects of aging. As someone grows, they can be more independent and have the capability to choose what they want to do. I think that this can be fun and great in the sense that someone can determine for themselves how they would like to live and experience the world. But this also comes with personal responsibilities and stress. When someone can determine how they want to live, they must also take into consideration how their actions might impact others and become more responsible for what they choose to do.

Being old also comes with many positives and negatives. I hope that when I am old, I will have experienced many different things in my life and feel satisfied with what I have accomplished and the relationships I have built. I think it would be a great time to reflect on myself and my choices and who I am. I could think less about what I will do and stress and struggle less to achieve and accomplish new things. I could take the time to further build close relationships with my family and to teach younger generations from my life experiences. It would be an interesting time to see how the world and people progress as time passes. It would also be a scary time. Things continue to change but I become less able to adapt and slowly find it harder to take care of myself. But it would be interesting to see the world and people from an old person’s perspective. I would be in less of a hurry and might have new insights and appreciate things I was not able to before.

I think my beliefs about aging are quite typical for many in my culture. People often think about becoming old and less physically capable along with gaining wisdom and sharing knowledge. This is often seen in movies and stories. The mentor or wise character is typically older, sometimes has a long, white beard and often has many life experiences to share. These are my current ideas and feelings about aging, but I believe they will also continue to change and develop as I become older.

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A Non-Diet Approach to a Healthy Breakfast

Many chronic dieters start each day with a renewed sense of hope that “today is the day I am going to stick to my diet.” Breakfast then becomes the natural starting point for any diet, meal plan, healthy eating vow, etc. Now, I’m all for starting each day with a positive outlook, but sometimes, in regards to our diet, we aim for perfection and it backfires. For example, when someone starts a new diet they often times put a ton of energy into prepping and planning their meals. They may even wake up early to make sure they have time for the perfect breakfast. As time passes they may begin to put off food prep and start hitting the snooze button a few times and before you know it they’re back to a refined grab ‘n go breakfast, the drive through or worse yet – skipping breakfast all together.1418635-bigthumbnail1

A Real Life Example of How Simple a Healthy Breakfast Can Be:

Recently while helping a client plan some meals I pulled out my [imaginary] magic wand and asked her “If you could eat whatever you wanted for breakfast without worrying about your weight, something that would keep you sustained through the morning and that you like to eat, what would that be?” She reported back that her favorite breakfast is eggs, whole grain toast with real butter and coffee with cream. She also went on to say that this breakfast is easy for her to prepare, she likes it, and she feels satisfied through the morning when she eats this. Despite this, she was a bit shocked when I said “okay, we’ll start your breakfast meal plan with eggs, toast and coffee”. She felt that she needed to avoid carbs and up her protein and veggies at breakfast to lose weight. I did convince her to add in some fruit if she needed it but she really had already found a breakfast that was going to work for her. As I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, permanent results are about consistency not perfection.

I’d like to share some practical breakfast tips that will hopefully help you break the yo-yo diet cycle and shift your focus to feeling good and fueling your body with foods you love.

A Non-Diet Approach to a Healthy and Easy Breakfast

  • Create a Balanced Breakfast: If your breakfast only consists of 1 or 2 food groups then you are likely missing out on balanced nutrition. Aim to take in at least 4 food groups for breakfast. Here is a quick example, a small veggie omelet with cheese is 3 food groups, add in fruit and/or toast for a total of 4-5 food groups.
  • Have Back-up Breakfast Options on Hand: Let’s face it, we are all bound to have “one of those days” where we are lucky to make it out the door alive. That doesn’t mean your breakfast has to be sacrificed. It’s important to have some grab and go items on hand. I would still try to aim for at least 3 food groups. Fruit, a cheese stick, and a breakfast bar would be a nice balance.
  • What if You’re Just Not a Breakfast Person: I see it all the time. Many people just don’t have an appetite in the morning. I don’t support pushing ourselves to eat when we aren’t hungry but in this case you may need to try and stimulate a morning appetite. Start off by eating something small. A piece of fruit, toast or cheese. If that is still too much for you in the morning try juice or a small smoothie.

Dina Garcia, RD, LDN, Dietitian-Nutritionist and Mindful Eating Coach, helps people create balance in their life and diet so a healthy lifestyle can become habit and stress-free. After losing weight and reversing her own pre-diabetes she has a true passion for helping others live the healthy energetic life they deserve. To access her FREE download 3 Simple Steps to Creating Healthy Meals + BONUS Menus, visit: http://VidaNutrition.com

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Type 2 Diabetes – The Best Kept Secret For Controlling Hunger and Blood Sugar Levels

Glucose level blood test

Glucose level blood test

Eating regular meals and snacks not only help to keep all Type 2 diabetic’s blood sugar levels stable, they also help keep their hunger in check. Avoiding hunger highs and lows is an important way to help prevent overeating. It’s important for Type 2 diabetics to prevent overeating to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and body weight.

