9 Heart Smart Foods

Cardiovascular and heart diseases are the cause of more than half of overall deaths in the European regions. In the US, heart diseases takes more than $400 billion every year for health care, medications and productivity loss. In Australia, heart diseases are more prevalent among men (5.5%) than among women (4.5%) and kill one Australian every 12 minutes.

The above statistics though does not mirror the world’s heart disease numbers. But they are just presented to give you a bird’s eye view of how heart diseases can take life every day, can affect the economy and can cause unprecedented death.

And more often, heart disease’s symptoms are knocking right in our door but some are just plain unaware of it. And what more, many are still fanning the factors that can crucially increase heart illness risks. These factors that are often overlooked include exercise and activity, diet and stress.

How Diet Can Play A Role in Your Heart Health

It doesn’t play a role, it plays the top role! You are what you eat, so your heart too. The more unhealthy foods you stuff in your mouth, the more your heart health suffers. The more boxed and wrapped food and meals you have, the more you are putting your health at risks. Boxed foods are those that are pre-packed and are artificially preserved. Take outs and fast foods are part of this bad habit as well.

The more bad fat and unhealthy toxins you ingest, the more your heart are exposed to certain heart conditions. Changing and shifting into guilt free meals might save your waistline and your heart as well.

9 Heart Friendly Options

Oatmeal. Oatmeal and oat bran contains lots of fibers which helps in fighting cholesterol. Fiber carries down cholesterol out of the system, lowering cholesterol in the blood by 20% thus reducing risks of heart disease.

Salmon. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, the right kind of fat that can fight away cardio diseases. It can reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good ones.  The omega-3 also is anti-inflammatory and helps regulate triglycerides. Aside from salmon, other sources of omega-3 includes marine life sources such as calamari, tuna and sardines.

Olive Oil. Olive oil, the extra virgin one is a monosaturated fats. It can lower the bad cholesterol in the blood and can reduce risks of heart diseases. Olive oil can be used to cook foods or as bread dip and salad dressings.

Red Wine. Red wine contains flavanoids which helps protect your arteries from cholesterol damage. It can even prevent blood clots. A glass a day in moderation can be an effective heart aid.

Soy. Diets that contains soy can help cut heart disease risks. It can reduce cholesterol levels and is a healthy alternative.

Tomato. Tomato has lycopene which is a potent anti-oxidant. It can also help prevent artery blockage from cholesterol which leads to heart illness.

Nuts. Walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are heart friendly. You can pop them for snacks or definitely have them included in your home cooked meals.

Berries. Berries have potent anti-inflammatory capability which is beneficial to cardiovascular health. Thus, a bowl of berries will be doing your heart good and your waistline too.

Beans. Legumes such as beans and lentils are beneficial to the health. Those who have the regular consumption of it (at least 4 times a week) have 22% lower risk of heart disease than those who eat less of it.

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But it isn’t just the food you eat though, there are more tricks to help you be healthy and be heart smart. The first was mentioned above, avoid boxes. Then you can add variety in your food by eating foods in different colors. Another way to help your heart is to minimize the salt. Then exercise, do some cardiovascular routines every day.

These things will not only benefit you today but will be a long term gain later since you will be living life to the fullest and to the oldest.

Image Credit: .craig from Flickr.

Information About Calamari Oil Versus Fish Oil

There are many differences between calamari and fish oil that many people do not seem to understand. Calamari oil is manufactured from food-grade calamari squid trimmings. Meanwhile, typical fish oils are made with the by-products that are left over in industrial food factories; although, net-caught fish is also used for certain fish oil.

Key differences are also discovered in the levels of DHA from the Omega 3 fatty acids in which the body is able to absorb from calamari oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are comprised of two main components. EPA and DHA; both of these are fatty acids found in marine life, and are key to ideal cardiovascular health, a healthy brain and eyes, and also helps to maintain an overall healthy body and mind.

