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Resolution: Love Life, Love Your Heart

Heart Health Month

February is Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and has been since 1900. In fact, way back in 1963, in acknowledgement of the importance of the ongoing fight against cardiovascular disease, the Congress, by Joint Resolution approved a statute on December 30, 1963, as amended (77 Stat. 843; 36 U.S.C. 101), requesting that each serving President issue an annual proclamation designating February as “American Heart Month.”

So in celebration of Heart Health Month, here are two indulgent foods that will surely put a smile on your face. No deprivation here, you can truly love your heart and life by adding in these formerly forbidden foods into your heart-healthy day: dark chocolate and red wine!

Dark chocolate: Food for the Heart and Soul — with a high content of nonfat cocoa solids — is now the new guilt-free super food. The scientific evidence is stacking up linking daily consumption of deep, dark chocolate with phenomenal health benefits. When it comes to choosing chocolate for health, the chocolate must be the flavonoid-rich dark variety. This is because dark chocolate has a much higher percentage of cocoa than milk chocolate and it’s the cocoa that contains most of the flavonoids—plant substances which provide your body with a host of health benefits. Flavonoids work as potent antioxidants to protect us from free radical damage, the process which accelerates aging and promotes chronic illnesses such as heart disease.

Be wary of the kind of chocolate you choose as not all chocolate is created equally. For maximum health benefits, consume dark chocolate or naturally unsweetened dark cocoa powder. The key word here is DARK as the darker the chocolate, the higher the percentage of cocoa, and the more flavonoids it will contain. The problem is that a large amount of cocoa can make the bar taste bitter, so try different products to see what appeals to you. Look out for imposters like white chocolate (zero antioxidants) and hot chocolate mixes (negligible antioxidants). Better to make your own hot chocolate with dark unsweetened cocoa powder, fat free milk or light soy milk and a touch of sweetener. Another chocolate caveat, dark chocolate, while very good for health, is not a low calorie diet food. Eat it by the piece and not the pound, for when it comes to dark chocolate, the devil is truly in the details. It is often loaded with calories, fat and sugar, which is why if you choose to eat a chocolate confection, I suggest you make it no more than an ounce or two of at least 70 percent dark chocolate per day.

Red wine: Drink of the Gods — pair your dark chocolate treat with another sinfully delicious food: a glass of red wine and you have a powerful one-two knockout punch against atherosclerosis—the root cause of most heart attacks and stroke. Studies show that people who drink red wine in moderation—defined as one daily 5-ounce glass for women or two for men—are less likely to suffer a heart attack. Red wine stands apart from all other types of alcoholic beverages in its ability to neutralize heart attack risk due to its collection of powerful antioxidant polyphenols. To tap into wine’s huge cache of powerful polyphenols, be sure to pick red over white. Red wine has ten times the polyphenol content of white wine, because red wine is produced by fermentation of grape juice in the presence of the pulp (skins and seeds), where the polyphenols are produced. (White wine is made by quickly pressing the juice away from the grape solids, hence white wine is merely fermented fruit juice.) Two types of wine shown to top the antioxidant charts are pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.

One additional advantage of enjoying a glass of wine with dinner is that it encourages you to slow down, relax and truly savor your meal. There is no greater pleasure than to sit down to a leisurely dinner of deliciously fresh whole food, artfully prepared, tempered with a flavorful glass of pinot noir, and shared with friends and family. That’s what this month of love is all about.

One caveat: When it comes to drinking alcohol, it is clearly a case of a double-edged sword. One fact is certain: moderation is the magic word, meaning a little is good, and a lot is not better. Wine is beneficial for your health only in moderation.

Celebrate life this February by making a point to take care of yourself and your heart. Eat healthy, exercise, enjoy yourself and stay forever young at heart—here’s to life!

Thick and Rich European-Style Hot Chocolate Treat

Sometimes on these cold winter days, nothing (and I mean nothing) quite compares to the pleasure of sipping a sinfully rich cup of sweet, hot cocoa by the fireplace. Now this is loving life!

