a bucket of blueberries

A Cup Of Blueberries Per Day Reduces Heart Disease

Everyone knows that fruit and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. However, some fruits and vegetables may be more beneficial than others. Research shows that a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk factors of cardiovascular disease heart disease.

large bucket of blueberries

Blueberries and Metabolic Syndrome

Researchers set out to see how blueberry consumption affects Metabolic Syndrome. Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome is when a patient meets 3 of 5 criteria. The criteria include: high blood pressure, excess fat around the waist, high triglycerides, low levels of good cholesterol, and high blood sugar. 1 out of 3 people have Metabolic Syndrome. In this study, researchers followed 138 obese and over-weight participants. Participants were given one of the following: a placebo, ½ cup blueberries, or 1 cup blueberries. 

Drops In Cardiovascular Disease Rick

The results show cardiovascular disease risk dropped 12-15% when participants consumed 1 cup of blueberries.  Unfortunately, consuming ½ cup of blueberries does not show any improvement. Anthocyanins, a compound responsible for berries color, is the main reason for the reduction in cardiovascular disease.  Certainly, powerful anthocyanins will be in cherries, blackberries, pomegranate, and raspberries. In addition to healthy fruits and vegetables, a balanced diet of lean protein and whole grains is important too.

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variety of sushi rolls on a platter. Fresh fish is good for the heart.

Heart Health And Omega-3 Fats

Heart function is of utmost importance. There is no debate. Exercise is good, but most forget a key component of heart health which is omega-3 fatty acid. Recent studies show participants in the upper echelon of omega-3 blood levels have a 39% lower risk of a cardiovascular disease. Additionally, participants have a 34% lower risk of death from any cause.  

Usually, there are no warning signs for most cardiovascular events. Unfortunately, CVD is abrupt and potentially catastrophic. Thus, eating fish or supplementation will improve omega-3 levels. Interestingly, there is no association from the above-mentioned lower risks with omega-6. Omega-6 is commonly found in vegetable oils and nuts. Usually, most western diets do not have a balanced omega-3 and omega-6 ratio. Typically, the ratio is closer to 1:10. This leads to inflammation and other health hazards.   

variety of sushi rolls on a platter. Fresh fish is good for the heart.

Instead of vegetable oil or olive oil to cook, I recommend coconut oil or grass-fed butter. Both are solid at room temperature and hold up to heat. Therefore, olive and vegetable oil work great with cold applications like salad dressings or marinades.  

Even the FDA recommends 3.5 oz servings of fish per week. Lastly, if eating fresh fish, I recommend smaller types of fish rather than larger ones. Large fish like swordfish and tuna can have higher levels of mercury.  

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