Top 10 Artery-Cleansing Foods

Protect your heart with every bite of these natural foods

“Instead of using a whopping dollop of mayonnaise on your sandwich, try using thin slices of avocado,” suggests Megan Madden, a registered dietitian in New York, NY. A 1996 study done by researchers in Mexico found that people who ate avocado every day for one week experienced an average 17 percent drop in total blood cholesterol. What’s more, their levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol decreased and HDL (“good”) cholesterol increased. Finding it tough to work avocado into your diet? Try drinking it in this delicious smoothie.

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The soluble fiber found in whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal binds the cholesterol in your meal and drags it out of your body, Madden says. “And, when your body needs to utilize cholesterol in the future, it draws on your blood cholesterol supply, effectively lowering your total blood cholesterol level and your risk for heart disease.” And oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast; you can enjoy it any time of day with these easy recipes.

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A 2011 study found that people ages 65 or older who regularly used olive oil (for both cooking and as a dressing) were 41 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to those who never use olive oil in their diet. Use a little olive oil instead of butter or drizzle some over pasta, salad, or veggies to take advantage of its high mono- and polyunsaturated fats, Madden says. “And although it’s a healthier option, remember to use these oils sparingly, as all fats still contain the same number of calories.

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Grabbing a handful of nuts is a heart-healthy way to beat the afternoon itch for a cookie, Madden says. “Almonds are very high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and fiber, while walnuts are a great plant-based source of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid.” According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fats can help reduce levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

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Sterols are compounds that compete with the cholesterol in your food for absorption within your digestive tract, Madden says. “Sterols have been shown to lower both total and LDL cholesterol and can be found in certain brands of fortified orange juice, margarine spreads, and milk.” Just be sure to check the label—make sure the margarine is trans fat-free and that “partially hydrogenated oil” does NOT appear on the ingredient list.

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Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, Madden says. “Eating fish twice a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by decreasing inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels, and it may even help boost your HDL levels.” Try any of these heart healthy and delicious salmon recipes for dinner tonight.

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Asparagus is one of the best, natural artery-clearing foods around, says Shane Ellison, an organic chemist and author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures. “Asparagus works within the 100,000 miles of veins and arteries to release pressure, thereby allowing the body to accommodate for inflammation that has accumulated over the years.” It also helps ward off deadly clots, Ellison says. We just love the versatile vegetable’s crunch in this salad recipe.

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Pomegranate contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to protect the lining of the arteries from damage, explains Dr. Gregg Schneider, a nutritionally oriented dentist and expert on alternative medicine. A 2005 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice stimulated the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps keep blood flowing and arteries open.

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Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, which is needed for bone formation and helps to keep calcium from damaging the arteries, Dr. Schneider says. Not to mention, broccoli is full of fiber, and studies show a high-fiber diet can also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Enjoy this veggie for dinner tonight with this side dish recipe.

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“The spice turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory,” Dr. Schneider says. “It contains curcumin which lowers inflammation—a major cause of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.” A 2009 study found that curcumin helps reduce the fatty deposits in arteries by as much as 26 percent. Sounds like a good reason to try some in this delicious recipe for spicy chicken soup from pop star Rihanna.

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The Great BNTO Giveaway to Satisfy Hunger Pangs – Four Jars to WIN!

You have read about BNTO here so I am not going to waste my ink on it. Instead I am going to focus on how you can use it to stay fit and maybe lose a couple of pounds in the long run. When hunger strikes on the go, we usually end up gorging on a Mc D or Pizza Hut, in short greasy unhealthy snacks. BNTO gives you the advantage of carrying your own sumptuous snack and dip combination, thus a healthier option than many. WIN your very own BNTO NOW!!