Makes three servings, ~½ cup each

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups vanilla soy milk
  • ½ cup natural unsweetened dark cocoa powder (or three squares of unsweetened baking chocolate, melted)
  • ¼ cup sugar (or 1/8 cup Splenda® Sugar Blend)
  • 1 ½ tbsp corn starch

Directions:

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat, pour immediately into three mugs and top with fat-free whipped topping and a dash of cocoa powder, if desired.

Nutrition (Per serving):

Calories: 190, Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 90 mg, Carbohydrate: 31 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 22 g, Protein: 7 g

Note: one serving provides 25% of the DV for calcium, 15% for iron and 8% for vitamin A.

“Grateful for your Cholesterol Down Book”

Low Cholesterol

Cholesterol Down

Cholesterol Down by Dr. Janet Brill was published in 2007. It is humbling to see how the straightforward plan and miracle foods stated in the book still continue to help people struggling with high cholesterol.

Cholesterol Down book presents a safe and effective alternative way to statin drugs to bring cholesterol down. It includes a daily checklist, weekly menus, heart-healthy recipes and more that helps reduce cholesterol by as much as 47% in just 4 weeks.

Dr. Janet received a highly positive review from Amy Love stating how the book has helped her get rid of her high cholesterol worries.

Review of Cholesterol Down by Amy Love

“Hello Janet! Well I discovered your book online last December while researching how to lower my cholesterol without statins. Prior to this my cholesterol has always been on the “highish” side but doctors were never concerned as I was physically fit, had low blood pressure and was not overweight.

Anyway, after knee surgery I had gained a bit of weight and wasn’t able to exercise so on Nov. 4, 2014 I decided to change my diet and eliminate sugar, white flour and processed foods. This was difficult since Doritos and sugar in my coffee seemed to be essential to my taste buds! Well, I did a great job with this diet but was eating lots of eggs, cheese and some meats.

When I went to get my cholesterol checked after six weeks, I was horrified to learn that I had made it much worse. The doctor wanted me to start Lipitor (the 3rd level) immediately since my total cholesterol was 272 and LDL was 188!!!! 🙁 To say I was discouraged is an understatement. I did not want to take medication for the rest of my life and was afraid of side effects of Lipitor.

That day I found your book online and ordered it. I started your diet even before Amazon delivered my copy of the book. I went back to my doctor after about 5 weeks on the Cholesterol Down plan. He discouraged me further by insisting that there was nothing I could do to lower my cholesterol on my own, especially since I had a healthy diet already.

Nevertheless, I asked him what number would he like to see, in order for me to continue on my diet and exercise program without Lipitor. He told me if I lowered my LDL by 28 points, he would give me the green light to continue without medication. BUT he made it clear that he thought this would be impossible!!

To make a long story short, my numbers decreased dramatically! Total was 220 and LDL 142! The doctor was surprised and said that I had significantly lowered my numbers and to continue with my diet and exercise! I was extremely happy to say the least.

I wanted you to know how grateful I am for your book. Since last January when I got those amazing results, I have recommended your book to many people as I have told my story. Now I get emails and texts often asking what the name of your book is and I am happy to recommend it!! Thank you!!! Can’t wait to go back at the end of April to get my newest levels!! I am a work in progress! I certainly hope you see this email!”

Thank you,
Amy Love.

Fattening Holiday Foods: The Best and Worst Celebratory Holiday Foods

heart-healthy-food

Replace Worst Holiday Foods with Delicious

HoHoHmmm, it’s tempting to turn to those not-so-healthy holiday foods to celebrate the season but the scale will thank you come January 1st if you think twice about what goes in your mouth and substitute, substitute, substitute. That’s right, there are plenty of delicious seasonal foods that you can fill your holiday plate with and still celebrate the beauty of the season—healthfully! Here are 4 tips for tapping into the foods of the season with lighter and more nutritious choices:

1. Holiday drinks: The worst … Eggnog. Heavy cream, sugar and eggs make up this frothy holiday drink. At 20 grams of fat (7 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat) and 400 calories for a single serving, this is one holiday treat that should not make your celebratory food menu.

