Today, I’m going to share with you seven awesome, super heart-healthy superfoods that you can add to your daily diet right now.
Number one, one of my favorites is salmon. This could be a fresh salmon filet, it could be smoked salmon, it could be salmon kind of like a tuna salad, but using salmon. Salmon is fantastic because it is highly dense in really powerful heart-healthy omega-3s.
Omega-3 is a powerful antioxidant, and that is one of the best antioxidants, along with CoQ10, which by the way, I talked about it in some other heart-healthy communication here. So, you can check it out on our blog. Check out CoQ10. But similarly, omega-3 is very powerful for lowering our cholesterol levels and keeping our cardiovascular system healthy.
2. Chia Seeds
Number two are chia seeds. Chia is awesome. You can make chia pudding. It’s like an overnight pudding. Kind of think of chia like a tapioca but just super, super fiber dense and really rich in both minerals, omegas, good, healthy fats, and tons of fiber. Fiber is really an important part of our heart health. Moving the bowels is really critical for a multitude of things. The most important factor is it helps us and our body excrete and eliminate toxins.
When we’re recycling those toxins because of a constipation, and generally if you are not having two bowel movements a day, you’re going to be considered constipated. Yes, even one can put you in a constipated factor. So the act of moving the bowels, we need fiber, and that fiber-density chia is a great resource for that. That specifically, moving the bowels and adding more fiber to your diet via chia, can help lower cholesterol levels.
3. Sweet Potato
Third on my list are sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes or yams are very powerful. They are a micro just powerhouse. I consider them multivitamins and multi-minerals powerhouses. They’re sweet flavored, but they’re very dense as well as in fiber. So, adding a sweet potato, you’re getting a good orange color. With orange-colored vegetables and fruits, there’s going to be good, powerful phytonutrients and powerful plant-based chemicals that are going to help lower your risk of heart disease. And sweet potatoes are a great way also to keep your blood sugar levels low and are a good switch if you are a potato lover.
So, potato tends to be one of those starches that can metabolize a little too quickly and slightly spike, or in some cases severely spike, insulin levels. But sweet potatoes, we get a good balance.
Okay, so number four on my list are berries. Deep, rich, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, all sorts of berries, even the exotics. I love to add these in either in the morning in smoothies and yogurt as a really healthy dessert. Sprinkle in a little chia seeds, oh, they’re so good. But berries have just so many phytonutrients that are heart-healthy. They have massive quantities of antioxidants, and depending on the berry type, you’re going to get different phytonutrients from those berries that are very, very powerful in proactive minimizing of our inflammation, our inflammatory levels.
That is very powerful as well for keeping our heart healthy. Inflammation is a really big underlying source of heart health imbalances.
Now, number five on my list are avocados. I love avocados, and I really feel like at minimum you should be consuming half of an avocado a day. And yes, they are dense caloric, they are dense on the fat profile, but they are really, really great for our heart health.
Part of the benefits of avocado, it’s a good, heart-healthy fat, and it’s so great for also keeping our blood sugars balanced. So I love that when it comes to adding an avocado, eating them fresh, you can blend them up in smoothies. We’ve made pudding as well in our family with avocado, we even use avocado, we’ll make an avocado pasta sauce. That’s a really good way to incorporate that, especially if you have kids and you can even make avocado ice cream. So, there’s a broad variety of resources in avocado and ways to get that into your daily diet.
6. Dark Chocolate
Now, number six, you’re going to love, which is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, but dark chocolate. And usually like an 85, 90, or 95%. So, really dense on just the pure dark chocolate properties. But dark chocolate has phytonutrients and phytochemicals that are very powerful at minimizing inflammation and helping improve our heart health.
So a little bit, not a whole chocolate bar, but a little square of a bar of 90 or 95 quality chocolate is going to be a really good addition. And there’s also scientific evidence that chocolate, this type of form of chocolate, one, is lower in sugar on the sugar scale, and it can calm the central nervous system, which can help you go sleep better. So win-win.
