This posting is reprinted with permission from FreshLife foods in Williamsport, PA. It is put under Leftovers,because it relates to last month’s focus on heart disease, but as you can see, many of the foods are GREEN, which I put in bold, so it also fits in with National NutrtionMonth and St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks to new owner Erin for permission to reprint this FreshMail article.
(Note: The spacing may be a little off, because in cutting & pasting the lineup sometimes goes awry.es)
High Homocysteine Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease
The Center’s for Disease Control (CDC) tells us, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable.” No wonder we have an official American Heart Month, and February is it!
The term “heart disease” actually refers to several different heart conditions. The most common form, Coronary Heart Disease, which is sometimes called coronary artery disease, happens when the blood vessels that supply the heart become clogged. This results in things like heart attacks, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmia.
Is there something we can do to put a dent into the $312.6 billion dollars a year we Americans spend on cardiovascular disease that includes heart disease and stroke? The answer is yes, of course, but where does one start?
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, one piece of the puzzle is the amino acid homocysteine which is a breakdown product of protein metabolism that, when present in high concentrations, has been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Elevated homocysteine levels are thought to contribute to plaque formation by damaging arterial walls.
Blood levels of homocysteine tend to be highest in people who eat a lot of animal protein and consume few fruits and leafy vegetables, which provide the folic acid and other B vitamins that help the body rid itself of excess homocysteine. The Standard American Diet (SAD) strikes again! People with diets high in animal protein, saturated fat, and processed sugar beware.
Healthy nutrition starts with getting what we need from food; important nutrients such as the B vitamins including folate, B6, and B12, which are shown to lower homocysteine levels, can be found in a variety of foods we eat.
The following list contains foods readily available that are high in folate and B vitamins:
Green Leaf Veggies (spinach, collard greens, turnips, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, chard and kale)
Citrus Fruits (papaya, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries)
Beans, Peas, and Lentils (lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, navy beans, lima beans, split peas, green peas, green beans)
Seeds and Nuts (sunflower seeds, peanuts, flax seeds, almonds)
Squash (winter squash, summer squash)
In addition to increasing these foods, lowering stress with awareness practices and daily enjoyable exercise routines as well as using quality mineral supplements will also significantly lower homocysteine to normal levels and improve the overall health of your heart.