In honor of February being Heart Health Awareness Month, we are dedicating all of our Avera Medical Minute segments for the week of Feb. 16th to this topic and helping you prevent heart disease. Believe it or not it's the nations leading killer of women. We went in to the Avera Heart Hospital kitchen to find out what we can eat that's good for us and even better for our heart.
Your number one source of flavonols is berries. Blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries are considered super foods and most of us don't eat enough of them. A helping a day (1/2 cup) would be a great help to your heart. Dark chocolate is another option or even better combine the two. Dipped strawberries in melted dark chocolate. It has to be dark and watch the portion size (only have an ounce a day) or your size will increase.
Joanne says, "Flavonols also prevent inflammation in the arteries and lowers your blood pressure."
Another thing to consider instead of grabbing a soda or a bottle of ice tea is to make a cup of green or black tea. It's full of those antioxidant agents too.
Joanne says, "Black and green tea is a wonderful source of anti-oxidants and flavonols. Drink it brewed not in the bottles of ice tea you get at a convenience store or you lose those flavonols. Same with fruit. Eat it in it's natural state, not in a fruit juice, to get the maximum benefits."
Your best defense against heart disease comes down to you, you can't fight heredity, but you can exercise, quit smoking and eat healthy. Just try to include a few berries everyday. A simple and tasty way to live longer.
Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietitians Joanne Shearer and Nikki Ver Steeg are whipping up 3 simple recipes (a low fat yogurt, granola berry parfait, buckwheat/whole wheat pancakes with a berry sauce and strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate) stock full of flavonols. Flavonols are the powerful anti-oxidants in food that protect your heart against heart disease. Joanne says, "It protects the LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol from being oxidized. Once that cholesterol is oxidized it gets deposited in the arteries as plaque. So really that is the starting process of heart disease and stopping the oxidation is how flavonols protect you from cardiovascular disease."