Now, last and final, number seven are healthy nuts. So, let’s talk about nuts. I’m not recommending and not including peanuts, probably the most common nut in this kind of recommendation. But almonds and walnuts and cashew and pistachio are in this category of healthy nuts that we can add into your daily diet. Grab a nut pack for a snack. You can have nut yogurt. You can have nut milk that you are using as a base for your smoothie, but there are a lot of good nuts that you can add in. And even I’ve had some recipes that are really great where you smash up, like roasted pecans, I would add those in as well. And you can have your salmon, pecan-encrusted salmon. It tastes amazing.
So, those are seven powerful foods that I love to recommend you start adding into your daily lives today and let us know if you get experimental and start trying out new recipes. We’re all ears on how this goes for you.
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Today’s question is about good fats, good, healthy fats for you to consume, and it is. “Do you consider good olive oil, a good fat to take?”
Yes, I love good, healthy, cold-pressed, raw organic olive oil, to be a fantastic oil for you to consume in a raw form.
The Caveat with Olive Oil
And so this is my caveat because I know a lot of people cook with olive oil and the way I kind of view olive oil, it should be in a raw, cold form. And so it’s not one of those oils that I recommend cooking with and even baking with. So this is my little caveat to how to kind of keep it in its most primitive, healthiest state, is to use it as a dip or as a salad dressing for vegetables and even a gentle marinade or sauce after you’ve cooked a good clean protein.
Good Fatty Acids are Good for the Heart
But olive oil is wonderful because of its fat content. It has all of the right kind of properties of good, healthy fats. It’s very dense in omegas and your omegas, especially omega-3, be good acid composition. The good fatty acids are wonderful for heart health. And there’s a ton of micronutrients that olive oil from olives brings into our diet, that we see individuals who come from the Mediterranean region and partake in the Mediterranean Diet where primarily olive oil is consumed in a raw form, have some of the healthiest hearts and cardiovascular systems on the planet. And there’s no coincidence that they’re consuming good, healthy olive oil.
Ways to Consume Raw Olive Oil
So, the important thing is to one, make sure you’re consuming it raw. I personally, and our family love to blend our olive oil with fresh basil leaves. I have an assortment of basil. I have a purple basil that we grow, a sweet basil. Sometimes I’ll do the two. So it’s this really pretty, purple and green color, but I will blend those up in a blender. I might add a little pine nut, a little Himalayan sea salt, and add in a few other spices. And that may be something I add on top of a hummus, a homemade hummus, or I might then add a little lemon juice and we might use that on top of fish that we’ve cooked on our Green Egg.
Healthy Fats Help Remove Unhealthy Fat
But olive oil is wonderful for your body. Good fats can be helpful in removing excess fat from your body, particularly when we’re dealing with any type of gallstone. So, good healthy fats consumed in a raw form, can actually help your body evacuate certain gunky fats in the system.
And we also find lymphatically, when we’re talking about lymphatic health, the lymphatic health is removing fat as well. And so good, healthy fats will help that process ease itself, so we have better transport and better mechanisms to remove that fat from your body.
I hope that’s helpful. I hope you reach for a good, healthy fat, and definitely don’t cook with it, eat it raw. Go clean, cold-pressed, raw, organic olive oil, is so wonderful.
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Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: We are living in the dark ages around food. I don’t know if you guys remember the movie, Forest Gump? Did you see that movie, right?
TeriAnn Trevenen: Yeah.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: And when Forest is a little boy, and he’s seeing the doctor, and he’s saying about his crooked spine and stuff, and the doctor’s got a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Do you know that scene? That’s the state of our society around food right now, where we are becoming overweight and obese at breathtaking, gobsmacking, horrifying rates.
Our kids are destined to have Type 2 diabetes at levels that we’re going to be watching this generation of kids have legs amputated and go—and be going blind in their 30s and 40s at mass numbers. And financially, as a society, we can’t afford it. Like the heart disease and diabetes and stuff, we’re about to go bankrupt on a global scale because of how we’re eating.