Holiday drinks: The best … Cosmo 5-0. This holiday season remember that drinks count—they are virtually empty liquid calories that add up quickly. Toast the season with sparkling water and a twist of lime and you’ll start the New Year leaner and healthier. Or… try my lighter version of a classic cocktail…the 5-0 cosmo!

2. Main dishes: The worst … Beef Stroganoff. Heavy cream and butter added to the meat provides a high saturated fat content (15 grams of artery-clogging fat), and one serving, with noodles, can tip the scale at over 600 calories and contains more sodium than you should eat in an entire day. Why not replace this calorie monster with the lean and mean protein of the season: white meat turkey breast?

Main dishes: The best … Roast Turkey breast. At a mere 130 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and a whopping 21 grams of protein for a 4-ounce serving of skinless turkey breast, this is one holiday food that should take center stage. Always add a side salad or half a plate of vegetables when enjoying this seasonal favorite to round out your holiday plate.

3. Side dishes: The worst … heavy stuffing. This holiday classic can add up in calories and fat, F-A-S-T. Stuffing made with butter and sausage topped with gravy can clock in at over 500 calories per serving.

Side dishes: The best … baked sweet potatoes and butternut squash! Instead of traditional fatty stuffing,  make a healthier version by skipping the meat, using a fat-free, low-sodium broth for a base and loading it up with fruit and veggies like celery, carrots, apples and squash. Or…why not simply replace the stuffing with a side of baked sweet potatoes? Top with a touch of brown sugar and you have a sweet treat on the side for any holiday meal. You can also try another superfood of the season—butternut or acorn squash. Reduce the calorie content in high carbohydrate dishes by replacing the hearty potato with the lighter winter squash, such as acorn squash and butternut squash. Winter squash contain a rich source of dietary fiber to help lower cholesterol levels, normalize bowel health, and control blood sugar, as well as vitamin A to build and maintain healthy eyes, skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, and mucus membranes. Try my recipe of Sweet Mashed Acorn Squash

4. Pie: The worst…mincemeat. Don’t be fooled by the name, this is no simple meat pie but instead a tremendously high calorie dessert filled with butter, sugar, eggs and shortening. A single slice contains close to 500 calories, 18 grams of fat and 12 teaspoons of sugar (and that’s without the whipped cream!).

Pie: the best … pumpkin pie. Hooray! A slice of this holiday staple only has about 300 calories. Plus, pumpkin pie is lower in saturated fat and sodium than other pies, and also contains nutritious fiber and tons of disease-fighting beta-carotene. Bake the lighter version at home and you will still enjoy this holiday favorite while maintaining your health and fitness. If pumpkin pie is not your thing, you might consider this lightened up version of Christmas Snow-Dusted Mini Linzer Tart Cookies.

Holiday 5-0 Cosmo

Celebrate the beauty of the season

Celebrate the beauty of the season

Toast the holidays with this light version of the traditional Cosmopolitan vodka cocktail for just a fraction of the calories and all the taste!

Ingredients:
½ ounce raspberry vodka
3 ounces sugar-free diet cranberry juice drink
Squeeze of lime

Directions:
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with lime twist.

Yield: 1 cocktail

  • calories: 50,
  • fat: 0 g,
  • cholesterol: 0 mg,
  • sodium: 1 mg,
  • carbohydrates: 3 g,
  • fiber: 0 g,
  • sugar: 0.5 g,
  • protein: 0 g.

Sweet Mashed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings, 1 serving = ½ cup

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons of walnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons of raisins

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Place the acorn squash halves in a 9 x 9 inch or 9 x 13 inch pan with the flesh facing down. Fill the pan with ½ inch of water. Place the pan in the oven and roast the acorn squash for 45-60 minutes until the flesh is soft. Remove the pan from the oven and let the acorn squash cool for 10-15 minutes before scooping out the soft flesh into a bowl. Add the maple syrup, walnuts, and raisins and mix well. Serve hot or cold for breakfast, dinner or dessert!

Nutrient Information per Serving (1/2 cup):

Calories: 82 calories,
Fat: 1g,
Cholesterol: 0 mg,
Sodium: 5 mg,
Carbohydrate: 19 g,
Dietary Fiber: 5 g,
Sugar: 7g,
Protein: 1 g

Snow-Dusted Mini Linzer Tart Cookies

A holiday favorite, these remade linzer tarts are festive, light and nutritious!

