Sunday, February 5, 2012

February is Heart Health Month: Fiber+Heart Disease

Hello guys,

I’m back with another blog post. I hope that what I'm sharing with you today will inspire you to incorporate healthier foods into your diet.

February is Heart Health Month. Although heart disease affects men and women later in life, it is a work in progress. The foods we eat today definitely make a difference in our health later in life. Does anyone in your family have diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure? Is your mom, dad, grandmother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle? Did any of them suffer a stroke?

Trust that those illnesses/diseases /risk factors did not happen overnight. The developments of these risk factors have been a work in progress years ago. This could possibly mean that you are at higher risk for developing certain diseases as well. 

I know that I’m at a higher risk for developing a stroke, simple because my grandmother suffered a stroke later in life and so did her sister and most recently her nephew.
Here is my quick guide to lowering my risk of developing any of these risk factors. Hopefully, it is useful to you as well.

  •  I start my day with a nice bowl of whole grain cereal; typically old fashion oatmeal with half milk and half water or high fiber cereal. Why? Because high fiber cereals are high in fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and improve digestion
  • I make sure that I have at least 2 fresh fruits a day: Almost always bananas, oranges, pears, apples, and grapefruit. Other fruits with a good source of fiber are blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I typically have those berries in fruit smoothies that I make myself. Dried fruit are also great choices of fiber. 
  • Don’t forget your vegetables. They are packed with fiber. My all-time favorite veggies are broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, tomatoes…
  • Beans and peas are excellent sources of fiber. I love a handful of kidney (red) beans or black beans in my salad. And a handful of beans for me usually mean half a cup.
  • Whole grain breads and pasta are also good sources of fiber. Adding fiber to your diet can actually help prevent weight gain by making you feel fuller longer.

Chronic disease, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke are increasing, which is so frustrating when they’re highly preventable. Know what you can do to help improve your health. Start by increasing fiber in your diet!

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