Managing your weight is something you can do—and actually enjoy—when you have the tips and tools you need. MacroLife is here to help with Heart Health Superfood Heroes. They will keep you on the path with nutritious superfoods, all-in-one protein shakes, workout routines, recipes, plus the latest news to help you stay in control. Whether you want to lose weight or simply maintain it, you can do it and you got this!
Heart Health Superfood Heroes
Plant Sterols, Beets, Oat Beta Glucan and Turmeric are research-backed standouts that lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and slash stroke risk.
When it comes to heart health, you probably know what the American Heart Association (AHA) offers as its top diet advice: Eat a good balance of fresh, fiber-rich fruits and veggies, whole grains, and healthy proteins such as nuts, skinless fish and poultry. But recent studies have also named specific cardiovascular all-stars that are worth adding to your rotation. Here are a few standouts to add to your grocery list.
Why: Beets deserve a badge of honor in the veggie family, says Jorge A. Brenes-Salazar, M.D., a geriatric cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic. That’s due to their high doses of nitrates, which help keep blood vessels dilated and healthy. A 2013 British study showed that simply drinking a cup of beet juice daily significantly lowered blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
Also know: When it comes to heart health, it pays to see red — or orange or yellow. Fruits and veggies with those colors have carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols, pigments known for their heart-healthy antioxidant properties. Try these other colofrful nutrient-rich veggies and fruit: carrots, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, oranges, cantaloupe and papaya.
Pumpkin seeds and walnuts
Why: A study presented in 2019 at the AHA’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions found that eating pumpkin seeds may help lower blood pressure. According to the AHA, pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber and a variety of nutrients, particularly heart-healthy magnesium (a quarter cup contains 42 percent of the RDA of the mineral). As for walnuts, a 2019 Penn State study found that participants who ate walnuts daily while lowering overall saturated fats saw their blood pressure decrease.
Also good to know: All nuts are good sources of monounsaturated fats and for people who don’t eat fish, they are a good way to get in those omega-3 fats. A 2019 study presented at the European Society of Cardiology showed that eating nuts two or more times a week was associated with a 17 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death. But remember one word: moderation. These are calorie-dense foods, so keep portions modest (about ¼ to ½ serving) and avoid added salt, sugars and oils. I recommend limiting yourself each day to “an amount that will fit in the palm of your hand.”
Why: Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported in 2020 that a study of more than 200,000 people found a link between consuming isoflavone rich tofu more than once a week had an 18 percent lower risk of heart disease. Plus, tofu is a great source of plant protein, so it’s a smart substitute for red meat or pork.
It also has phytosterols — plant sterols that actually improve the cholesterol in our own bodies. What’s more, the latest USDA dietary guidelines, issued in December, recommend around 5 to 6 ounces of protein (from meat, chicken, eggs, fish, nuts or soy products) a day. When people are heavy meat eaters, they need to slowly find ways to replace the meat with other healthy foods, and tofu is one.
Olives and olive oils
Why: If you’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet (and who hasn’t?), then you know all about olive oil. It not only boosts good, heart-protective cholesterol but also staves off diabetes and strokes. Recent research confirms its beneficial effects: Plus a 2020 European study found that patients who had had heart attacks and subsequently followed a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil had better repair of the arterial linings; a 2020 study by the University of Minnesota Medical School showed that olive oil may help people live longer.
Try to follow the USDA guidelines of 27 grams (about two tablespoons) a day. As for olives, make sure you buy the low-sodium variety. Speaking of oils, Brenes-Salazar warns against the recently voguish coconut oil; instead, he suggests using either olive or walnut oil, which is neutral in flavor, rich in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated ones.
Why: First, they’re full of fiber, which can help lower your bad LDL (lousy lipid cholesterol) cholesterol. Second, beans are an overlooked source of good-quality protein. Additionally all members of the legume family are super healthy because they are full of plant-based protein and the kind of fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Also try: Other heart-healthy legumes — pinto beans, red beans, kidney beans and black beans. Keep in mind, canned beans can be high in salt, so rinse them thoroughly in water or use dried beans.
Why: Praised for its healthy properties for a half-century, fiber-rich oatmeal cuts down on cholesterol absorption and contributes to gut health and oatmeal is a good source of healthy fiber. Soluble fiber is really important for our digestive tract and keeping blood sugar levels stable.
Be adventurous and try: quinoa, buckwheat and whole-grain rice (brown, black and wild), or whole-grain bread and cereal. Make sure to read the nutrition label and look for ‘whole-grain’ as the first ingredient.
Why: The AHA recently reaffirmed its long-standing recommendation to eat fish — especially salmon and other oily fishes that are high in omega-3 fatty acids — twice a week to help fend off the risk of heart attack, stroke and other coronary disease. It may not be just the omega-3s that are good for you; a 2018 study found that an ingredient in fish and other seafood called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) may also reduce hypertension-related symptoms.
Why: They’re high in soluble fiber and polyphenols (antioxidants that absorb free radicals that damage healthy cells) and vitamin C.
Also try: All berries— strawberries, raspberries, blackberries — that possess heart-healthy credentials for their fiber as well as their flavonoids and antioxidants. Hate berries? Consider organic red grapes, that are high in resveratrol, a heart-healthy antioxidant.
Why: – These small nuggets contain 17 amino acids (protein building blocks). Rich in vitamin A that may have anti-aging benefits. Plus special compounds to help boost immune function & protect vision. As well as Beta-sitosterol, a highly researched anti-inflammatory agent known to help lower cholesterol.
Miracle Reds 4-in1 formula
Why: Miracle Reds Full Spectrum Fruit & Berry blend contains 19 organic berries and fruits rich in polyphenols, carotenoids flavonoids, 200mg Organic Beet root juice + 670mg Plant Sterols and Oat Beta Glucan (ingredient found in Oatmeal) + Anti-Inflammatory heroes Bromelain & Turmeric, and for good measure 3Billion Probiotics for immune support.
Miracle Reds 4in1 Formula is your go to for cholesterol, heart and inflammation support. We love to hear from you.
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Written by Sylvia Ortiz, Founder of MacroLife Naturals and Mother of SuperFoods