“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. “ –Helen Keller
There are a million different sayings involving our heart. Quotes that speak of love, sadness, strength. Hearts full of determination, courage, and spirit. Yet, the statistics show we don’t treat our heart with the respect it deserves. Heart disease is STILL the leading cause of death today. In fact, 1,100 women die of heart disease EVERY day. It’s almost hard to wrap my head around that. What’s even worse is that 80 percent of those deaths are preventable.
Heart disease isn’t just a problem for people over 50 years old. In fact, the plaque that causes heart disease starts building up in your twenties. It’s largely a lifestyle problem. So this blog is my plea to you! Hoping everyone reading this will help me spread the word about what can be done. Share it with your friends, with your family, with anyone who may not be treating their heart the way they should.
One of the first ways you can reduce your risk for heart disease is to make sure you are eating a heart healthy diet. That means limit sugar, saturated fats and trans-fats. It’s also important to minimize your sodium intake. Taste your food before you salt it and don’t leave the salt shaker on the table. You’ll be more likely to use it without thinking if it’s just sitting there.
It’s not just what you should avoid that can reduce your risk for heart disease. There are key nutrients IN our food that can absolutely protect your heart. I have created a full day’s worth of heart healthy meals to not only educate you about what to eat, but I’m happy to share the recipes with you to make it as easy as possible for you to incorporate these foods into your diet.
Let’s start at breakfast. My new cookbook, Thankful 30 Crock Pot Edition has a great recipe for Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. Essentially every ingredient in it helps to protect the heart by lowering the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and keeping arteries clear.
Oatmeal is filling enough to keep you satisfied until lunch. Then try my Broccoli Boost Salad. You start with vitamin rich kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. Add in some sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to lower your bad cholesterol and top it with tuna. The Omega-3 fatty acids of tuna help improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate variability, a measure of heart function. Omega-3 fatty acids also protect your heart from developing abnormal heart rhythms that can be fatal.
Now if you need a snack in the middle of the day, here’s one that you’ll think is too good to be true. My Brookies Protien Bars- a mix between a cookie and a brownie. It uses NON-GMO Soy protein, nuts, coconut and cocao. It’s a favorite recipe in my first book The Thankful 30 recipe guide.
I use NON-GMO SOY from Shaklee. It is completely cholesterol FREE, vegan and kosher certified. Good for your heart, check. Research shows that twenty-five grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Plus, soy can be a better source of protein for your heart than saturated-fat-rich animal-derived foods. Coconut is good for the heart because of fiber and protein. It may also lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer as well.
Nuts are one of those ‘good fat’ foods you hear about. Their fiber content not only makes you feel full longer it also lowers bad cholesterol. Now if you are wondering why I keep mentioning cholesterol. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease. Nuts are one of the best plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. And the Vitamin E and L-arginine in nuts may help improve the health of your arteries.
Cocao lowers your risk of heart disease as it is high in antioxidants.
For dinner, I like to keep it simple because I’m usually busy running around with the kids and work. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can effectively reduce blood pressure and prevent clotting. Two servings a week may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.
Choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals. Serve it with a side of asparagus which is full of anti-oxidants. Notice a theme here?
I talked about the power of food to protect your heart on a recent TV appearance .. Plus, I’ll tell you what I think are the best supplements for heart health for maximum protection.
It’s important we all take control of our health. So many moms spend all their time taking care of everyone else they forget their own health. Do you and your family a favor. Take care of your heart. And thanks for taking a few minutes to have this heart to heart with me! (here’s a little bonus from The American Cancer Society)
|The American Cancer Society has created guidelines for a healthy diet:|
* Soy foods fit guidelines 1 and 2 for a health-promoting diet.