Saturday, October 29, 2011

6 Foods That Fight Heart Disease

6 Foods That Fight Heart Disease
Keeping your heart in tiptop shape doesn't necessarily mean popping a cholesterol-lowering statin tablet each day. One strategy, I’ve found that works as an alternative is eating foods that have been proven to fight heart disease; they are prescription-free and delicious, and can keep your heart healthy without risky side effects.

Many studies today have found that heart attack survivors who ate chocolate two or more times a week slashed their risk of dying from heart disease by threefold. German researchers have also found that eating only one square of dark chocolate a week lowered the risk of heart attack and stroke by 39 percent. Other studies have also found that chocolate lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow. The high levels of antioxidants in chocolate seem to be the most likely candidates for chocolate's heart-healthy benefits.

High Cocoa Content Makes Dark Chocolate Healthy
Why does the cocoa content have to be so high? Because most of the healthy chocolate antioxidants in cocoa beans are destroyed by traditional processing methods. They're bitter, so they're fermented, roasted, and processed out. Who knew? These methods were developed to enhance taste not nutrition.

So how much cocoa do you need? You need a high cocoa content of at least 70% to make up for the loss. More cocoa means more beneficial chocolate antioxidants are likely to be in the bar or product.

             More Chocolate Antioxidants Retained

But what if you don't enjoy chocolate that dark (70% cocoa or more)? Maybe the new ways to process cocoa developed by Mars (Dove®), Barry Callebaut, and Natraceutical will let you enjoy chocolate with benefits.

These methods retain more of the antioxidants found in the cocoa bean. That should mean less cocoa needed and a milder flavor, right? But it's going to cost you more. Remember you can't put a price on good health, that's your insurance company's job.

All you really need to remember is that dark chocolate is healthy when it contains lots of cocoa. A bar with very little is just candy. So pick a product with a cocoa content of at least 70%, rich in flavor and flavonoids. A truly rare combination!


Evidence is mounting that moderate drinking helps reduce the risk of heart disease. (Lol, let me expound on that a bit….Moderate drinking is defined as three to seven drinks each week for women and three to fourteen drinks weekly for men.) A recent study found that moderate drinking lowered the risk of cardiovascular death by 38 percent. Light drinkers (men or women who had three or fewer drinks a week) lowered their risk by 31 percent. However, this does include mixed drinks.

Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats. They also lower blood pressure, decrease triglyceride levels, and slow the growth of atherosclerotic plaque. A recent study from the University of Athens in Greece found that eating fish once or twice a week helps preserve heart function in those patients who suffer from heart failure. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fatty fish each week.

A British study found that drinking one cup of tea each day could cut the risk of heart attack almost in half. In addition, a Greek study found that green tea dilated arteries in the heart and allowed blood to flow more freely, which may help protect from blood clots. But skip the milk: A German study found that although tea without milk prevents cardiovascular disease, adding milk counteracts the heart-healthy benefits.

Many studies have shown that nuts lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, reduce the risk of developing blood clots, and improve the lining of arteries. Almost every type of nut is healthy, says the Mayo Clinic, but walnuts have been studied many times and have been found to contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. A daily handful of almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts are also healthy, “ONLY” a handful.


Researcher’s at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that drinking three glasses of cranberry juice daily for a month significantly raised HDL ("good") cholesterol by 10 percent and lowered the risk of heart disease by 40 percent. Cranberries may even help those with genes for high cholesterol.

Life Sometimes Gets in the Way!!!

Sorry, about being away, but life did get in the way. I'm now back up and ready to go. Got a lot to share, hope you are there listening.

WellnessLady Blogger