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Valentine’s Day Heart-Healing Superfoods

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Valentine’s Day Heart-Healing Superfoods

Forget the budget-busting exotic superfoods, these heart-healing superfoods are readily available and affordable.  Some may be as close as your backyard.  Here are my picks:

Almonds—Skip the unhealthy chips or popcorn with artificial-butter-like-topping.  Instead snack on almonds.  Their monounsaturated fats cut LDL while increasing HDL cholesterol (think: “L” for “lousy” in LDL and “H” for “healthy” in HDL cholesterol).  They’re also packed with essential artery-protecting vitamin E and heart-boosting minerals calcium and magnesium.  Choose raw, unsalted almonds, preferably soaked overnight or for a few hours in water to increase their nutrient content.

Apples—Rich in the flavonoids, quercetin, apples not only eliminate harmful free radicals from the bloodstream, they are a rich source of soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin binds to excessive amounts of LDL cholesterol and escorts it out of the body.

Blueberries—Rich in natural aspirin (salicylic acid) without the harmful side-effects, blueberries are also high in natural anthocyanins and catechins.  Both of these important phytonutrients help restore healthy body weight and decrease inflammation, including within the blood vessels.

Carrots—The humble carrot has almost been forgotten about in light of new superfood discoveries.  However, it is still a great heart-health superfood.  Containing high amounts of beta-carotene — an antioxidant that is a precursor to vitamin A in the body and protects against harmful artery-damaging free radicals — carrots are also high in homocysteine-lowering folate (vitamin B9) as well as many other nutrients.

Flaxseeds—Rich in anti-inflammatory and heart-healing Omega 3 fatty acids, ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are excellent additions to ward off heart disease.  Research shows that flaxseeds reduce the incidence of arteriosclerosis.  Use a coffee grinder (only about $10-20) to grind flaxseeds and add to smoothies, on top of salads, waffles or pancakes.  Flaxseed oil should be refrigerated and not heated.  Add flaxseed oil and a little unrefined sea salt to cooked sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables and drizzled on a salad.

Garlic—Garlic helps lower excess cholesterol, balance blood pressure and is an all-around great food for the heart.  Try to get at least one clove of garlic in your diet every day.  Raw is best but cooked garlic is still beneficial.

12 Surprising Uses for Garlic

Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans and other beans)—Research shows that eating beans four times a week reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.  They are delicious added to soups, stews, curries, wraps or atop salads.

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

Oatmeal (or brown Rice, millet, and quinoa)—Packed with fiber that binds to excessive amounts of cholesterol and toxins, oatmeal is a great heart health superfood.  If you are trying to go gluten-free be sure to choose a gluten-free variety of oats since most contain gluten.  Brown rice, millet and quinoa have the same heart health benefits and are gluten-free.

Keep reading to discover the fruit that protects your DNA from damage…

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Cholesterol, Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, High Blood Pressure, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Natural Remedies, Smart Shopping, Valentine's Day, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

418 comments

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8:39AM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

Luckily I love all of these! As Cynthia says---it's so refreshing to see no animal parts tho no surprise.

4:17PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

thanks

3:31PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Thanks

10:17AM PST on Mar 4, 2013

Thanks for the article.

3:48PM PST on Mar 3, 2013

Thanks

7:50AM PST on Mar 3, 2013

Thanks

6:12AM PST on Mar 3, 2013

Nice :-) thanku

4:18AM PST on Mar 3, 2013

Thanks. Love apples and garlic.

7:19PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

thanks

11:59AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Notice that everything suggested in this article is NOT animal products (except fish). Go vegan; go healthy and don't be cruel any more.

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