Black people eating less meat and dairy

Say “soul food” and most people imagine a spread of barbecued ribs, fried chicken and pork chops, ham, black-eyed peas and green beans with ham hocks, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and a delectable list of desserts.

“That is not ‘soul food,’ ” said Ishmael Shakur. Instead, to him, it is “destroying souls.”

A vegetarian for six years, the 38-year-old who works with teenagers at the Zepf Center in Toledo gets upset when such a menu is labeled traditional African-American food.

“A lot of people think a real good, wholesome meal is when you sit back bloated and full and nod off,” he said. “To me, soul food is food that adds to your spirit, gives you energy, gives you life, and helps you feel vibrant.”

Mr. Shakur is among a rising number of black Americans who are becoming vegetarian and vegan, who eat a plant-based diet as well as grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds and exclude red meat, poultry, and seafood. There are several types of vegetarians: lacto vegetarians eat dairy products but not eggs; ovo vegetarians eat eggs but not dairy products; lacto-ovo vegetarians eat both eggs and dairy products, and vegans do not eat honey or any animal products whatsoever. Also, pescetarians eat seafood but no other flesh.

While there are no firm numbers, anecdotal evidence indicates a rising interest in vegetarianism and veganism among black Americans. In fact, their interest has contributed to the growing list of Internet sites and cookbooks geared to that group, including By Any Greens Necessary by Tracye Lynn McQuirter; Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, & Creative African American Cuisine by Bryant Terry, and The Ethnic Vegetarian by Angela Shelf Medearis

Among the well-known black Americans who maintain the meatless lifestyle are athletes Hank Aaron and Carl Lewis; Hollywood’s Cicely Tyson, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Williams; entrepreneur Russell Simmons, and musician Lenny Kravitz.

The reasons several black Toledoans give for taking up a plant-based diet vary from being inspired by others, for health reasons, and because eating meat had lost its appeal.

“Just the thought that I was eating an animal — I grossed myself out of not eating meat,” said Dawn Humphrey, 43, a vegetarian since 1998. “I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner and had a big turkey on the table and I couldn’t eat it. I gave it away.” However, the talent acquisition consultant at Huntington Bank still eats fish about once a month.

“I’ve been trying to stop eating fish,” she said, “but I love my catfish and shrimp.”

When Mr. Shakur was young, he wouldn’t eat from dishes that vegetarian relatives took to family functions. He thought they were strange.

“I had family members who were vegetarians when I was growing up and I never had the desire to go to their tables because I honestly thought they were kind of weird,” he said. “The funny thing now is that they are in their 60s and 70s and they are in perfect health.”

After six years as a vegetarian, he realizes that those relatives were not odd. A yoga instructor inspired him to become vegetarian.

“I tried it for 30 days and I noticed a huge difference. I had more energy, my sleeping patterns were better,” he said.

He resumed eating turkey and then seafood for a couple of months each before taking meat completely out of his diet.

Because the cultural perception is that blacks eat a lot of meat, some have found L’Tanya Hague, 51, to be unusual. A vegetarian since 1986, three of her four children are also vegetarian. “When they were little, I had people say it was terrible,” that they didn’t eat meat, said Ms. Hague, a supervisor at Libbey Glass.

And through the years when others have tried to sway Ms. Hague, the attempts had the opposite effect.

Vernon Hague, and wife L’Tanya Hague

“That gave me more motivation” to remain vegetarian, she said. When people say, ” ‘Wow, you don’t eat meat?’ it makes me feel different, not better, but like I have achieved something that others find difficult to do.”

She was instrumental in urging a colleague, Greg Cunningham, 56, to become vegetarian.

“At first I was just trying to eat healthy. I had put on so much weight,” said Mr. Cunningham. He has lost 75 pounds since he changed his diet earlier this year.

Now, when there’s a potluck with co-workers at Libbey Glass, he takes a vegetable tray. And though his wife, Phyllis, is not vegetarian, this father of three sons boasts that he prepares such dishes as vegetable shish kabob and lasagna for cookouts and holidays.

“I eat meatless meats; they are good. I have no desire to eat steak. I put on a veggie burger and get jokes, but it’s fine and doesn’t bother me a bit,” he said.

Though Mr. Cunningham is diabetic and has high blood pressure, he said he feels much better and hopes his doctor will let him stop taking some medications.

“It’s a health thing and a way of life. I am more healthy and more energetic. I want to see my grandchildren. God, I feel good,” he said.

Cynthia Snodgrass also cited health reasons for her change.

Greg Cunningham-

“It’s a lifestyle change,” said the 30-something Bowling Green State University worker. “It’s acknowledging the common sense cause and effect of foods that I eat.”

This wife and mother of a blended family of four children urges anyone interested in becoming a non-meat eater to research alternatives and to plan meals, as it’s a lot more than merely eating salads.

