Happy Ticker, Part Three

So we’ve talked about stress reduction and cholesterol. Now let’s talk nutrition: truly the key to heart health. To lower your cholesterol, you need to crowd out your animal product intake by eating bountiful bundles of fruits and vegetables.  LDL cholesterol, the lousy one, is raised by animal protein.  The cultures with the least incidence of heart disease are the cultures with the least intake of animal protein.  Animal protein is found in all meats, eggs, and dairy products, regardless of their fat content.  Consequently, switching to low-fat yogurt and skim milk does not mean that you are not eating animal protein. If you are serious about lowering your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease , try to replace animal protein with plant protein at as many meals as possible.  PLANT PROTEIN IS FOUND IN ALL VEGETABLES, NUTS and SEEDS!

There are lots of easy ways to get plant protein but there are a few superfoods that everyone should be eating but few people know about.  Here are two of them that are easily incorporated into everyday meals: chia seeds (yes, just like the pets from the 70s!), and oat bran.  You can buy both in bulk at Whole Foods or online at www.amazon.com.

Chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega 3s, a great source of protein, loaded with antioxidants and fiber, and help make you feel full faster.  Here’s how to eat them…

Soak 2 T of chia seeds in 1/4 c of water for about 10 minutes. They will get gel-like…kinda funky, kids will get a kick out of this!  Add to your favorite smoothie, batter for muffins or breads, or pour into 8-10 oz of water with lemon juice and a t of agave syrup… enjoy a chia fresca like they do in Mexico.  If you want to know even more about this amazing little seed, check out this site..http://chiaseeds.net/chia-seeds-health-benefits/  I owe them a thank you for the great chia picture I’m using today!

As for oat bran, it literally binds to the lousy cholesterol hanging out in your arteries and sucks it out of your body. Pretty cool image, right?  Oat bran can be added to smoothies, sprinkled on yogurt, or crushed into oat flour.

High in fiber, it is important to gradually add both oat bran and chia seeds to your diet. Too much, too fast, can lead to constipation.  Start with a tablespoon or two a day for a week and then go up from there.

I’m practicing with some oat bran muffins, kid approved, so I’ll post a yummy recipe once I get it delicious…first batch…not so good!

xo -m

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