Friday, January 8, 2016

9 Heart-Friendly Foods that Every Busy Mom Needs

We don't follow a particular diet but I like to vary our meals daily and weekly. My formula for a weekly menu is chicken, fish, meat, veggies and lots of fruits. I was browsing my old emails and found one article that lists foods that are good for the heart. I didn't know that a lot of our favorites are good for the heart. Maybe that explains why the doctors say I have a heart as strong as a horse's. LOL. So, today I'd like to share our favorite super foods that are good for the heart.


Salmon, Tuna and Sardines

Fatty fishes are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. They also help the heart beat at a consistent rate. The American Heart Association says to aim for at least two servings a week. 

Check out my food blog for fish recipes:


If you want more, just key in 'seafood' in the search box or use any one of the super fishes above. 

Olive Oil

Olive oil is expensive in Manila so I only use it for special dishes. The extra virgin variety is the best. Olive oil is one of the youth elixirs of the Italians and people in the Mediterranean. 

Cherries


Cherries are one of my favorite fruits but again, super expensive here as it is not native in our country. When I have the budget, I buy even just a little. When I go back to Singapore, I'm gonna hoard these babies! Super cheap at the supermarket. 

Cherries have antioxidants that lower the risk of heart diseases. Fresh is best as frozen ones can lose their anthocyanin by 50%. 

Blueberries


In the berry family, the blueberries are the rock stars when it comes to antioxidants. Blueberries have a compound that lowers LDL or bad cholesterol and they even help prevent type 2 diabetes. I love blueberries and I could eat them every day! I especially loved making them into smoothies when I was pregnant. 

Watermelons


I buy a whole watermelon every week and we polish it off in just two days! It's my son's favorite and my favorite. Recently, I discovered that my husband does a mean frozen watermelon shake so that's what we've been having lately. Watermelons are rich in potassium which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. 



Tea


I'm a tea lover. I don't really drink coffee. Coffee gives me migraines. Tea can lower the risk of heart diseases by a third according to the American Heart Association. You need about 3 -6 cups a day to get the max benefits. Avoid adding milk and sugar as they will significantly decrease the health benefits. I use honey or just leave it as is. Choose a tea that contains tea leaves. 



Spinach

Spinach is another favorite but again, expensive! Spinach is rich in potassium, folate, lutein and fiber that helps cut heart disease risk by 25%. And that's just for 2.5 servings! You can further reduce the risk by a whopping 17% if you add some more to your diet. 

Avocados


I used to hate avocados but I don't know what changed in me that I started to like it. I like putting it on toast and slathering it with honey. I have also started liking it in smoothie form thanks to my husband. Avocados help reduce bad fats and help lower cholesterol levels. 


Nuts


My son and I love snacking on nuts. It started with my mom when I was young. She also loves nuts and we would often share a bag of almonds or pistachios. Walnuts and almonds are rich in good fats that get rid of the bad cholesterol in the body. They are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acid and fiber. 


Before including these foods in your diet, be sure to ask your doctor or healthcare provider first as some food can be bad for certain diseases and lifestyles. Also, moderation is key. Nothing in excess and you will find yourself in good health. 



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