Cooking With Fresh Herbs 

  Skip the salt shaker and start adding flavor to your home cooked meals with the help of fresh herbs. Herbs are a delicious and health conscious way to add life to dull dishes, without packing on the sodium from salt. Some of the world’s most renowned chefs swear these versatile leaves are the secret to a perfect dish. Coming in a variety of forms and flavors, herbs are sure to bring delight with every bite. Follow our guide to use more in your own kitchen. With these tips, your friends and family will think you’re a top chef! Basil This clover-like herb is one of the most popular in the United States. Basil comes in a variety of different forms with the most popular being sweet Italian and Thai purple. Adding basil to your dishes will give it a [...]

Don’t be Salty: The Facts on Sodium

The month of February is dedicated to heart health. A heart healthy lifestyle focuses on low sodium foods, a variety of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and regular physical activity. Making small changes to your diet can help support your heart. Let’s focus on some ways to decrease your sodium intake. Sodium is an essential nutrient, but most Americans consume too much sodium. Excess sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart and kidney disease along with stroke. Check out the following myths and the low sodium shopping list to help you kick excess sodium out of your diet. Myth 1: Sea salt is healthier than table salt. Fact: Sea salt and table salt contain the same amount of sodium.  Limit the use of all types of salt (sea salt, table salt, Himalayan pink [...]

Heart Month-Boosting Soluble Fiber to Knock Down LDL

  February is American Heart Month. There are so many ways to be proactive in taking care of your heart health such as exercising, managing stress, reducing sodium intake, switching to healthy fats, and increasing your soluble fiber intake. Are you wondering to yourself “What is soluble fiber?” Soluble fiber lowers LDL (lousy, bad) cholesterol and is found naturally in many types of foods. Try adding soluble fiber rich foods into your meals to help support your heart. Sources of Soluble Fiber Vegetables Certain fruits and vegetables are higher in soluble fiber than others. Brussels sprouts, carrots, winter squash, broccoli, peas, etc. provide soluble fiber. Be inspired by the rainbow when picking produce. Choose different colors to give your body a variety of nutrients. Try this penne pasta dish that is loaded with soluble rich foods including broccoli and garbanzo [...]

Don’t Stress Out Your Heart

  When we think about heart health, we typically think about habits involving exercise and nutrition. While these both have a huge impact, the effects of stress on the heart often get overlooked. Stress is something that most of us deal with daily. Taking time to manage our stress can greatly improve heart health and lower the risk of adverse effects. When it comes to stress, it is necessary to explore types of stress, how it affects the body, and how to better manage it. Acute vs. Chronic Stress Acute stress stems from a short-term, immediate stressor. It sparks our body’s “flight or fight” response and produces stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) which cause elevated heart rate, increased breathing, and contracted muscles that are ready for action. It's natural for our bodies to have this acute response to stress because [...]

5 Heart-Healthy Reasons to Exercise

  The benefits that exercise has for physical and mental health are numerous. Countless studies have shown physical activity to be a top component in preventing and managing diseases and promoting a longer, healthier life. Let’s explore five heart-healthy reasons to make exercise a habit today. Regulate Blood Pressure Exercise causes blood vessels to dilate, which means they open wider and allow better circulation. Because of this the heart does not have to work as hard thereby more efficiently getting blood to the body. Less stress on the arteries means lower blood pressure in return (Mayo Clinic). Since bouts of exercise directly affect heart function, consistent physical activity is necessary for keeping blood pressure under control long-term. Boost Good Cholesterol High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered the “good” cholesterol, and it is an important part of heart health. According to the [...]

International Spices for Heart Health

Your doctor recommended that you lay off the salt. The American Heart Association recommends less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day in our diet. Although in the US the majority of the population consumes nearly 150% of the recommended amount. Why is this a problem? Overconsumption of salt raises blood pressure which in turn raises your risk for heart disease. The good news is that simple lifestyle changes like eating more fruit and vegetables and swapping out seasonings for salt while cooking can make a big difference. In fact, cutting back on salt has shown improvements in blood pressure within weeks. According to the FDA, 75% of our salt intake comes from packaged food and restaurant meals. Cut back on salt intake by making fresh meals at home. Want to know how to make your salt-free kitchen exciting? Bring [...]

Heart Month- February 2022

  Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, yet 80% of all heart attacks can be prevented. A great way to reduce your risk is to know your heart screening numbers. The most important are blood pressure, blood sugar, LDL and HDL cholesterols and body mass index (BMI). These values, in addition to your family history and personal habits (tobacco use, exercise and stress management), help health professionals design strategies that can lead to a long lifetime of heart health. Blood Pressure is the force with which your heart pumps blood through your blood vessels. Remembering that your heart is a pump and the vessels are hoses makes blood pressure easier to understand. Blood pressure measurements are recorded as two numbers. The higher number is the systolic pressure, and the lower [...]