You will need:

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup unsifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Splenda sugar blend for baking
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk flours, king powder and salt together.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then pour into a separate mixing bowl.
  • Add Splenda and oil and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape in two balls.
  • Working with one ball at a time, roll dough on lightly floured surface until dough is approximately 1/8th inch thick.
  • With a ~1 ½ inch round cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can, placing them on the baking sheet.
  • Repeat with second ball of dough.
  • Place a thumbprint in the center of each circle.
  • Bake both batches for 10-15 minutes and cool on a wire cake rack for 20 minutes.
  • Spoon a dab of jam into each thumbprint impression and sprinkle the tops with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

NOTE: Keep dough as cold as possible for easier handling.

Yield: 25 cookies

Nutrition information (per cookie):

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 50mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 1g

Heart Healthy Summer Recipe: Nectarine Berry Cobbler

Nectarine Berry Cobbler Recipe (July 28)

Use your fresh berries/nectarines to bake a healthy, quick and easy cobbler with no sugar or butter

Are you crazy for cobblers and crisps?

Take advantage of summer’s bounty of beautiful berries and stone fruits for baking up delicious and light summer treats. Summer fruits make the most mouth-watering desserts, especially berry cobblers and crisps.

Instead of always going for the high calorie/fat/sodium frozen cobbler on a summer’s night, use your fresh berries/nectarines to bake a healthy, quick and easy cobbler with no sugar or butter, as featured in this week’s recipe, Nectarine Berry Cobbler.

Nectarine Berry Cobbler Recipe

Vegan cobbler with no added butter. 

Yield: 6 servings (1/2 cup per serving)

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 2 nectarines, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups of mixed berries (pitted cherries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of salt

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375º F. Grease a 9 x9’’ pan with canola oil. In a small bowl, mix the fruit and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.

Pour the fruit mixture in to the greased pan and spread out to the pan’s edges and corners.

In another small bowl, mix the dry ingredients (oats, almond meal, cinnamon, and salt) and pour over the fruit mixture.

Lastly, drizzle 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup over the oat mixture.

Place the cobbler in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is slightly browned.

Let the cobbler sit and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving with a scoop of vanilla yogurt or ice cream. 

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 170 kcal, Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrate: 29 g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 97 mg

Check out more delicious and heart healthy summer recipes by Dr Janet that help bring blood pressure down and reduce cholesterol.

 

Take Control of Your Cholesterol and Life with Cholesterol Down App

Ldl Tracker in Cholesterol Down App

This simple and easy-to-use app contains complete information, tips, daily checklists to help bring LDL cholesterol down by as much as 47% in just 4 weeks.

Is your high cholesterol stopping you from leading a healthy, normal lifestyle?

Are you one of those millions of people struggling with high cholesterol?

The solution to lower your cholesterol is right at your fingertips – the Cholesterol Down App!

Based on Dr. Janet Brill’s best-selling book, Cholesterol Down – 10 Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in 4 Weeks – Without Prescription Drugs, this simple and easy-to-use app contains complete information, tips, daily checklists to help bring LDL cholesterol down by as much as 47% in just 4 weeks.

The Cholesterol Down app is especially useful for those who want to keep the simple cholesterol-lowering tips with them on-the-go. There are many people who want the wisdom of the book on their mobile devices. The Cholesterol Down app makes it much easier for them. They can read the tips and check reminders while out and about, living their healthier lives.

Whether you are in an elevator, commuting to work or waiting for the train, you can check your daily progress on reducing your cholesterol levels anytime, anywhere. At a restaurant, you can easily pull out your daily checklist on your app and quickly see what foods to eat and what to avoid.

The Cholesterol Down app is a handy and portable guide to help keep you on the right track to lower your (LDL) bad cholesterol, keep your heart healthy and help you prevent heart disease—our nation’s leading cause of death in men and women.

