7 Heart Healthy Foods for Longevity – Part 3

In my last post we followed up on 7 heart healthy foods that promote longevity, which will be further discussed below.

#5 Dark Chocolate (But ONLY in moderation!!)

Research has shown that the indulgent of dark chocolate leads to more than 40 distinct nutrition benefits which includes longevity. Dark chocolate, which is an excellent source of antioxidants, is made from the seed of the cocoa tree. It is most effective when cocoa or chocolate is eaten when it is raw (cacao) because when your cocoa is close to or in its natural raw state, they contain the highest nutritional value. In fact, Cacao is one of the most beneficial foods that helps to facilitate a healthy heart and brain. Moreover, cacao aids in lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and its healthy fats are actually beneficial for your body compared to animal-based saturated fats.

In a 2007 paper found in Journal of Nutrition, dark chocolate is loaded with a group of antioxidants called flavonoids which have been proven to help avoid higher risks of cardiovascular disease. It also added that eating quality dark chocolate containing a high cocoa content is more beneficial, especially when there is 70% cocoa or more. Both raw cacao and cocoa are wonderful heart-healthy foods which enhance hormones, circulation and even your digestion.

Basically, if you want to reward yourself with a sweet snack and maintain your health at the same time, dark chocolate may in fact be the best choice due to the various health benefits it offers. But, bear in mind that it is also rich in fat. Apart from keeping track of your fat intake, you may also opt for raw cacao powder or organic cocoa powder. Regular consumption of dark chocolate helps to break down bacteria and ferment its components into anti-inflammatory compounds which will benefit your overall health in the long run. Dark chocolate also helps to prevent blood clots from forming and can improve blood circulation. Dark chocolate also acts as a mood booster as it contains some chemical compounds which exert a positive effect on your mind. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which allows your brain to release endorphins. So, consuming dark chocolate will help to brighten up your mood and makes you feel happier! A 1999 Harvard survey which consists of 8000 men has revealed that those who ate dark chocolate at least 3 times per month were able to live an extra year compared to those who didn’t.

# 6 Salmon

Salmon happens to be one of my personal favorites and something I enjoy several times per week!

There are several beneficial health reasons to indulge in salmon other than its delicious taste. Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse that is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Omega-3s have been proven to be able to lower the risk of inflammation and decrease triglyceride levels, both of which are linked to higher risk of heart disease. Evidence has shown that omega-3s helps to lower dementia risk as well as cognitive decline, keeping the brain healthy.

Not only that, but feeding preschool children with salmon helps to prevent the risk of ADHD symptoms and can enhance their academic performance as the nutrition in salmon causes children to remember and focus better. Researchers mentioned that the omega3-fats in salmon may stimulate reduction in weight and significantly decrease belly fat in obese individuals. While most fatty fish are packed with omega-3s, salmon is a specifically nutritious dietary choice as it contains minimal mercury which is a potentially toxic contaminant compared to other fish such as tuna, swordfish and mackerel.

With so much emphasis on the omega-3 advantages in salmon, other health benefits of salmon may have been overlooked. Another benefit of salmon is linked to the amino acids and protein present in salmon. A few researchers have discovered that there are protein molecules called bioactive peptides found in salmon which can control inflammation in the digestive system, improve insulin efficiency, and provide treatment for better joint and cartilage recovery. Bioactive peptides generated from food proteins have great potential as functional foods and nutraceuticals. Bioactive peptides possess several significant functions, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, immuno modulatory, and antihypertensive effects in the living body. Last but not least…

7 Apples

Yes, it’s true…an apple a day actually Can Keep the doctor away! A group of research studies indicates that apples may be one of the world’s healthiest fruits for you to include in your longevity diet plan. As they are the most commonly consumed fruit, people tend to overlook their impressive health benefits. In fact, in a featured article regarding the top 10 healthy foods in Medical News Today, apples were ranked first among the others. The old saying which we are all familiar with still stands true as an apple a day may be the ultimate food to promote longevity due to several health benefits it offers.

Firstly, apples are rich in vitamin C, fiber, various antioxidants and folate to fight against Alzheimer’s. Moreover, they contain polyphenols which function as oxidants and are mainly concentrated in the peel. So, to achieve the greatest benefits, it is best to eat the apple’s skin.These polyphenols contain flavonoids known as quercetin which also helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that high flavonoid intake have led to a 20% reduction in risk of stroke. Researchers agreed that consuming apples that are rich in flavonols could also decrease the risk of getting pancreatic cancer by 23 percent.

According to research by the Flores Group, regular apple consumption has been proven to provide cardiovascular benefits due to the fiber which they contain as well as the high contents of polyphenols found in apples. Flores also mentioned that the antioxidant level in apples has the highest rank compared to other fruits which help to prevent the risk of developing cancer, specifically lung cancer. Another study analyzes the comparison between the impacts of consuming an apple a day and statins which are a group of drugs taken to lower cholesterol level. It is estimated that apples are almost as effective as statins in minimizing death.