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readmore http://bit.ly/1dfqCkq

Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

It’s tempting to dismiss it as luck: Some people might catch a slight cold or suffer an occasional ache or pain now and then, but they never seem to suffer from flus, fevers and illnesses that send the rest of us diving under the covers for days. Despite centuries of scientific advances, doctors still can’t tell us definitively how to stay well. So why not look for solutions from the people for whom the common cold is, well, uncommon? Here, 9 surprising habits of those people who never get sick—and how you can adapt them to your own soon-to be healthier life.
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1. THEY STRESS LESS Researchers at Duke  University found that stress damages the immune system and the heart. Other studies suggest that it increases your chances of contracting bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis. There’s also evidence that learning relaxation techniques early on is crucial: A 2009 Stress in America Survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Psychological Association found that stress is a top health concern for kids between ninth and 12th grades, and suggested that stress could do serious long-term damage if those children don’t learn to manage it. Of course, exercise is one of the best ways to chill out. A University of Southern California study found that when participants took a vigorous walk around a track, they reduced tension in their bodies by 20 percent. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also crucial, as is laughing: It releases endorphins in the body that act as natural stress busters. Plus, a good guffaw gives your heart muscle a workout.
2. THEY SPRINKLE BREWER’S YEAST ON THEIR FOOD Just one tablespoon packs in most of the B vitamins you need each day, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folic acid and biotin. Without enough of these vitamins, the body isn’t able to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins; the Bs are also essential for healthy hair, skin, nerves, blood cells, hormone-producing glands and a thriving immune system. B vitamins help manufacture antibodies and white blood cells that make up the immune response. And in times of stress, the Bs can be depleted, which compromises your immunity. Sprinkle a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast over popcorn or cereal, mix it into soups or sauces (the taste goes especially well with split pea soup or any dish made with tomato sauce) or bake into quick breads and cookies.
3. THEY EAT LESS. As far back as the 1930s, studies found that animals that were fed less lived twice as long. More recent research in humans has linked calorie restriction to lower incidences of age-related health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Participants in one study who ate 25 percent less than their usual amounts had lower overall cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure. Keep in mind that calorie restriction is an easy diet to do unsafely, however. Start by limiting simple sugars and flours, and pack your meals with dark leafy greens and other vegetables. You can find more tips on calorie restriction at crsociety.org or naturalhealthmag.com.
4. THEY EMBRACE BACTERIA. OK, so no expert will tell you to toss a few dirt clods into the blender the next time you whip up some pesto, but research suggests that the move toward complete sterility in the modern age wasn’t necessarily more healthful. It appears that the path to increasing health is probably somewhere between the squalor of our ancestors’ environment and the hyper-cleanliness of the developed world. Bacteria and our bodies have a symbiotic relationship in which their presence helps our systems stay healthy and balanced. “Good” germs can improve your metabolism, enhance your immunity and reduce inflammation. Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found that the more bacteria you have on the surface of your skin, the better you combat inflammation. So go outside, have plenty of contact with Mother Nature and get dirty! And rather than scrub your foods raw, give them a quick rinse.
5. THEY OPT FOR HERBAL REMEDIES. Although plant-based health aids have been long derided by the Western medical community, about onequarter of all prescription drugs are derived from plants. Herbal remedies (plants purported to have medicinal properties) are an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, and what we know about plants’ abilities to heal is impressive: They can alleviate high blood pressure, stimulate the nervous system, destroy germs and boost the immune system. But you needn’t fill your medicine cabinet with supplements; something as simple as green tea can help improve your immunity and your health. Commercial green tea beverages have come under fire recently for unsubstantiated health claims, yet studies have shown that antioxidants in green tea called polyphenols have the potential to boost metabolism and burn fat, protect against liver disease, control blood sugar levels and lower LDL cholesterol. Skip pre-packaged bottled versions and sip unflavored loose-leaf green tea instead.
6. THEY MAKE FRIENDS A PRIORITY. Studies show that people with strong friendships tend to have more robust immune systems and are less likely to succumb to infectious diseases. In 2008, Harvard University researchers found that positive social attachments might protect against memory loss and other cognitive disorders. A 1993 Swedish study of male blue-collar workers (who are at increased risk of heart disease, statistically) concluded that men with strong social support lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease; and a 2009 study in Buffalo, N.Y., found that those with few friends were most likely to suffer from heart disease, depression and anxiety. If you feel the need to boost your crony count, try this little experiment for one week: Strike up at least two conversations every day with someone you haven’t talked to before. And aim to listen more than you speak; the more airtime you give someone, the more generous he or she will be with personal details. Also, keep the bellyaching to a minimum. Your tone can determine how often others will want to spend time and talk with you.
7. THEY STAY Ph BALANCED. According to some practitioners of alternative medicine, the body is healthiest when its systems are functioning midway between completely acidic and completely alkaline (i.e., pH balanced). When pH levels fall below that midpoint, the body suffers from a condition called acidosis, which even in minor cases can cause fatigue, rapid breathing, stomach problems and confusion. Many experts say that the typical American diet, chock-full of meat and sugar, has created an epidemic of acidosis in the Western world. Most vegetables are alkalizing, however, so eating them regularly can reduce your risk of being too acidic. Include lots of dark leafy greens, green beans, asparagus and carrots in your diet; other alkalizing foods to reach for include cucumbers, coconuts and avocados.
8. THEY EAT GARLIC. Studies have shown that garlic can act as a powerful antioxidant and antibiotic, as well as cut the duration and the number of colds you catch. In addition, garlic has proved efficient in reducing blood pressure and triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some experts say that garlic’s medicinal value lessens when it’s in a supplement form and recommend that you eat it fresh if you want to get garlic’s health benefits.
9. THEY TAKE MORE NAPS. Sleep deprivation has the same biological effect as stress: Overtired bodies ratchet up production of the hormone cortisol, which gives you energy but restricts production of human growth hormone, limiting your body’s ability to repair itself. Just like stress, sleep loss has a degenerative effect on your health, and lack of sleep is also tied to compromised immune function. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found that the number and effectiveness of immune cells decrease without enough sleep. A counterintuitive napping tip: Consider drinking a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage right before your nap. Because it will take about 20 minutes for the caffeine to travel through your digestive system, you can fit in a short snooze before it takes effect. Japanese researchers found that subjects who did this were more alert when they awoke than those who didn’t, and that their post-slumber work productivity was higher.