The Cholesterol Down app or the book is simple to follow. The app includes:

  • Daily Tracker to check off each step as you go
  • 10 Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
  • Custom LDL Goal-setting
  • LDL Tracker
  • Motivating Daily Messages
  • Weekly & Monthly Progress Summaries
  • Coaching Messages
  • Notes Page

Downloading Cholesterol Down app on your smartphones is easy and simple! You can download the app on App Store & Google Play.

Lower Blood Pressure Naturally with Blood Pressure Down App

Find out your BMI and whether your BP is  in normal/risk range.

Find out your BMI and whether your BP is
in normal/risk range.

Now taking control of your high blood pressure is easier than ever before!

The key to lowering your blood pressure naturally is available right at your fingertips. It’s the Blood Pressure Down App. Based on the best-selling book Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Plan to Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks – Without Prescription Drugs, this exciting and easy-to-use app brings you the complete 10-step plan which include daily checklists, food charts, heart healthy recipes and more.

The Blood Pressure Down App makes it simple for readers to follow highly effective Blood Pressure Lowering lifestyle tips and keep track of their blood pressure while on the go. Whether you are commuting to the office, traveling or walking your dog; you can easily stay accountable to your blood pressure lowering lifestyle.

The Blood Pressure Down App is the perfect tool to help you stick with a healthy lifestyle and eat the scientifically proven foods that help bring blood pressure down. With motivating tips popping up periodically, the Blood Pressure Down App is sure to make your change to a heart healthier lifestyle easy and delicious.

Now you can track your progress and check off all 10 steps each day on your device even while on the go!

Track your eating habits with food charts and daily checklists.

Track your eating habits with food charts
and daily checklists.

The Blood Pressure Down App includes:

  • Profile details
  • Daily tracker
  • Summary
  • Heart healthy, low calorie recipes
  • Recipe details
  • History of previous BP readings with date and time.
  • Stats – date-wise analysis and comparisons of your BP and BMI records
  • Blood pressure reading
  • Note pages

Downloading the Blood Pressure Down App on smartphones is easy. You can Download the App on the App Store and Google play.

Let the Blood Pressure Down App help you to make heart healthy foods, stress management and walking your high blood pressure cure!

Read more how to lower your blood pressure

7 Benefits of Heart Healthy Kiwi Fruit
Soy – A Miracle Food that Lowers Blood Pressure
Eat like Popeye! Lower Your Blood Pressure with Spinach

7 Benefits of Heart Healthy Kiwi Fruit

heart healthy food

Savor Heart Healthy Kiwi Fruit

Vibrant green color, unique flavor, and packed with vitamin C; kiwi fruits add a refreshing taste and a whole lot of nutrition to a bowl of salad. Kiwis offer a host of health benefits as well as adding a tropical flair and bright emerald green color to your palate. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals (most notably vitamin C and potassium) that promote health. Here are some of the benefits of nutrient dense kiwi fruit:

Secret to healthy skin
Kiwi fruits are loaded with vitamin C – a vitamin that protects your skin from pollution and prevents wrinkles. Instead of going through expensive beauty treatments, eat a kiwi fruit and help slow down the aging process. Kiwi fruit is your secret to beautiful skin!

Strengthens immunity
The high content of vitamin C in kiwi fruit not only promotes healthy skin but also boosts immunity.

Aids in digestion
Kiwi fruit contains actinidain – an enzyme that helps with meal digestion. Eating this fiber rich fruit prevents constipation and many other intestinal problems. Moreover, the high fiber content of kiwi fruit helps flush out harmful toxins from the intestinal tract.

Lower blood pressure
Kiwi fruit is a rich source of potassium – a mineral that reduces the negative effects of sodium and keeps electrolytes in balance. People whose diet is low in potassium and high in sodium are more prone to developing high blood pressure. Sodium is the culprit that leads to increased BP. Potassium rich Kiwi fruit combats the harmful effects of sodium and helps bring that blood pressure down!

Heart Healthy
Kiwi fruit is a true heart healthy food. The potassium and fiber rich content of kiwi fruits promote cardiovascular health. As mentioned above, the high potassium content of kiwi fruit means reduced sodium in your body and a healthier vascular system. Eating kiwi fruit reduces blood pressure, prevents heart disease and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease significantly. Moreover kiwi fruit also prevents kidney stones and loss of muscle mass.

