Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Heart Healthy Snacks Part 2

Hey friends!  I apologize that this post took so long, I had to make sure the information I presented is up to date and accurate, so check out Eat RightHarvard, or Nutrition.gov for more information.

You may recognize this picture from last week!?


Well, as I promised, I am here to break down these delicious foods and let you know why they are healthy for your heart.

Unsalted nuts and seeds: The unsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds are actually good for your heart!  When eaten in moderation (1-2 servings/day), nuts and seeds offer your body healthy fats that help hormones to work properly, your skin to be smooth, and even help to grow healthy and shiny hair.

Muesli and Oats: Muesli is basically an uncooked granola.  It is packed with nutrition in the form of raw rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts/seeds.  The benefit for muesli over granola is that muesli has much less sugar and fat.  Make sure to read labels, though, because I have seen some that have added sugar in the form of chocolate or other candies.

Berries and Fruits:  Over the last decade, there has been loads of research on the health benefits of red wine.  But, wine can also be disruptive for health, so i like to go straight to the source of where those healthy benefits come from; grapes.  Much like grapes, berries and other dark blue/purple fruits are nutrition packed.  Anthocyanin, the antioxidant that gives berries that beautiful color, is the part of the berry that is so beneficial to health.  Some studies have found that anthocyanin is the link in eating berries and improving heart health and slowing aging!

Leafy Green Vegetables: Much like berries and fruits, leafy greens get their nutritional bang from the pigments of lutein and zeaxanthin.  Both of these pigments help to protect your eyes.  Greens also have lots of protein (especially for their weight), B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and even a small amount of Omega-3 fats (which are good for your heart!

Flax and Chia Seeds: Last, but certainly not least, flax and chia seeds are also loaded with heart healthy fats like Omega-3's, protein, lots of fiber, and a good amount of calcium.

Now, how to use these foods into your daily life will be coming once per week and leading right into National Nutrition Month (March!!) and Dietitian Day (March 11th!!).

Remember to always enjoy life!! Luana Ola!