Are you struggling to lose weight because your hunger keeps getting the best of you? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people struggle with this program and very often the solution is right under their nose – or fork as the case happens to be.

Focusing heavily on the timing of your foods or what you are eating may cause you to overlook one key factor. This factor? Meal make-up. By this I mean how much of each type of food you are eating at each meal. Even if you are eating slower digesting foods, if you eat the wrong volume of these foods – too much of one and not enough of the other, this can lead to you being continuously ravenous.

Here is how each of your meal plates should look…

Vegetables Form The Base. First, you’ll want the vegetable component of your meal to make up the bulk of your plate. This should account for roughly half of your plate total. Load them up – just be sure they are prepared using lower calorie cooking methods.

A Generous Dose Of Protein Is Added. Next, you’ll want to add a generous dose of protein as well. There should be just about as much protein as vegetables, with veggies taking the slight edge. Aim for one-quarter to one-third of your plate filled with protein.

Make sure to choose lean cuts such as chicken, fish, turkey, lean beef, or egg whites.

Fats Are Used To Fill In The Blanks. Now you need to add fats. There will be just a little room left on your plate – around one-eighth. Fats will help to slow down the digestion process, so now you have fiber and protein in the picture, they’ll round out the hunger busting picture.

Choose healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, or a small dose of organic cheese.

Carbs Are Served As A Garnish. Finally, carbohydrates should be served as a garnish. Basically, add just a small amount on the side of your plate and this will be the key to keeping hunger in check. Carbohydrates are the nutrient that will lead to hunger, and while choosing slower digesting carbohydrates is most important, keeping the total volume down is also critical.

Even low-GI carbs can have a high-GI load if you eat enough of them.

So next time you’re sitting down to eat a meal, make sure you are following these quick tips. If you do, you’ll naturally calm hunger pains, making it much easier to stick with your diabetic eating plan. Control your blood sugar levels and you will control your weight.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

For nearly 25 years Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body. Go to http://DrugFreeType2Diabetes.com to learn about some of those secrets.

The answer isn’t in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

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Eating Your Way to Lower Blood Pressure

1050_symptoms_emotional_mental_headWhen it comes to healthy blood pressure, it is just as important to eat the right food as it is to avoid the wrong ones. In order to lower your blood pressure (as most people who have a problem with blood pressure tend to have too high, not too low) you should eat a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy goods, as well as avoiding alcohol, caffeine, sugars, saturated fats and cholesterol. Doing so can lower your blood pressure by up to 14mm Hg.

OK, avoiding most of these is easy enough, and cholesterol is about increasing the good kind (HDLs) and getting less of the “bad” kind (LDLs) – though both kinds are necessary for proper nutrition. What about getting the right foods?

There are three key nutrients that help lower blood pressure; Folate, magnesium, and potassium.

Potassium
When the potassium levels are low in your body, it begins to retain sodium, and this leads to higher blood pressure. There is no point in lowering salt intake if you do not also increase potassium intake. Numerous studies have been done on this, and the findings show that increased potassium levels lead to significant drops in both systolic and diastolic levels. Getting your potassium from food rather than a supplement is the recommended course of action.

Foods that are high in potassium include sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beet greens, white beans, yoghurt, clams, prunes, carrots, molasses, tuna, halibut, soy beans, winter squash, bananas, milk, and oranges.

Magnesium
Combine the potassium with magnesium and Folate, and it will lead to even lower blood pressure, for they work together to give even better results. Magnesium seems to have a correlative connection with potassium. The lower the magnesium is, the lower the potassium levels. The inverse is not necessarily true, indicating that the magnesium acts in conjunction with the potassium.

Foods that are high in magnesium include spinach, swiss chard, squashes, mackerel, many types of beans, brown rice, avocadoes, yoghurt, bananas, figs, dark chocolate, pears, soy cheese, black-eyed peas, most nuts, Pollock and salmon.

Folate
Folate is essential for normal cellular metabolism. Without it the body has difficulty to metabolize homocysteine, which can cause damage to blood vessels. Folate also helps make the blood vessels more elastic, allowing them to dilate and contract as needed through nitric oxide. Studies indicate that if a person gets 400mg of Folate per day they will significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular deaths (by around 28 000 per year).

Folate can be found in most leafy greens, broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, brussel sprouts, beets, potatoes, avocado, papaya, beans, lentils, peas, sunflower seeds, and the organs of meat.