Helps in weight loss
Kiwi fruit is high in fiber and vitamins and low in calories. Hence it is a great fruit (and snack) for anyone intent on losing some weight.

Promote eye health
Kiwi fruit contains lutein and zeaxanthin – nutrients that protect the eyes from age related macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

There are many ways you can incorporate kiwi fruit in your diet. Make a delicious kiwi smoothie, or add this vibrant green fruit to a bowl of Greek plain yogurt or fruit salad. You can make jam or use kiwi as a dip in (or on) Greek yogurt. The creative options to enjoy this superbly heart healthy fruit are endless.

Low Cholesterol Food: Mad about MUSHROOMS!

Heart healthy recipes by Dr Janet

Heart Healthy Recipes: Roasted Mushrooms with Sundried Tomatoes

Mushrooms are a super-low-calorie vegetable and a heart healthy food– 5 white button mushrooms contain a mere 20 calories! The most commonly consumed mushroom is the white button mushroom, but other mushrooms can also provide their own unique flavors to dishes such as the portobello, shiitake, oyster, maitake, crimini and beech mushrooms. It is one of the major constituents of low cholesterol recipes that help reduce cholesterol.

Even though mushrooms contain 90% water, they are rich in many vitamins and minerals, specifically Vitamin D (mushrooms are one of the few food sources of vitamin D on the planet), B vitamins (panotothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin), Selenium, and Potassium.

Luckily, spring is here and the warmer weather and long days will improve our vitamin D levels naturally because we will be getting more exposure to direct sunlight. That said, mushrooms are quite versatile in mediterranean recipes, add mushrooms to your egg white omelets, salads, soups, stir fries, pizzas, and vegetable side dishes.

Try this weekly’s simple Italian inspired recipe, Roasted Mushrooms with Sun-dried Tomatoes!

Recipe

Roasted Mushrooms with Sundried Tomatoes
Give your basic roasted mushroom dish a flavorful kick inspired from Italy by incorporating fresh or dried seasonings such as basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Yield: 4 servings  (1 serving = 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of baby bell mushrooms (or white mushrooms), washed, halved
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp of cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp of dried basil
  • ½ tsp of dried oregano
  • ½ tsp of dried thyme
  • ½ tsp of dried rosemary
  • ½ cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Optional: ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 º F.
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together except the sun-dried tomatoes.
Spread mushroom mixture onto a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Roast the mushrooms for 30 minutes.
Place the mushrooms in a large bowl and add the sun-dried tomatoes.
Serve hot or cold.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 74 kcals
Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 8g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Protein: 5g
Sodium: 147 mg

Top 5 Benefits of Eating Heart Healthy Avocados

Heart Healthy Food

Avocados = Heart Healthy Food

Silky texture, great flavor and a nutrition powerhouse! You gotta love those avocados.

Native to Central America and Mexico, avocados are also known as “alligator pears” because of their leather-like appearance and the texture of their skin. Mostly grown in tropical and Mediterranean climates, avocados differ in weight depending upon the variety.

Rich in vitamins and essential nutrients, avocados are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of adding avocados into your diet:

1. Heart Healthy food

Heart disease is the major cause of death in the USA. Some of the major contributing factors that increase risk of developing heart disease include leading a sedentary lifestyle and a dietary intake high in processed foods and “bad” fats.

Avocados are Mother Nature’s heart health medicine. They are rich in folic acid, and vitamin B6 that help regulate homocysteine levels in the blood. Avocados are also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin, vitamin E that helps prevent LDL cholesterol oxidization. Avocados are also high in the heart healthy “good” fat, the monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid, known to help promote cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease.

2. Reduce cholesterol

Avocados contain a phytosterol compound known as beta-sitosterol that has been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol (LDL). This pear-shaped green skinned fruit is also great source of potassium – the spectacular blood pressure lowering mineral superstar.

3. Good for eyes

The presence of the carotenoid lutein in avocados helps protect your eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness in older Americans.

