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Love Your Heart and It Will Love You Back part 1

Posted on January 7, 2013 02:21 pm

Welcome 2013! It sure took you long enough to get here, and I for one am shouting out a big glad you are finally here! You may wonder, why all the enthusiasm? Well, the way I look at it, a new year is like turning to a new chapter in a very large book. I am full of expectation, anticipation, and the hope that I will do better, eat more wisely, and continue to learn and make good choices. And that brings me to the subject of this blog. The start of a new year is the perfect time to be reminded of some of the good-for-your-heart foods that will get you back on track or help to keep you feeling great. You are likely familiar with many of them already. So consider this list a friendly nudge.


Almonds Enjoy 20 to 25 almonds (1 ounce) a day and get 12 percent of your daily allowance of protein. Almonds contain resveratrol, the anti-inflammatory agent found in red wine, which is believed to reduce heart disease. Almonds also contain fiber and monounsaturated fat and are a good source of vitamin E.

Tip: Try this Iranian-style way to enjoy almonds. Place whole natural almonds in a bowl of ice water and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. The nuts will become plump, slightly softened, and very flavorful.


• Black Beans Tender and flavorful black beans are a nutritional powerhouse that are packed with folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Incorporating these babies into your diet will help to control your cholesterol and stabilize your blood sugar levels. Black beans stand out among other types of beans because they contain at least eight different antioxidants.

Tip: For the most flavor and to save you money, cook up a potful of dried black beans. Your taste buds will thank you. Here’s a link that demonstrates how to cook them: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/perfect-black-beans-recipe/index.html


• Blueberries These berries are as delicious as they are good for you. One cup provides 14 mg of vitamin C, almost 25 percent of your daily requirement. The fiber in blueberries helps to lower cholesterol, and they are packed with antioxidants that work to neutralize free radicals—unstable molecules linked to cancer and heart disease. Look for frozen wild blueberries in your supermarket. They contain less water so are very flavorful.

Tip: Save money by buying blueberries in season at farmers’ markets, then wrap and freeze for up to 6 months. The good news is that freezing doesn’t affect their antioxidant value.


• Carrots Bugs was no dumb bunny. Loaded with soluble fiber, carrots are a great choice any day of the week. One cup provides a whopping 407 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin A, along with a good dose of vitamin K, potassium, and vitamin B6. Carrots are probably best known as a carotenoid, because of their great antioxidant properties and for the fact that they can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Tip: Grill long thin slices of carrots, then toss with olive oil, lemon juice, pistachios, and goat cheese and serve on a bed of arugula. Yum!


Coffee How long have I been waiting for coffee to become my new best friend? Here’s the scoop: Coffee may help to protect your heart by warding off type 2 diabetes. Studies (at least 15) show that people who drink 3–4 cups a day may cut their risk by 25 percent. And coffee also helps to keep free radicals in check. It is the antioxidants in coffee that work their magic in each cup, and decaf is just as effective. Coffee also contains minerals, including magnesium and chromium, which help to control blood sugar.

Tip: Hey, you know what you love…go for it but think fat-free milk for caps and lattes.


• Edamame Green soybeans have become so mainstream that you can find them shelled and frozen in supermarkets. They are loaded with soy protein, which lowers triglyceride levels. A 1/2 cup edamame contains 9 grams of fiber, the same amount found in 4 slices of whole wheat bread.

Tip: Enjoy them warm, sprinkled with Maldon sea salt.


Deborah Mintcheff is a certified life coach who is here to help. If you are having difficulty with any area of your life, Deborah will work with you to help you turn your life around. Together you will create positive change that will enable you to achieve your greatest goals. Aren’t you worth it? E-mail Deborah at deborah@liveforwardcoaching.com.

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