“I never was a big meat eater,” she said, adding that the protein, vitamins, and minerals in meat can be found in fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts.

Largely the lone vegetarian in her household, Ms. Snodgrass understands that the cost of fresh foods and meatless meals are deterrents.

“If a family can buy a pack of bologna cheaper than a pound of bing cherries, they’ll go for the bologna to feed their family. So, I get it. There’s a way to build a vegetarian kitchen cost effectively, but it takes time, patience, and creativity,” she said.

It can be challenging, though.

“It’s important to remember that you’re human; you’re allowed to make mistakes as many times as you triumph,” Ms. Snodgrass said. “But most of all, I believe vegetarianism is an important journey that everyone should choose to experience at least once in their lifetime.”

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Food/2012/09/02/More-black-Americans-are-giving-up-meat-and-diary.html#AKdkLgxH8sUx4uhH.99

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Biological problems with mixed race children

interacialAs anyone familiar with the literature knows, mixed-race marriages and romantic relationships suffer many more problems than single-race marriages and romantic relationships. For those familiar with human biodiversity (HBD) and sociobiology, this should come as no surprise. In evolutionary terms, one could argue that mixed-race marriages are maladaptive in that they reduce a person’s overall genetic fitness. In a multiracial marriage or relationship, one is showing altruism toward a partner who shares fewer genes than a co-ethnic would share. A parent will also share fewer genes with a multiracial child than with a same-race child.

It’s natural for someone to prefer a partner of the same race, as this increases a person’s Darwinian fitness. J. Philippe Rushton has noted:

“[P]eople maximize their inclusive fitness by marrying others similar to themselves….”
In another article, Rushton notes:

“Studies of human marriages and friendships show that people choose each other on the basis of similarity, assorting on the most genetically influenced of a set of homogenous attributes…. Darwin’s theory of evolution tells us that the ultimate reason for behavior, like morphology, is to enhance inclusive fitness.”
Yet, while the vast majority of people are endogamous and marry within their own race, what about those who do not? And what about those who have mixed-race children? Rushton has argued that the lower frequency of shared genes in racially mixed families might result in: less intense bonding, greater conflict, and fewer children.

Part of the answer as to why this is so lies in genetic distances, as put forward by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza in Genes, Peoples, and Languages. Steve Sailer writes:

“Cavalli-Sforza’s team compiled extraordinary tables depicting the “genetic distances” separating 2,000 different racial groups from each other. For example, assume the genetic distance between the English and the Danes is equal to 1.0. Then, Cavalli-Sforza has found, the separation between the English and the Italians would be about 2.5 times as large as the English-Danish difference. On this scale, the Iranians would be 9 times more distant genetically from the English than the Danish, and the Japanese 59 times greater. Finally, the gap between the English and the Bantus (the main group of sub-Saharan blacks) is 109 times as large as the distance between the English and the Danish.”
Using the genetic distances outlined above, let’s look at two hypothetical multiracial marriages.

An English Man and a Japanese Woman: As genetic distance figures above note, an English man would be around 59 times more closely related to a Dane than to his Japanese wife.

An English Female and a Black (Bantu) Father: Using the genetic distance figures above, the distance even widens with a white-black relationship. The English woman would be around 109 times more closely related to a Dane than to her black husband, and he would overwhelmingly be more closely related to his black co-ethnics than to his wife.

What of the mixed-race children? Parents in mixed-race relationships are not only genetically dissimilar to each other but they also have a much greater genetic distance from potential mixed-race children than from same-race children. Regarding the individual’s genetic investment in the second example above, Frank Salter (On Genetic Interests, pg. 261) writes:

“For a person of English ethnicity, choosing an English spouse over a Dane gains less than one percent fitness. But choosing an English spouse over a Bantu, one yields a fitness gain of 92 percent…. The same applies in reverse order, so that a Bantu who chooses another Bantu instead of someone of English ethnicity has 92% more of his or her genes in offspring as a result. It is almost the equivalent to having twice the number of children with an English spouse. Thus assortative mating by ethnicity can have large fitness benefits, the largest derived from choosing mates within geographic races.”
In other words and general terms, a white mother will be almost as twice as closely related to a child with a white father versus a child with a black father. Because same-race parents share more genes, each parent is likely to see more of his or her genes in the offspring even if they are not passed on directly. For example, if the father has gene X and doesn’t pass it on directly to his son, there’s a good chance his same-race spouse will have gene X and pass it on, so the son will indirectly possess the father’s gene X.

Noting phenotype in mixed-race children, each parent would more closely resemble co-ethnics than their own child, especially the white mother, since whites tend to have recessive traits for appearance. (A person only 1/16 black will often still have visible and prominent black features.)