In addition to this there are other nutrients that help.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that protects against the hardening of arteries, and is incorporated into the LDL cholesterol. This helps to prevent the damage done by free radicals, and it reduces peroxidation (the oxidative degradation of lipids, which causes cell damage), improves LDL breakdown, reduces the chances of excessive platelet aggregation (which causes clotting), increases the HDL levels, and it helps to breakdown fibrin, which is a clot-forming protein.

You can find vitamin E in chili powder, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, paprika, toasted almonds, almond butter, roasted sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, peanuts, peanut butter, wheat germ, sockeye salmon, tuna, tomatoes, oatmeal, broccoli, green olives, asparagus, spinach, swiss chard, kale, rice, mangoes, kiwi, dried apricots, butternut squash, red bell peppers, and avocados.

Vitamin D and Calcium
Low-fat milk provides both vitamins D and calcium, and together they help to reduce blood pressure, by as much as 15%.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, eggs, liver, orange juice (most is fortified with vitamin D), salmon, snapper, beef liver, pork, mackerel, trout, herring, tuna, halibut, and margarine. Calcium can be found in dairy products, of course, but also can be found in leafy greens, broccoli, edamame peas, bok choy, figs, oranges, sardines, salmon, okra, white beans, tofu, and almonds.

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Heart Health And Disease Statistics For Women

There is a common misconception that only men are susceptible to the risk of heart disease, but they are all sadly mistaken. In fact it is also the #1 cause of death in women. In fact, since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.

Women and Heart Disease Facts11

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the biggest killer of women worldwide. Heart disease and stroke kills 8.6 million women each year, which is 1/3 of all deaths worldwide.

In the United States, the disease is the number 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease with a death approximately every one minute.

An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease and 90% of all women have at least one or more risk factors for developing it.

Even though there’s been an increase of awareness over the past 10 years or so, only 54% of women, that’s 1 in 5, actually realize that their #1 killer is disease of the heart.

For both white and African American women, it is the top cause of death in America, and for Hispanic women both cancer and heart disease cause nearly the same amount of deaths every year. For Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, or American Indian women in the U.S., disease of the heart is 2nd to cancer as the leading cause of death.

7.6% of black women, 5.8% of white women and 5.6% of Mexican American women currently suffer from coronary heart disease.

Nearly 64% of women who end up suddenly dying of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms at the time of their death. This proves that you can be at risk for heart disease even if you are not presently displaying any symptoms.

One of the contributing factors in the number of deaths is that the symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men, and are often misunderstood.

While there are some women who do not display any symptoms whatsoever, there are others who experience angina, which is a dull chest pain and/or discomfort that can be heavy to sharp in nature, pain in their upper back or abdomen or pain in their neck/throat/jaw. These pains can occur while you are resting, when you begin any physical activity or they can also be triggered due to mental stress.

Women in general are more likely to describe their chest pain as sharp and burning, and they are more frequently prone to pain in their jaw, neck, throat, back, or abdomen.

The disease symptoms can sometimes be completely silent and the disease is not diagnosed until a woman begins experiencing signs and/or symptoms of a heart conditions such as heart failure, heart attack, a heart arrhythmia or a stroke. Symptoms Women May Experience

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

Discomfort and/or pain in your chest

Pain in the upper back

Heartburn

Indigestion

Upper body discomfort

Nausea/vomiting

Extreme fatigue

Shortness of breath

Symptoms of an arrhythmia can include:

Fluttering feelings in your chest (heart palpitations)

Symptoms of heart failure can include:

Shortness of breath

Swelling of your ankles/feet/legs/abdomen

Fatigue

Symptoms of a stroke can include:

A sudden weakness, or paralysis (unable to move)

Numbness of the face/legs/arms especially on one particular side of your body

Confusion

Trouble speaking and/or understanding speech

Difficulty seeing out of either one or both eyes

Shortness of breath

Loss of balance or coordination

Dizziness

Loss of consciousness

Sudden, and severe headache

Key Risk Factors For Women

These are all significant risk factors for heart disease in women. Nearly half of all Americans (about 49%) have at least one of the three key risk factors, and 90% of women have at least one risk factor.

High blood pressure

Smoking

High levels of LDL cholesterol

A number of lifestyle choices and medical conditions can also increase the risk for disease of the heart in women, these include:

Diabetes

Excessive alcohol consumption

Physical inactivity

Poor diet

Overweight and/or obesity

Screening

Prevention

Regular screenings, blood tests, and healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way to preventing heart disease and its repercussions. Many times women fail to take care of themselves until it’s almost too late. Take the time to take care of your health and ask your doctor about your heart health.

