Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anatomy of a heart-healthy food: Five Heart Healing Foods


(www.naturalhealthmag.com) Food has many healing properties and can be used to promote heart health. Colorful vegetables and fruits, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and spices offer combinations of these five cardio-boosting properties.

Anti-Inflammatory
Working similarly to the way aspirin does to reduce inflammation of tissues, natural anti-inflammatories like folate and vitamins C and D are vital to heart health because low-grade inflammation of the arteries has been identified as a significant factor in degeneration of the cardiovascular system.

Anitoxidants
Vitamins C and E and carotenoids such as vitamin A inhibit the oxidation of blood cells and the creation of damaging free radicals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This family of polyunsaturated fats such as ALA, EPA, and DHA has been shown in recent studies to decrease triglyceride levels and the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque and lower the risk of arrhythmia. The FDA has given "qualified" support to their ability to fight heart disease and prevent heart attack.

Potassium
This alkali metal is critical to maintaining smooth-muscle contraction such as a regular heartbeat.

Soluble Fiber
Gel-like soluble fiber binds with liver bile and cholesterol, carrying them both out of the body

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