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3 Great Tips to Avoid Surprising Health Risks of Beans: Dr. Janet on the Dr. Oz Show

Healthy Foods

Dr. Janet offering tips on avoiding surprising health risks caused by beans

We all know that beans are a nutritional powerhouse. They are loaded with protein, fiber, potassium and many other nutrients. However beans can also cause some surprising health risks.

Nutritionist and author Dr. Janet Brill appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to discuss about beans and she reveals tips on how to avoid the surprising health risks that are caused by this staple food.

1. Black beans do not cause migraine

There are three types of beans that are known to trigger migraine which are – Fava, Garbanzo and Navy beans. Dr. Janet advises to consume black beans as they don’t cause any headache.

2. Dry beans lower blood pressure

Beans are generally a great heart healthy food that help lower blood pressure. The problem lies with canned variety which the majority of Americans consume. Canned beans are loaded with sodium that can raise BP. The mantra is to rinse the beans at least twice. Or you can use natural, dry beans, soak them overnight and cook them using pressure cooker.

The secret is that the beans without extra salt are heart healthy and they help bring blood pressure down and lower cholesterol.

3. Properly cooked beans do not cause gas

Though beans cause gas, Dr. Janet offers tips on how to avoid that. She suggests using Japanese dry sea weed, coriander, and baking soda while cooking beans that ensure that beans don’t cause gas.

The idea is not to give up eating beans. Rather eat natural, dry beans thrice a week by cooking them yourself.

On-the-go Breakfast: Homemade Fruit And Chia Seed Jam!

Nectarine Chia Seed Jam

Make your own jam easily from fresh seasonal produce and omega-3 packed chia seeds

How about starting your day with whole grain toast spread with a super-nutritious homemade jam!

Some mornings, you just want to enjoy the simple things in life… such as warm whole grain toast with a spread of sweet fruit jam.

Toast and jam can be a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast OR even the perfect slow and easy morning combo of your morning cup a Joe and favorite TV show or newspaper.

But did you know that you can easily make your own jam from fresh seasonal produce and omega-3 packed chia seeds? Berries, peaches, and nectarines are sweet and delicious fruits to make into jams, as featured in this week’s recipe, Nectarine Chia Seed Jam.

If you find your toast and jam don’t fill you up in the morning and you are hungry an hour later, add a source of protein to your meal. Examples of protein to eat or drink with toast: 1 oz of raw almonds or walnuts, a spread of nut/seed butter with your jam (peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter), egg whites (fried egg white, egg white omelet/scramble), non-fat Greek yogurt, 8 fl oz fruit and vegetable smoothie with a scoop of protein powder, soy milk, or Greek yogurt, or simply a cup of soy milk.

Nectarine Chia Seed Jam Recipe 

A jam with no sugar added and no cooking is needed! Chia seeds absorb the juices from the fruit and create a similar consistency to a jam that has been heated on the stove.

Yield: 8 Servings (1 Tablespoon per serving)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium nectarine, ripe, pitted
  • 1 Tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

Directions

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend ingredients together until a smooth consistency. Place jam into a sealable container and refrigerator until ready to serve.  Serve on toast or use as a sweetener for plain Greek yogurt or oatmeal.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 16 kcal, Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrate: 3g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 0g, Sodium: 0 mg.

Check out more heart healthy breakfast recipes 

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 Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Basil Margarita

Healthy low cholesterol recipes

Fresh Strawberry Basil Margarita: nutritious low calorie recipe

Seasonal fruits are the perfect sweetener for your favorite summer cocktails (or mocktails)! These are low cholesterol recipes that help lower blood pressure.

During the warmer months, buy your favorite seasonal fruit in bulk and freeze a portion of your fruit for frozen drink and smoothies, and/or defrosted to be added to fruit yogurt parfaits.

Pre-made mixers contain added sugar, which add copious amounts of unnecessary calories to your cocktails.

Why not make nutritious and skinny drinks with your blended fruit (fresh or frozen) instead of adding sugar or simple syrups, such as berries, mangoes, kiwis, grapefruits, pineapple, or whatever fruit you desire on a hot sunny day.

Try this week’s low cholesterol recipe. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Light and Fresh SKINNY Strawberry Margaritas!

Fresh Strawberry Basil Margarita

Add leaves from edible plants, such as mint, basil, or cilantro for a hidden punch of flavor (and nutrition) to your margarita.

