Heart Healthy Foods on The Marilyn Denis Show

Last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to go to the University of Guelph’s Anatomy Lab where my sister is a student. In preparing for this segment it couldn’t have come at a better time. 
I was able to hold a healthy and diseased human heart in my hands and examine it inside and out. This experience was invaluable.  I am forever promoting healthy food, but to actually see, and feel what a diseased heart looks like was an overwhelming reminder to treat our body with respect everyday.  The foods we choose everyday can  affect the quality and quantity of our life.
Our heart has a huge responsibility to keep the body flowing. 
Providing it with the best foods to support this process is so crucial for heart-disease prevention.

If you missed my segment & 7 Day Heart Healthy Menu on 
The Marilyn Denis Show, click here:
Learn More About Heart-Healthy Foods



A Recipe for a Healthy Heart Includes:

  • Increase intake of heart healthy fats omega 3’s (flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, cold water fish) & Monounsaturated fats (almonds, coconut, pine nuts, sesame and sunflower seeds, avocados, olive oil)
  • Reduce amount of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and total fat in the diet by reducing consumption of animal proteins (bacon, burgers, poutine,) and eating more vegetarian proteins (beans, lentils, tempeh, tofu)
Vegetables & Fruits
  • Increase to at least 5 servings of a rich colored variety per day, specifically bright orange, green, dark purple and yellow (sweet potatoes, dandelion greens, blueberries, beets, oranges) The antioxidants in the bright colored foods are important in protecting against heart disease.  Many of these are Liver-Friendly, which is important in the process of cholesterol metabolism.


  • Increase intake of dietary fiber (soybeans, apples, eggplant, oat bran, oatmeal) has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and protect against arthrosclerosis
  • Increase whole grains (buckwheat soba noodles, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, spelt, kamut)
  • Reduce Refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, over-processed whole wheat)
Reduce or Eliminate
  • Refined sugar (muffins, pastries, cakes, candy, pop)
  • Limit your sodium intake: 1tsp of salt = 2,300 mg of sodium (That’s more than recommended for daily consumption). Try adding fresh herbs or lemon juice instead of salt to your food
  • Moderate alcohol consumption can be helpful to the heart due to its ability to help prevent clot formation. However over 3 drinks per day has been show to create more of damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, (enlarged and weakened heart), congestive heart failure
  • Caffeine moderate consumption from antioxidant green tea can be heart promoting, however studies have shown over 4 cups a day can increase risk of heart attack
Additional Points
  • Peppers, especially chilies are shown to help prevent clot formation
  • 1 to 2 servings of dark chocolate 70% or higher has been shown in numerous studies to cause a dramatic drop in risk of heart disease
  • An appreciative heart is great medicine for heart disease prevention. Many studies have found that the risk of developing heart disease is significantly increased for people who often experience negative emotions such as irritation, anger or frustration. These emotions create a chain reaction in the body — stress hormone levels increase, blood vessels constrict, blood pressure rises, and the immune system is weakened. If we consistently experience these emotions, it can put a strain on the heart.  Studies have actually seen a different beat in the heart of those with loving, happy emotions compared to those with constant negative emotions.
  • Try bringing back the joy in life by doing an activity that makes you excited.  Placing our attention on something in the present moment that brings with it a joyful feeling can strengthen the heart.
My favorite Products for Heart Health
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers  – Whole Grain Crackers
  • NOW Superseeds (chia, flax, hemp combo)
  • Ruth’s Foods Chia Goodness breakfast cereal
  • Ruth’s Foods Hemp & Flax Bars
  • Vega Vibrancy Bar (Dark Chocolate or Green Synergy)
  • Garden of Eatin’ – Baked Flax Chips
  • Air Blown Popcorn

I would like to thank NOW Foods for giving every audience member $100 worth of heart-healthy foods! 
What a great gift to give! 

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