And we’re still at the point where if you try to stay “No, thank you,” to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, people give you a hard time, like you’re some sort of ridiculous version of a like overzealous, like “Nobody diets on Thanksgiving, come on.” It’s like in 1950, and you’re trying to say “No, thank you,” to a cigarette, or 1970, and you’re trying to say “No, thank you,” to a drink on New Year’s Eve.
Now I haven’t had a drink in a long time. Nobody harasses me on New Year’s Eve if I try to stay “No, thank you,” to a drink. If I say, straight up, “No, thanks. I don’t drink,” they go and find me some sparkling water to put in my champagne glass, right? They’re cool. But if I try to say, “I don’t eat sugar,” on Thanksgiving, they give me a hard time, like I’m being ridiculous, right?
TeriAnn Trevenen: Well, and nobody wants to talk about the fact, we’ve talked about this multiple times on different episodes about food not even being real anymore. A lot of the food that people are eating is not even food.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Right.
TeriAnn Trevenen: It’s not food.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Right. Just because it’s edible doesn’t make it food.
TeriAnn Trevenen: Right.
Jonathan Hunsaker: Well, and it’s the whole fat-free movement, right?
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Right.
Jonathan Hunsaker: That I think has also moved a lot of this faster, right? To get rid of the fat, we just added a bunch more sugar.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: And so, it’s made, so…
TeriAnn Trevenen: The chemicals—
Jonathan Hunsaker: That’s for another episode that we will do in a little bit about sugar addiction. But let’s get back to the holidays because I think it’s a very relevant point, right? That—and I, I’m not shy about it, I smoked for 20 years. I was very unhealthy. I quit smoking close to five years ago. Anybody that knows me now, like would never judge. When I say “No, I don’t smoke,” or anything like that, they’re not going to try to push a cigarette on me. That would be absurd, right? The same thing with somebody who drinks, or you say “No, I don’t drink,” or “I’m sober.” It would be absurd for you to push a drink on that person.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: But we’ll push sugar.
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah, food.
Jonathan Hunsaker: We’ll push crap on people without, without any second thought.
Dr. Susan Pierce Thompson: Without even knowing we’re doing it, yeah.
Jonathan Hunsaker: And a lot of times, it’s Aunt Jane, that’s 50 pounds overweight…
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: Yeah, totally.
Jonathan Hunsaker:—that’s pushing it on you, that’s not healthy. And you’re trying to get healthy. But it makes her feel like crap because you’re drawing a line in the sand and you’re trying to be healthy, and it’s like “Oh no, well, if I’m going to be unhealthy, I want to bring everybody down with me.”
Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson: And a lot of what I do, and the Bright Line Eating Approach that I teach, is I help people navigate those social situations with their families, with the Aunt Jane who has baked something gluten-free and/or—whatever, out of spelt flour and agave syrup, or whatever, and she’s handing you these baked goods, and she’s like “I know you’re on a special thing…”
I’m not going to eat it. How do you language that to her? How do you get through the family? Because breaking bread together is a very primal thing, right? And how do you keep your relationships intact? How do you stay close to the people that you want to be close to? Jonathan, so okay, right here, right? I’m in your home.
And last night, we were on the phone, and I said “Let’s talk a little bit about the food for tomorrow because I just went to Whole Foods and I got all my food. I’ve got enough food to like get my dinner for tomorrow.” And you’re like “Well, I got this and that and the other.” And now, I have a choice point of like am I going to eat what you’re serving? Am I going to break bread with you in your home, eating your food?
And I decided to because you were—you told me what you were serving, and it was like foods I eat, right? But there is this sort of dance, this negotiation that has to happen when you decide to swim upstream from society’s expectations around food and not go with the healthy—with the unhealthy flow of food products that everybody else is eating. You decide you’re only going to eat whole, real food, in whatever way you want to spin that, and there are relationships to navigate.