Russell (Rusty) Hart is the founder of the Health, Fitness & Sport Club, a website devoted to the promotion of health, fitness and wellness. http://www.healthfitnessandsport.com

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The X Factor in Optimal Health: Your Thoughts, Beliefs, and Attitude

beliefs-thoughts-actions-resultsYou say you want to live a long healthy life, be around for kids and grand kids, and you talk the talk. You might be one of those people who tries to eat better, tries to get to the gym, and tries to get more rest. The obvious factors that support your stay-healthy goals are things you already know: keep a moderate weight; avoid tobacco and excess alcohol; eat your veggies and avoid junk food; get plenty of exercise; take your supplements; and don’t skimp on sleep. Ho hum… right? The media is practically screaming at us to follow these guidelines.

What makes health even more interesting are the more subtle practices that have just as great an impact. Do you recognize any opportunities for you here to walk your talk and make this real for you in your lifetime?

  1. What are your attitudes and beliefs? I heard someone say last week that when she got the sniffles, she was sure that it would develop into bronchitis. Her body complied with her belief. I promise you that when your body gives you messages like the sniffles, bolstering your positive expectations and willingness to nurture yourself back to feeling 100% makes a huge difference. When you feel good, remind yourself that there is plenty more feeling good to be had. Notice your thoughts.
  2. What do you talk about? Are your conversations with friends and family an organ recital? Do you lug your aches and pains around like a badge of suffering, always ready to share them with others? Someone I know keeps reminding everyone around him that he expects to become senile, when he is not that way at all! Are you able and willing to focus on the positive, and make that part of your conversations? Notice what you talk about.
  3. What are your expectations? When you look into your own future, what do you see? Do you visualize yourself aging and becoming your parents? Have you entered that cultural portal called aging with resignation? Are you able and willing to hone your outlook in order to create more vitality? Notice what you expect.
  4. Do you give thanks? Being grateful is a blessing unto itself. The more you are thankful, the more you have to be thankful for. It is a wonder drug. There is no law against complaining. You just might not appreciate where that will lead you. So adjust your point of focus. Appreciate all that is good.

Among centenarians, some of them smoke, some only exercise a little bit, and some don’t have the perfect shape or size body. Most of them don’t smoke, most do stay active, and most have modest weight. In addition, they are notoriously positive, hard-working, fun-loving people. The point is for you to complete your habits and practices with the right attitude, focusing on what is possible for you living in your body, and adjusting your outlook. People who live to be 100 tend to be optimistic, and happy. Continue to buy and eat organic broccoli and kale. Continue to exercise and get plenty of sleep. And remember to think and act like a healthy and radiant older person, and you just might become one.

Get your body to love you back!

Rosie Bank is a Certified Holistic Health Coach helping her client live with more confidence, happiness, and vitality in their bodies. She offers monthly Got Health? talks in Foster City, CA and conducts corporate, executive, and individual health coaching consultation locally and throughout the US.

For more information, visit http://www.rosiebank.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rosie_Bank

Motivational Tips For Staying Healthy

Do you find yourself losing interest in staying healthy or in exercising? Maybe you were enthusiastic and dedicated. Then, you suddenly find your interest fading in doing exercises. Then, you go back to your old habits. What if instead of making huge changes to your life, you choose to make small changes? Simple changes to your life will help you stay healthy.Take-Care-of-Your-Body-Motivational-Quote

Rethink your role model

Barbie dolls may have been your role model as a child, but then they are six feet tall, have thin legs and a thin waist. Moreover, they have the extra inches up their chests and are too skinny to be role models as children grow up. In fact, you should rethink your role model because it will help you to accept yourself for who you are and make you motivated enough to go to the gym. Remember – it all begins in the mind.

Feel good about yourself

Be sure that the people around you want to make you feel good. It does not matter what your health condition or your size is. If you have friends, who encourage you to smoke, drink alcohol or skip the gym, then it is high time you find friends, who can help encourage you to cultivate some good habits. Do not be hung up on the number of pounds you weigh. Instead, eat healthy and exercise. That is more than enough to live a healthy life.

Know what makes you eat more

If you want to stay motivated, then you should consider knowing what your problem areas are and having a plan to deal with them. Do you use food to cope with depression, boredom, rejection or even personal success? Think of healthier ways to cope with your mood swings. Instead of eating food every time you feel something, In addition, try to avoid bingeing on foods whenever you feel disappointed, bored or even dejected. Fill your kitchen with plenty of fruits and vegetables so that whenever you feel tempted to eat, you can simply chew on one of them.

Find a cheering section

Many people need a cheering section or someone who can help them muster their courage and determination. It does not matter who gives the support – your spouse, co-worker or your friend. Think of four to five people, who might be in your cheering section. Talk to these people and ask them how you can get help from them along with some motivation to visit your gym or to cultivate healthy food habits.

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