Will Eating Late at Night Make You Fat?

This past Wednesday I co-hosted a twitter chat for Shape.com. There were so many great questions, but one particularly stood out because more than one participant asked it: “How bad is it to eat after 6 p.m. (or 8 p.m.) for weight loss?”image_0

I love this question. Truthfully, my patients ask it all the time. And my answer is almost always the same: “Eating late at night doesn’t cause you to gain weight, but eating too much late at night will.”

Let’s review: If your body needs 1,800 calories to maintain a healthy body weight and you ate only 900 calories by the time it was 9 p.m., you could in reality eat another 900 before bedtime. The problem is the longer it gets until dinnertime, the hungrier you get, and for most people the chances they will overeat increases. So what ends up happening is excess calories are consumed. I sometime explain this as the “domino effect.” You’ve waited so long to eat that by the time you do, you can’t stop.

But what should you do if you eat a well-balanced dinner at a reasonable hour and you are still hungry before bedtime? First off I usually recommend trying to figure out if you are really hungry. I like to use the acronym HALT. Ask yourself, “Am I Hungry? Am I Angry? Am I Lonely? Or Am I Tired?” So many of the times we eat at night have nothing to do with actual hunger. Once you identify what is really going on, you might be able to prevent late-night munchies.

RELATED: The Best Late-Night Snacks

Now if you really are hungry, I usually suggest a late-night snack of around 100 calories or less. For example: a piece of fruit or cup of berries, three cups of air-popped popcorn, a sugar-free Popsicle, a single serving of low-fat pudding, a glass of nonfat milk, raw veggies, or a six-ounce container of nonfat fruit-flavored yogurt.

One of the main reasons to eat earlier in my opinion is because you will sleep better. Going to bed on a full stomach for many people is a detriment and interferes with their beauty rest. And unfortunately if you don’t sleep well, there is an increased chance that in the morning when you are exhausted you will make poor breakfast decisions. But the best solution of all is to go to bed earlier—you can’t eat when you are sleeping.