February 2010
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Heart disease kills every 7 minutes in Canada. Obesity and lack of exercise can contribute to cardiovascular problems. Choosing and eating wisely and engaging in physical activities will greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Reduce Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Swiss chard is loaded with potassium and is rich in calcium and magnesium. Fresh herbs like rosemary, chives, parsley, sage, thyme, and oregano are rich in antioxidants. They also add much more flavour to foods than salt.

Low fat or nonfat yogurt has 50% more blood pressure lowering calcium and potassium than low fat milk. The other foods that lower high blood pressure are skimmed milk, fruit, and protein like lean meats, fish, skinless chicken and turkey.

Being diabetic increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases because diabetes affects the arteries. Eating half a cup of carrots daily decreases the risk of diabetes in women by 27%. Carrots containhigh levels of antioxidants. Chili pepper also helps because of the capsaicin found in the chili pepper that prevents blood sugar from rising.

Reduce Cholesterol Level
Garlic has a mild cholesterol lowering effect and it prevents the bad cholesterol (LDL) from building up in the arteries.

Extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that lower bad cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. Replace saturated fat rich foods with olive oil, avocado, and nuts.

An ounce of almonds a day lowers the LDL by 13%-20%. Almonds are heart healthy because they have the most vitamin E and they are a good source of calcium. In addition you can also eat oatmeal and oat bran, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, and pecans.

Barley has high levels of soluble fibre which is digested very slowly and helps lower cholesterol levels. Broccoli is low in calories and has good fibre content. Oranges contains pectin which controls cholesterol and is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Reduce Heart Attacks
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that eases inflammation. Black beans are loaded with magnesium and dried cherries are loaded with antioxidants that help neutralize enzymes that cause plaque to break apart.

Eat a variety and all colours of fresh or partially cooked vegetables. If you fully cook or microwave vegetables they lose a lot of their nutrients.

Losing excess weight, exercising daily and eating healthy is the key to preventing heart disease.

Visit Sophia’s blog, featuring an array of health topics, nutrition, fitness and recipes for maintaining a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.
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