And appearance does matter. The fact that mixed-race children do not resemble the parents, esp. the fairer parent, seems to be an issue of concern, although not widely discussed. In a candid letter about having a multiracial baby with a man from India, an English mother notes:

“”She’s getting very dark, isn’t she?” This is what one of my friends recently said about my much adored – 12-week-old daughter. She didn’t mean to be rude. But it was a comment that struck me with the force of a jab to the stomach. Immediately, I was overwhelmed by a confusion of emotions. I felt protective, insulted, worried, ashamed, guilty, all at once. The reason? My lovely, wriggly, smiley baby is mixed race….. The truth is, whatever the label, the fact there is a label proves that my daughter’s conflicting parentage matters….But when I turn to the mirror in my bedroom to admire us together, I am shocked. She seems so alien. With her long, dark eyelashes and shiny, dark brown hair, she doesn’t look anything like me. I know that concentrating on how my daughter looks is shallow. She is a person in her own right, not an accessory to me. But still, I can’t shake off the feeling of unease. I didn’t realise how much her looking different would matter and, on a rational level, I know it shouldn’t. But it does. Evolution demands that we have children to pass on our genes, hence the sense of pride and validation we get when we see our features reappearing in the next generation. With my daughter, I don’t have that….But self-flagellation is not useful. I have more pressing concerns. I am now the mother of a ‘black’ child, even if she is more the hue of weak tea than espresso…. When she was born, pale but with lots of dark hair, I asked the midwife if her eyes would stay blue. ‘Asian genes are very strong,’ she said in what I took to be an ominous tone. No more Brady Bunch kids for me. The midwife has been proved right and every day my baby’s eyes get a little darker.”

Since parents share fewer genes with mixed-race children, people involved in interracial marriages are short-changing their own genes, which might explain why people engaged in mixed-race relationships often tend to have lower mate value. A recent survey found that white women who date black men tend to be fatter, dumber and more quarrelsome than average.

Given the very real problems with having mixed-race children (such as the fact that parents often feel estranged from children who do not resemble them and that the child will never fully identify with the ancestral traditions of the parents, esp. the lighter parent), it is unsurprising that mixed-race children suffer more problems of identity and health. For instance, mixed-race people are less likely to survive organ transplants, especially bone marrow transplants. In general, mixed-race people have more health problems. A study by J. Richard Udry notes:

“A new study that involved surveying 90,000 adolescent U.S. students showed that those who considered themselves to be of mixed race were more likely than others to suffer from depression, substance abuse, sleep problems and various aches and pains. Conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National Institutes of Health, the investigation found that adolescents of mixed race were more likely to have other health problems as well.”
In other words, an argument could be made that mixed-race families are maladaptive — both for the parents and the children — and undermine one’s genetic interests. As noted by various commenters, multiracial families often do not possess the harmony, cooperation and purposefulness of same-race families, because mixed-race families lack the focus of genetic investment and returns that same-race families possess.

Update: Adoption: Regarding transracial adoptions, the same logic would apply. For example, an English family that adopts a black child will be around 109 times more closely related to a random Dane than to their adopted child. As a result, a harmonious congruence of the parents’ and adopted child’s ethnic genetic interests will be missing. The ethnic genetic interests of the parents and adopted child will often be at odds, creating a disharmonious family structure.

Update: From email: “People who engage in transracial adoptions probably suffer from pathological altruism and ethnomasochism.”

Further Reading:

Steve Sailer: “Ethnic Nepotism And The Reality Of Race”

Unamusement Park: “Perils of Miscegenation”

Lawrence Auster: “The Truth of Interracial Rape in the United States”

Peter Dodds: “International Adoption: In Whose Best Interest?”

Some pieces people emailed addressing above topics from a religious perspective:

Generation5: “A Christian Reconsiders Trans-Racial Adoption” (From religious perspective)

Nil Desperandum: “Christian Ethics and Interracial Marriage” (From religious perspective)

THE FIRST AMERICANS WERE BLACK

mexican15

It was believed for a long time that the Amerindians met by the Europeans in the 15th century in the Americas were the first inhabitants of the New World and that 12,000 years ago, three waves of Proto-Mongoloid migratory people crossed the Behring area to the Americas.

But new and not so new discoveries revealed that the first inhabitants of America belonged to the Negroid type (Blacks).

Now, you do not have to think they were of the African type. They belonged to a racial group called Black Asians. This was the first human group to have moved out of Africa perhaps 60,000 years ago. The 40,000 years old European Cro-Magnon could have been of this type.

12,000 years ago, Black Asians were the main inhabitants of India, Indochina, Indonesia, New Guinea, Melanesia and perhaps even eastern China (or the whole eastern Asia).

One of the most primitive forms of this race is represented by the Australian Aborigines, who entered Australia about 40,000 years ago. A later type is that now constituted by the Papuans of New Guinea or Melanesians tribes in the western Pacific, who came there 21,000 years ago from Asia.

