Avoid Soybean Oil

Soybean oil is not healthy. In fact, research shows it can cause cancer, heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. The omega-6 fat found in soybean oil is highly processed and promotes chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation in the body is considered the hallmark of virtually all diseases.*

Avoid processed foods as a way to avoid soybean oil. When cooking at home, opt for healthier oils like coconut, olive, and avocado oil.

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Dr. Kim

*http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/27/soybean-oil.aspx
Photo | United Soybean Board | Soybean Oil, Meal and Beans | Creative Commons Attribution License

Handful of Walnuts for Your Heart

Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for improving your blood flow and good cholesterol. Not only are walnuts packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but they also are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which your body then converts into inflammation-fighting eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). By being a source of a less common form of vitamin E, walnuts will also help you fight heart disease.*

Because of their healthy attributes, there was a time when the FDA wanted to call walnuts a heart drug. Enjoy a handful of raw walnuts or chop some up to enhance the texture of hearty oatmeal or refreshing salads.

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*http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635
Photo | Walnuts | ©Pauline Mak | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

CoQ10 For Your Heart

1017 copyIf you’re looking for a healthy heart supplement, look no further than Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 helps to produce cell energy while fighting off harmful free radicals. In addition to promoting a strong heartbeat, CoQ10 also helps you to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels too.*

It is recommended that you divide 100-300 mg of CoQ10 doses, daily. Like many supplements, CoQ10 is best taken with meals.

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*http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/feb2008_Alleviating-Congestive-Heart-Failure-With-Coenzyme-Q10_01.htm
Photo | Heart | ©Dorte | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Amazing Health Benefits of Jicama

998Jicama is a white, starchy root that thrives in tropical regions. In addition to providing your salads with a tasty crunch, jicama can also provide your diet with healthy doses of Vitamin C, iron, calcium and phosphorus. The nutrients in jicama promote heart health and weight loss all while lowering your cholesterol and giving your immune system a boost.*

For a fresh salad idea, add one cup of equal parts: chopped mango, strawberry and jicama into a bowl. Squeeze three tablespoons of fresh lime juice and top with some freshly chopped cilantro. Gently mix all of the ingredients together, serve and enjoy!

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*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/jicama-recipes_n_4018561.html
Photo | Hacking Jicama. | ©Ian Brown | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Apple Cider Vinegar Lowers Cholesterol

918Iranian researchers used rats with normal and diabetic lipid levels to conduct tests on the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar. Results showed that after four weeks both groups reported healthier levels. Even the rats with normal lipid levels experienced a decrease in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL (good cholesterol).*

The drugs prescribed to fight off bad cholesterol are expensive and come with side effects. However, apple cider vinegar can lower your cholesterol in a natural, safe and economically effective way.

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Dr. Kim

*http://voices.yahoo.com/lower-high-cholesterol-naturally-apple-cider-55911.html?cat=5
Photo | Trying the whole apple cider vinegar thing. Wonder what, if anything, it will do | ©Merri | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Artichoke Lowers Cholesterol

849Statins are a class of drugs known to lower cholesterol. Research shows that artichokes are working as natural statins. In a six week study, participants’ cholesterol levels were reduced by 22.9%! Thanks to cynarin (the phytonutrient that is active in artichokes) people are experiencing better blood flow while balancing their HDL and LDL levels.*

Artichokes can lend themselves to a variety of recipes, from flatbreads, to salads, and dips. Have fun experimenting with this cholesterol-fighting veggie. An artichoke tastes great whether it is baked, streamed or boiled!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702170607.htm
Photo | Artichokes | ©Jewel o’ the Desert | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Keep Exercising

1558Exercise reduces your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it makes your heart stronger, improves lung capacity, eases digestion and stress and helps you keep off excess weight. When you stop exercising, the benefits stop. Without exercise, blood pressure and blood sugar levels can rise. Getting back into an exercise routine after a break can be intimidating, but that shouldn’t stop you. Whether you’ve been just too busy, or have had to stop exercising because of an injury or setback, exercise is too important to let go completely.*

Take baby steps and ease back into exercise, without placing too much strain or demand on your body. Start small with something like stretching, build to yoga, then a long walk, and soon, a light jog.

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Dr. Kim

*http://nihseniorhealth.gov/exerciseforolderadults/benefitsforeverydaylife/01.html
Photo | Les Chatfield | Jog | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Artichokes are Chock-full of Benefits

1374Packed with nutritional benefits, artichokes can boost your immune system, lower your cholesterol, and protect you from diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Artichokes are great detoxifiers and can improve your liver’s health. They aid in digestion too, improving issues such as constipation, indigestion, and diarrhea. Artichokes will provide your body with folate, magnesium, potassium, copper, and vitamins C and K.*

To steam artichokes, fill a saucepan with an inch of water, insert a streamer basket, and bring water to a boil. After trimming the artichokes, reduce the heat to low, place them in your streamer basket, and cover for 20 minutes. When an outer leaf can be pulled off with ease, the artichokes are ready!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2011/11/The-Amazing-Artichoke/Page-01
Photo | Vegan Feast Catering | Artichokes | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Lowering Your Cholesterol Can Lower K2 Levels

1332Those who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs should be warned that these medications may stimulate heart failure and atherosclerosis. Statin drugs prevent your body from producing vitamin K2, which plays an important role in artery protection. Statin drugs can also interfere with CoQ10 production, causing additional damage to your heart. If you take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs talk to your doctor about taking K2 and CoQ10 supplements.*

You can source vitamin K2 naturally though animal products such as meat, poultry, cheese, eggs and butter. For a boost in CoQ10, try eating liver, kidneys, beef, sardines, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.

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Dr. Kim

*http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/14/vitamin-d-cholesterol-levels.aspx
Photo | Julian Burgess | Hearty egg | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Elderberry Syrup to Prevent the Flu

1254With antioxidant activity that boosts your immune system, elderberry is one to the most powerful botanicals for preventing colds and the flu. The proteins in elderberry syrup actually destroy the ability for cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. Elderberry syrup can also lower your cholesterol, improve your vision, and your heart health.*

Take one teaspoon of elderberry syrup a day to give your immune system a boost. If you feel a cold coming on, you can up your intake to 1 teaspoon four times a day.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-elderberry.html
Photo | Cara Faus | Elderberry syrup | Creative Commons Attribution License