It has been a week of heart healthy inspiration. I have learned so much from the bloggers who have participated in the Gluten-Free and Heart Healthy 2013 recipe event. Thank you dear Carolyn for hosting me today.
A Little About Me
For those who do not know me, my name is Lexie. I was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. As fate would have it, I am far from the white sand beaches of the Kona Coast and have (somehow) landed on a windy plain in the southeastern corner of Wyoming. I share random thoughts and recipes for those of you on modified diets—allergy, vegetarian, vegan, low-sugar, and even some paleo!—over at lexieskitchen.com.
I am grateful for this Gluten-Free and Heart Healthy 2013 event as it has provided me with the sobering reminder that if I want to be around to see my boys marry off, I cannot overlook the nourishing of my heart and body. As it is in so many of our families, heart disease is the big killer in ours, and it’s not the way I want to or plan to go!
A List of the 100 Best Foods for Curing Disease
Back in 2010 my husband and I discovered Eat Right for Life: How Healthy Foods Can Keep You Living Longer, Stronger and Disease-Free by Dr. Raymond A. Schep and Nicole Kellar-Munoz. It is a fantastic book and a highly recommended read. Schep and Kellar-Munoz’s list of the “100 Best Foods for Curing Disease and Maintaining a Healthy Mind and Body” is spot on. I have a copy of it taped to the fridge to inspire me to add more of those foods into our everyday meals! A handful of the heart-healthy all-stars on the list have found their way into the Onion & Sun-Dried Tomato Almond Crackers I am sharing over at Lexie’s Kitchen today. They are:
In Eat Right for Life, the authors offer a lengthy discussion on copper—a critical necessity for heart health. Just under two ounces of sesame seeds will supply your daily requirement of copper. They have a very high phytosterol content which works to enhance the immune response and in doing so decrease cancer and disease.
A Harvard Nurses’ Healthy Study showed that women who consumed more than five ounces of nuts a week lowered their risk of heart disease by 35%, compared to women who rarely ate nuts. Almonds contain significant stores of antioxidants, as well as fiber, arginine—a protein that keeps arteries elastic—and more of those phytosterols to help lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels while maintaining beneficial HDL levels. And like sesame seeds, almonds are excellent sources of copper and manganese. Almonds are best enjoyed raw, and preferably organic which have not been irradiated. Roasting destroys the nut’s delicate vitamin E content.
Omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in the modern diet (in meats, soy and plant-based oils). Omega-3s not so much. We need both, however we need to be consuming them in a 1:3 ratio. Excessive levels of omega-6 fatty acids, relative to omega-3 fatty acids have shown to increase the probability of a number of diseases. These missing omega-3s in our diet are necessary to prevent inflammation in joints and arteries and chia seed is an excellent source—a super food really—of omega-3s. And arthritis sufferers get this, the authors of Eat Right for Life suggest that a heaping tablespoon a day of chia seed provides enough alpha linolenic acid (ALA) to cure arthritis and even prevent it! And to top it off, chia seed packs an astounding amount of protein and is extremely high in fiber. Here’s a popular post I did on chia.
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