Yield: 1 serving (6 fl oz)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 fl oz of tequila
  • ½ cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/8 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice

Directions:

In a blender, add all the ingredients into the blender and mix until a smooth consistency.
Optional: Add ½ cup of ice, if you didn’t use frozen strawberries.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 131 kcal
Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein:  1 g
Sodium:  2 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

Walnuts – A Nutritional Powerhouse that Lowers Cholesterol

Lower cholesterol

Walnuts are nutrition powerhouse

Crunchy and delicious, walnuts are a near perfect food. Walnuts are actually the edible seeds of the plant genus called Juglans. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; walnuts pack a heavy nutritional punch. They make a great healthy snack and a handful a day will surely boost your overall health. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you should include walnuts into your daily diet:

Loaded with omega-3 fats

Our bodies require essential fatty acids, especially the anti—inflammatory fatty acids known as omega 3. Omega-3 fat is helpful for improving immune function, cell growth and to prevent and treat various diseases. Walnuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids linked with fighting depression, preventing rheumatoid arthritis and protecting against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.

Our bodies don’t produce these essential fatty acids on their own so you have to obtain them from your diet. Walnuts are the only nuts that contain significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant version of omega-3 fatty acids. Their super-healthy fat content is a great reason to regularly include walnuts in your diet for better health.

Fight stress

Feeling stressed and depressed? Walnuts have been shown to improve brain health. In fact, recent research has shown that regularly eating a handful of walnuts can lower your blood pressure response to stress.

Prevents cancer

Walnuts are healthy nuts, rich in antioxidants and phytosterols (cholesterol-like molecules found in plants) shown to block estrogen receptors. Walnuts are believed to help in reducing the risk of developing breast cancer.

Prevent Type 2 diabetes

The presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids in these tasty nuts helps reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Recent research has shown that people who consume walnuts or other nuts at least 5 times a week, are less prone to developing diabetes as compared those who never eat them.

A nutrition powerhouse

Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamins B6, vitamin E, folate, and thiamin. These delicious nuts also contain various healthy minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Bring cholesterol down

Nutritionally speaking, walnuts are a bona fide super food; they are cholesterol free and contain an insignificant amount of sodium. Thus eating walnuts helps lower cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. It is a well-known fact that the coronary heart disease is caused by high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol level as well as high blood pressure.

Since walnuts are a fiber-packed, cholesterol free food, they not only help bring “bad” cholesterol down but also prevent heart disease.

Good for skin & hair

Since walnuts contain a good amount of vitamin E as well as powerful plant antioxidants, they are good your skin. Eating a handful a day is the perfect anti-aging skin prescription.

Cheers to the holidays and a healthy heart

Low cholesterol recipe

Holiday Sangria

The most anticipated holiday month is finally here, bringing social gatherings with delicious treats and cocktails that are hard to resist. You deserve to relax and enjoy the company of your coworkers, friends, and family… just don’t forget to eat and drink in moderation!

The general recommendation from health authorities is to indulge in a maximum of 1 alcoholic beverage per day (women) and up to 2 alcoholic beverages for men. If you do choose to imbibe, why not skip the sugary, calorie-laden holiday drinks and celebrate your health with a festive fruit-laden red wine?

Red wine, a heart healthy food, is packed with heart-healthy antioxidants and has been proven to boost your “good” cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) and lower blood pressure–which will improve your cardiovascular health. Now that’s a holiday celebration!

Recipe

Holiday Sangria

Liven up your typical red table wine into Holiday Sangria with seasonal ingredients such as cranberries, pears, apples, oranges, and cinnamon sticks!

Yield: 8 servings (5 fl oz per serving) – not including the optional seltzer water—which adds 0 calories

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 cup of 100% orange juice
  • 1 pear, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Optional: flavored seltzer water (cranberry, grapefruit, pear, etc.)

Directions:
In a pitcher, mix all the ingredients together (except the optional flavored seltzer water). Let sangria sit in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight. The longer the mixture sits, the more the wine will absorb the flavors from the fruit! Pour sangria into glasses and top each glass with an optional ¼ cup of seltzer water.

Nutrition Per Serving:
Calories: 167 kcal,
Fat: 0 g,
Cholesterol: 0 mg,
Carbohydrate: 18 g,
Dietary Fiber: 2 g,
Protein: 1 g,
Sodium: 5 mg

6 Health Benefits of Almonds

Almonds: A superfood

Almonds are rich in vitamin B & E, protein and dietary fiber

Almonds – available in whole, sliced (flaked, slivered), and as flour – is a heart healthy food which can be used in a variety of dishes. These edible nuts available (in different forms) in the market are the kernels of the small almond fruit which grow on almond trees that can reach up to 10 meters in height. Although packaged almonds are available round the year, the fresh crop matures in the autumn season.