Good dietary choices play an essential role in determining how different our lives will be throughout the years. While no single food is a cure-all, consuming a combination of various healthy foods are capable of fending off diseases and enhance your overall health. Incorporating those heart healthy foods discussed above in your dietary plan will definitely benefit you in the long run. You are just a decision away from an absolutely better life, longevity and greater health awaits you!

7 Heart Healthy Foods for Longevity – Part 2

In my last post we started to talk about 7 heart healthy foods that promote longevity, which will be further discussed below.

# 3 Walnuts, nuts and other seeds

Supplementing your longevity diet plan with essential boosting nutrients such as nuts and seeds is of paramount importance for good health. They are a wonderful source of dietary fiber required in order to stay healthy. In recent studies, researchers have found that the consumption of walnuts as a whole including the skin helps in imparting a multitude of nutritional benefits. You have the option to consume it either as a whole or as nut and seed butters, enjoying at least 1-3 ounces each day.

Raw nuts are a great source of healthy fats which you would want to consume more the moment you remove non-vegetable carbs from your diet. They contain sufficient minerals and vitamins which makes a great snack when energy starts to flag. These heart healthy foods can also be added to different recipes to enhance flavor as well as adding extra nutrients. First of all, they contain mostly unsaturated fats which are heart healthy. They help to lower inflammation in every part of the body, specifically the blood and heart.

Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids which helps to ensure the brain is functioning well, improves heart health as well as achieve optimum or desired weight.  A recent scientific study states that a shortage of omega-3 fatty acids, which is provided by walnuts, can result in hyperactivity, tantrums and irritability in kids. Adding walnuts to a child’s diet helps to resolve the EFAs deficit and can brighten up their mood. It can even be applied to adults who are suffering from stress and depression. Some other sources of omega-3 fats include seeds, flax and hemp seeds.

Other nuts such as almonds and cashews are good sources of iron and magnesium which can improve your healthy metabolism and ward off high insulin levels and fatigue. Aside from having high fat content, seeds and nuts can help in regulating metabolism and avoid unhealthy foods cravings. However, all nuts are not the same as some may deliver higher amounts of healthy fats, and varying levels of proteins and carbs.

Based on a recent 30-year study, it was found that people who consumed at least one ounce of nuts 7 times a week were 20 percent more likely to live longer in comparison to those who did not include nuts in their diet. Eating nuts for not less than 5 times per week will result in an overall reduction in mortality risk caused by heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases.

# 4 Leafy Greens and Vegetables

Green foods are heart-healthy foods and should be the key cornerstone of every plan for optimal health. They’re loaded with sufficient vitamins, protein, minerals and are known as the most alkaline foods that can be found throughout the year. Leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach are few of the best to consume because they’re rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, chlorophyll and irons.

Along with B6 vitamins, Vitamins A and C are also found in leafy green vegetables. Kale provides high vitamin K content for bone-building, which is necessary to stay active all year round.  Leafy greens are also proven to be the best anti- cancer foods which play important roles in blocking the early phase of cancer and can even reverse the outcome of some major health problems. They are packed with an abundance of carotenoids, antioxidants and some other compounds which are proven to increase your protection against diseases. The antioxidants act as an agent in safeguarding the heart against cardiovascular disease and even help prevent some birth defects among pregnant women.

Moreover, the vitamins found in leafy green vegetables helps to reduce homocysteine levels which lowers the risk of heart disease. One of the most attractive benefits of dark leafy greens is that they contain low levels of calories, carbohydrates and glycemic index factors. These characteristics allow them to facilitate maintaining and achieving the optimum healthy body weight. Including more green vegetables in a balanced diet also causes an increase in dietary fiber intake which helps to regulate the digestive system, achieving bowel health as well as weight management.

Researchers have discovered that a gene known as T-bet, or TBX21, respond particularly to leafy greens. TBX21 (T-Box Transcription Factor 21) is a Protein Coding gene. Diseases associated with TBX21 include Asthma, Nasal Polyps, And Aspirin Intolerance and Immunodeficiency 88. These immune cells are vital for the production of immune cells present in your gut, responsible in handling inflammatory diseases and can even reduce the risk of bowel cancer. People who do not eat three or more servings of dark leafy greens per day are missing out on major health advantages!

Vegetables belong to a diverse food group with a wide variety to select from and plenty to match everyone’s tastes and preferences. The easiest and most effective ways to increase vegetable intake is by juicing your vegetables with sprouted beans. This is because juicing makes it easily digestible and allows your body to absorb every nutrient present in the vegetables where some micro nutrients may be lost during cooking. Based on a featured article, middle-aged people who eat a cup of cooked greens each day are able to live longer than those who didn’t add leafy greens in their meals