Think of your heart!
Your heart is important - it's not that hard to keep it happy!
Stress, insufficient exercise, alcohol, tobacco and fast food are all enemies of your heart. The heart is a hollow muscular organ that, when it contracts, pumps blood into the arteries to bring oxygen and nutritional elements to cells in every part of the body. The blood transfers cell waste to the liver, lungs and kidneys where it is processed and eliminated. Everything is clear and straightforward until fatty deposits start building up in the arteries, forming plaques that create blockages and restrict the blood flow through the arteries. That's when the body starts sending out distress signals: heart problems, poor irrigation of the cardiac muscle (myocardium) or the rupture of a blood vessel, leading to a stroke.
Let's look at a few basic principles and identify some preventative foods in our diet. It may be time to give your pantry a make-over!
- fruits and vegetables should make up 25% of your daily diet
- grain-based products (bread, pasta, rice, cereals) should constitute another 25% of your daily food intake
- read labels while grocery shopping to be better informed about the amount of fat in your food
- choose cooking methods that don't require fat but still provide lots of flavour
dark green, like spinach, peppers and broccoli, lettuce
clinical studies have shown that people who eat a lot of boiled potatoes (not fried, or mashed with butter!) are less subject to heart attacks potatoes are high in vitamin C which provides a valuable defense
- orange, like cantaloupe and oranges
- wild fruits and berries, and fruit in general
- lemon, a fat reducer
- nuts, whose oil is beneficial to the arteries - especially almonds
especially whole grain
Cereals and Pasta
preferably brown bread, multi-grain, whole wheat
brown rice is known to play a part in preventing heart disease; accompanied by green vegetables, it can be a defense against heart attacks
- choose lean cuts, whether of beef, pork or lamb, all poultry except duck
- did you know that ostrich is the lowest fat meat you can find?
contrary to what you might think, oily fish can protect you from heart disease
limit your weekly consumption of eggs to two (we're talking about egg yolks - whites can be used as you wish)
Milk and Dairy Products
- choose low-fat milk: skim or 1%
- choose cheese that is partially skimmed, or that contains less than 20% fat
- buy non-fat yogurts and sour cream
Butter, Oil and Dressings
reduce your intake of butter and oil by using non-fat cooking methods, such as roasting or baking, grilling, poaching, etc.
choose vegetable oils low in saturated fats
olive oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil all belong to a group called phytosterols, which are low in cholesterol and do not form fatty "plaques" on artery walls
cut the oil in your dressings with lemon juice
learn to use spices as a stimulant for your heart: cinnamon, cardamom, curry, coriander, cumin, fennel, galanga, cloves, mustard, allspice, chilies, pepper, saffron
garlic slows down arterial obstruction
learn to use herbs as a stimulant for your heart: chervil, tarragon, fennel, lovage, marjoram, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon verbena powdered sage is used in Japan to reduce the formation of blood clots and to prevent myocardial problems - it is used as a seasoning or in tea
contributes to normal blood pH, and assists in blood circulation by cleansing and eliminating various toxins and pollutants. It is recommended for eliminating excess cholesterol. It assists in the metabolizing of sugars and equalizes the body's acidity levels.
taken in moderation, red wine has long been recognized in lowering blood pressure and reducing heart attacks. It increases the body's "good" cholesterol level (high in lipoproteins) which in turn attacks "bad" cholesterol (having a low level of lipoproteins); dose: 65 ml of wine per day - it's not much, but it's at this level that wine is therapeutic
MSCOMM has gathered this information from preventative and natural medicine and from the popular traditions of various countries for your information and enjoyment, but MSComm declines all responsibility as to its use and does not intend that it be used as a substitute for conventional medicine.
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