Almonds house many different vital nutrients including carbohydrates, vitamins B & E, protein, dietary fiber, monounsaturated fat and essential minerals that bring blood pressure down. Like other nuts and seeds, almonds contain ‘phytosterols,’ plant chemicals known to have cholesterol-lowering properties.

Due to presence of these beneficial nutrients, the consumption of almonds offers a great deal of health benefits:

1. Reduced risk of heart disease

According to a study by Loma Linda School of Public Health, consumption of nuts (pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pecans) five times a week or more reduces the risk of heart disease by 44 percent in nut-eating vegetarians as compared to low nut-eating vegetarians.

Almonds house phytosterols, plant chemicals known to dramatically reduce LDL, low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. The high content of monounsaturated fat in almonds also helps in promoting heart health. In addition to lowering cholesterol, these nuts help bring blood pressure down and reduce the risk of heart disease due to presence of vitamin E, magnesium and potassium – nutrients proven to have heart healthy benefits.

2. Effective against Diabetes

Researchers have found that almonds play a role in controlling post-meal rises in blood sugar. Adding almonds to meals reduces the glycemic index (GI) of the meal. GI is a measure of the rise in post-meal blood sugar level. The greater the amount of almonds ingested, the lower the GI of the meal and the greater the blunting of the rise in the blood sugar level.

Almonds also supply a nice amount of plant antioxidants, substances that curb the formation of dangerous free radicals, rogue chemicals formed as a result of metabolic reactions inside the body. Try a handful of dry-roasted almonds as a snack, on your salad or even as almond butter as a sandwich spread.

3. Helps with weight loss

Adding almonds to your salad plate or including them in your breakfast meals can help you control your weight. The rich protein-content makes a person feel full for longer periods, thereby helping them avoid overeating. The fiber present in almonds is also filling and promotes intestinal health. All of these nutrients including monounsaturated fats, protein, antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin E nourish the body as well as keep your craving for food in check. This in turn helps in weight control.

4. Beneficial for the brain

Almonds are rich in riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that promote healthy functioning of the brain and may also prove effective in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. According to Ayurveda medicine, almonds stimulate the nervous system and help improve intellectual level and longevity.

5. Protects artery walls from damage

Almond skins contain flavonoids that in association with vitamin E help in reducing the risk of damage to the fragile layer of arterial walls known as the endothelium.

6. Supplies a high amount of protein

These spectacular nuts contain a surprisingly high amount of protein. A quarter cup of almonds supplies 7.62 grams of protein compared to an egg, which contains just 5.54 grams.

Almonds are a superbly heart healthy food that has sustained humankind for millennia (almonds have been cultivated in the Mediterranean regions for over 4,000 years). Nutritionists across the world recommend eating Mother Nature’s original health food, delicious and nutritious almonds.

10 Great Benefits of Eating Raisins

Reduce cholesterol

Raisins contain good amount of potassium and magnesium & other nutrients.

Feeling the urge to eat something sweet? Having a snack attack? How about reaching for a handful of raisins to satisfy that sweet tooth? Raisins are a great healthy substitute for candy or other kinds of “junk food.”

Raisins are made from dehydrated grapes; hence the nutrients become more concentrated in raisins. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of eating raisins:

  1. A small box of raisins contains 34 grams of carbohydrates which make them a good source of instant energy.
  2. Raisins are very effective in promoting bowel health. Eating fiber-packed raisins on a regular basis can help keep you, well, regular!
  3. Eating raisins curbs the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth and helps prevent cavities, gingivitis and tooth decay. If you have a sweet tooth, pop healthy raisins instead of teeth-damaging candy.
  4. Raisins contain a good amount of potassium and magnesium, two power minerals known to help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
  5. Raisins are a good source of calcium, the mineral that contributes to building and maintaining strong bones and protects against osteoporosis.
  6. Eating dried grapes helps prevent and treat arthritis and kidney stones.
  7. Raisins contain elements that have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that protects body against infection.
  8. The presence of polyphenolic phytonutrients in raisins benefit your vision.  These powerful plant chemicals offer protection against macular degeneration, and cataracts.
  9. Raisins are a rich source of iron; a mineral that is essential for the production of hemoglobin in the body. People suffering from deficiency i.e. anemia can benefit from raisin’s high iron content.
  10. People who are underweight can benefit from eating raisins often to add healthy calories to the diet.

Raisins make for a quick and easy way to snack better. They are sweet, delicious and spectacularly healthy for your body. Next time you want a snack do your body a favor and reach for that little box of raisins. Visit this link for more details.

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