February 2013

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live in good health Eat Your Heart Out It���s no secret good nutrition can get your heart a��� pumping and lower your risk for heart disease by affecting lipid levels in the blood���those pesky fats that raise blood pressure, block arteries and lead to inflammation of blood vessels. But what are the best eats for a healthier ticker? Gail Underbakke, nutrition coordinator at UW Health���s Preventive Cardiology Program, shares a few of her top picks Roll some oats: Grandma called it roughage. We call it fiber. Oatmeal provides an excellent source of this necessary and tasty necessity. A half-cup serving is low in calories but packed with vitamins, minerals and about 4 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber. ���Whole grains [such as oatmeal] are higher in fiber than refined or white versions of grains. The higher the fiber, the healthier the food is for your diet,��� she says. Go red: This month is American Heart Month, so to show your support you can wear red on the outside while putting a little red on the inside. Red peppers are rich in antioxidants that lower the risk for heart disease and stroke. ���The brighter the vegetable���s color the better it is for you. That���s an indicator of the vegetable���s antiinflammatory influence,��� says Underbakke. ���Look for vegetables in nice, bright purples, reds, oranges and greens.��� 12 BRAVA Magazine February 2013 Feel a little blue: Early settlers observed Native Americans eating and using blueberries for medicinal purposes. Researchers have since learned these tiny round gems are packed with fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants, which can greatly boost heart health. Get a little nutty: Almonds are cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. A handful of unsalted almonds provides 6 grams of protein, 13 grams of unsaturated fat, fiber and vitamin E. ���Eating plant-based fats, such as peanut butter, nuts or avocadoes, are healthier than other unsaturated types of fats,��� says Underbakke.

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