4. Regulate blood sugar levels

Avocados are rich in soluble fiber, the type that helps maintain blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain a nice amount of soluble fiber—the kind of fiber that contributes to digestive health.

5. Keeps skin healthy and nourished

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, vitamin C and many other nutrients that are great for the skin. The monounsaturated fats keeps your skin nourished and soft; vitamin C helps maintain the elasticity of your skin and vitamin E protects against sun exposure thereby staving off wrinkles and premature aging.

Avocados can be used in a variety of different ways in your heart healthy recipes. Try adding some to your smoothie for a creamy texture and to boost nutrition, slice some up for your salad or use creamy, ripe avocado in lieu of butter as a sandwich spread.

Dr. Janet’s Fresh Avocado Dip (Guacamole)

Recipe excerpt from Dr. Janet’s book: BLOOD PRESSURE DOWN: the 10-step program to lower your blood pressure in 4 weeks–without prescription drugs (Crown/Three Rivers, May 2013)

lower blood pressure

Scrumptious Avocado Dip

Serve as a dip with fresh veggies or whole wheat pita chips.

  • 2 cups chopped avocado (from 2 medium avocados)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning
  • 6 drops hot pepper sauce

Mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork until desired consistency. Mix in the cilantro, lime juice, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt-free seasoning, and hot pepper sauce. Serve immediately.

Yield 1 1/2 cups

Serves 6

Nutrition per 1/4 cup serving:

Calories: 98 kcal
Sodium: 6 mg
Potassium: 301 mg
Magnesium: 17 mg
Calcium: 9 mg
Fat: 9 g (EPA 0g, DHA 0g, ALA <1g)
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 5 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: <1 g
Protein: 1 g

Zero Cholesterol Recipe Of Quinoa Minestrone Soup

low cholesterol recipe

Cholesterol-Free Quinoa Minestrone Soup

‘Tis the peak of winter season and the need of a warm bowl of “beautiful soup” is high!

How can you make a protein rich, super nutritious, vegetarian soup?

Easy! Add tons of veggies and some quinoa. Quinoa is a whole grain with a high protein content (and a complete protein at that!). In fact, 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains approximately 8 grams of protein, which is more protein than 1 oz of meat or 1 whole egg, and furthermore, quinoa is cholesterol-free unlike animal proteins. To boost your soup’s taste and protein content, be sure to substitute the pasta and rice in grain-based soups with quinoa for a healthier nutrient dense soup, as featured in this week’s recipe, Quinoa Minestrone Soup.

Here is a zero cholesterol recipe of Quinoa Minestrone Soup that helps lower cholesterol and is heart healthy food.

A gluten-free, diary-free vegetarian soup 

Yield: 12 cups (1 cup= 1 serving)

Ingredients: 

    • 1 Tablespoons of olive oil
    • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
    • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
    • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
    • 20 baby carrots, chopped
    • 2 cups of yellow corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
    • 2 cups of tomatoes, diced
    • 2 Tablespoons of dried oregano
    • 2 Tablespoons of dried basil
    • ½ Tablespoon of black pepper
    • 1-15 oz can of kidney beans
    • 1-15 oz can of navy beans
    • 1-28 oz can of chopped tomatoes with no added salt
    • 2 cup of fresh spinach
    • 4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
    • 1 cup of quinoa, uncooked.
    • 2 cups of water
    • Optional: shredded parmesan and asiago cheese
low cholesterol soup

Beautiful Soup So Rich So Green

Directions: 

In a large pot, add the olive oil, garlic, and onion and cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the yellow squash, zucchini, celery, carrots, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and black pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add the kidney beans, navy beans, chopped tomatoes, spinach, and broth and continue to cook soup on medium heat. In a small pot, add the quinoa and water. Cook the quinoa until a boil then reduce heat to a simmer until the quinoa absorbs all the water. Add the quinoa to the soup. Cook soup for another 10 minutes or until ready to serve. Optional: Sprinkle individual servings with parmesan and Asiago cheese.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 

Calorie: 155 kcal, Fat 2 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrate: 28 g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 8 g, Sodium: 385 mg