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Food for the heart

We are all inundated with ways to become healthier and what we should or should not eat to improve our health. Although there is no one magic food we can eat, there are some simple ideas to improve our overall health. Below is a list of some easy food solutions to help simplify how we can improve the state of our heart health.1. Add 2 T of milled flaxseed to any baked good; replace 1 T of oil/butter with 3 T of milled flaxseed; or replace 1 large egg with 1 T milled flaxseed plus 3 T of water. Milled flaxseed can be bought in bulk at places like Costco or health food stores. 2. Add blueberries to foods such as pancakes, muffins, cereal, or low-fat yogurt. 3. Substitute oats for up to 1/3 of the flour used to bake goods such pancakes, muffins, quick breads, and cookies. You can even use oats in place of breadcrumbs in dishes like meatballs and breaded chicken. 4. Add spinach to your lettuce when making a salad. 5. Blend low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese with a squirt of lemon juice and replace sour cream with this mixture in recipes. You can use non-fat, plain yogurt as well. 6. If you need that jolt of caffeine from your morning coffee, try replacing one cup with a cup of either black or green hot tea. 7. Choose soups that are broth-based instead of cream-based. 8. Add garlic to meals for both flavor and health benefits. This is such an easy way to get a dose of non-pharmaceutical ACE inhibitors. 9. Don’t shy away from the dark chocolate. Instead of having a high fat, high sugar chocolaty dessert, have a small square of dark chocolate (such as Dove) for dessert. Portion control is the key here though. 10. Add beans (choose from a variety) to your salad. They are not only packed with protein and fiber, but also have many nutrients that help the heart to function better.

While this is not an exhaustive list, it may help to jump start your heart health and show you just how simple it is to incorporate or substitute foods to improve your heart’s functioning.