DHA, one of the components of the Omega 3 fatty acids are the most utilized Omega 3 acid by the body. Cod liver and other similar fish oils are low in DHA Omega 3 acids; however, they’re higher in EPA. The body is capable of converting EPA, as well as ALA nutrients from plant material to create DHA. While the body is capable of doing this, it’s not as efficient as if one were to take the proper levels of DHA.

Calamari squid trimmings can be extracted enough to produce up to 500mg of raw DHA content. In fact, this is equal to 50 percent DHA levels by weight; this is compared to 100 mg of DHA with normal krill and other fish oils. Because calamari is harvested in the manner it is, this is what allows it to retain such high levels of DHA in the Omega 3 fatty acids. When calamari squid are harvested, they’re caught in hookline nets to delicately capture them, without causing damages or producing emissions from means of an industrial type fishing method.

On the other hand, cod and other fish are caught in sometimes violent matters, and can cause harm to the fish. In addition, those industrial factories which utilize fish by-products are also contributing to lower-quality fish oils and minimal DHA content levels. The reason DHA is so important is because it’s utilized by the body to maintain healthy eye and brain tissue. As babies, DHA is extensively used in the development of the brain and eye tissue. When people take calamari oil which is high in DHA, they’re able to maintain their brain and eye tissues at optimal levels. Furthermore, the Omega 3 acids and DHA content are also very valuable in helping to restore and maintain cardiovascular health.

Standard fish oils can also contain toxins if they are harvested from poor sources. Fish that have high levels of mercury, heavy metallic elements, and any other toxins should be avoid in terms of using to make fish oils with. Although, some fish oil manufacturers will use these types of fish to make the oil anyway; this is why it’s crucial that the consumer ensure the oil they’re getting is free of these harmful toxins.

Aside from toxicity, many fish oils contain vitamin A and vitamin D. Many manufacturers will add vitamin D along with the vitamin A, so that they may work in conjunction with each other. The issue with this is that it can sometimes lead to excess levels of vitamin A in the fish oil. Because of this, careful attention needs to be paid to verify that people aren’t taking more vitamin A than they should, as they can end up with vitamin toxicity. With normal fish oil, people can safely take up to a teaspoon per day to supplement with this oil.

When people are looking to find the right fish oil for them that doesn’t contain high levels of vitamin A or other contaminants, they can take some steps to make sure it’s the right oil. First of all, they should ensure the oil hasn’t been purified by way of utilizing hexane or other similar chemicals as this can cause adverse allergies in some. Also, they should take time to understand how the oil was extracted, and what method was used to purify the fish oil.

Because standard fish oils can contain higher levels of vitamin A, those who are taking adequate levels of vitamin A as it is should opt to take calimari oil instead, as it doesn’t contain high levels of vitamin A. When people take too much vitamin A, they can cause bone loss to occur due to the toxicity effects of the vitamin A. This makes it essential that people outweigh their dietary habits with the oils they’re thinking of choosing.

Calamari oil presents the highest levels of DHA in the Omega 3 fatty acids than when compared to standard fish oils like cod liver that contain minimal levels of the DHA supplement. The calamari oil will allow people to obtain the proper levels of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids along with adequate levels of DHA. In contrast, those who do end up opting for standard fish oils need to understand the dietary statistics for the vitamins they’re taking.

To sum everything up, calimari oil is produced from food-grade squid trimmings in which are delicately captured. This is opposed to the way standard fish varieties are caught in harsh conditions to produce cod liver oil or others. While cod liver oil and other fish oils with added vitamins A and D might benefit those who’re deficient in these vitamins, those who have adequate levels already should abstain from taking excessive levels of these vitamins as they can cause toxicity which leads to bone loss. Lastly, compared to calimari oil with 500mg of DHA content in Omega 3 fatty acids, standard fish oils only have a mere 100mg or less of the DHA needed for a healthy brain, eyes, and heart. Those who are reviewing which type of fish oil they should consume should now understand the risks and benefits associated with each type so they can make a healthy choice.