Unlike African Blacks, these people have abundant beards, a lot of hair on the body, are shorter, have slimmer lips, a tilted front (not cambered), prominent eye ridge and aquiline noses. The hair is somewhat less kinky.

A recent research made at Temple University revealed that this race is characterized by one of the highest genetic diversity amongst current human races (being bypassed just by the Bushmen, the oldest living human race), the mitochondrial DNA showing an age of at least 35,000 years for this human type.

But later than 12,000 years ago, in India white populations came from central and southwestern Asia, greatly displacing or mixing with this race. Even today, many Hindu populations, especially in the south, still preserve this Black Asian racial type and some Gurus from the south cannot be distinguished from Papuan or Australian Aborigines. In southeastern Asia, they were replaced by Mongoloids coming from Tibet, central China and Philippines.

The Black Asians were seen as one of the first colonizers of America after the analysis made on an 11,000-year skull dug in Brazil in 1974. The fossil was found 13 m (43 ft) deep in Lapa Vermelha IV, the region of Lagoa Santa (Minas Gerais), but only in 1995 was put under investigation, due to the long and false concept that humans entered Americas 40,000 years ago.

When researchers, using forensic methods, rebuilt the face of this ancient American woman, they remained petrified: the thick lips and flattened nose pointed without any doubt to the Negroid origin. Nothing to do with the Native Indians of the Americas. The fossil woman was baptized Luzia, recalling the famous 3.2 million years old Australopithecus female called Lucy. Luzia was 20-25 years old and 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, seemed to have belonged to a group of hunters-gatherers and could have been killed by a wild beast.

Further analysis of 15 fossil skulls discovered in Brazil, Colombia and Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire), dated 11,500 to 8,500 years ago, but also other recent archaeological discoveries have confirmed the hypothesis that, before the Proto-Mongoloid (Proto-Asian) stock, a previous migratory human wave reached Americas more than 12,000 years ago.
These people were very similar to the Australian Aborigines.

About 9,000 years ago they were followed by a second migratory wave from Siberia, of Proto-Mongoloid race (Proto-Mongoloid race means a more basic type of Mongoloid race, without well-defined traits characterizing the proper Mongoloids, like the Chinese or Japanese). These are the ancestors of the American Indians.

The later migrations occurred in the northern part of North America: two waves of Mongoloid people, the Eskimals.

But what happened with the ancient American Aborigines? They could have mixed with the waves of the newly arrived Indians. Indeed, in some remote tribes in South America, there can be seen really dark people (not so typical for Indians), with some beard and harsher traits.

Others believe the American Aborigines were wiped out by the ancient Indians. Scientists have found in Santana do Riacho (next to Lapa Vermelha) an 8 to 10,000 years old graveyard and splendid wall paintings, very similar to those made by the Australian Aborigines (further confirming the theory of the Black Asian colonization of the Americas).

Some painting attracted the attention of the researchers, as they depict one group of people attacking and killing another. The victims are represented as being darker skinned than the aggressors…

In the southern regions of South America, the relict tribes of the Alacalufs and a few others could have been if not the last remains of the American Negroids, at least a mixed type. But now these tribes are gone… DNA analysis on their descendants could find some clues

7 things you should know about a raw food diet

vegitablesWhen I first transitioned to a raw food diet, I loved the results. I dropped more than twenty pounds of excess body fat. My skin cleared. I slept better, and my energy level skyrocketed. But I couldn’t stick with it. I had a lot of misconceptions about what a raw food diet should look like. I thought it had to be done at its most extreme to get the results I wanted. It took me a while, but I learned a few things that make eating raw in the real world a lot easier.

1. You don’t have to eat 100% raw to benefit from a raw food diet. Most raw food enthusiasts also include cooked veggies and cooked grains, like high-protein quinoa.Of course, most normal humans like to enjoy a splurge food every once in a while. If dishes made from raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and sprouts make up 80% of your diet, you’re doing great. Look at it this way. Of all the long-lived cultures in the world, not one has been found to eat all raw.

2. You can go raw even if you’re an omnivore. A quick search of the Internet and it might seem like all raw foodies eat strictly vegan. A lot of us do, but it’s not a requirement. Some people include raw dairy, or even lightly seared steaks and tuna that are still raw in the middle. Model and actress Carol Alt has eaten that way for years, and includes recipes with animal products in her raw food cookbooks. Other people include animal products in the 20% of their diet that isn’t raw. It might be a matter of ethics or a matter of health, but it’s your choice to make.

3. Low fat and high fruit, high fat and low fruit, or something in between—there’s no one right answer for everyone. There are experts on every side, and a lot of them claim their way is the most natural, the best for long-term health, or superior because it worked for them. The truth is that different people respond differently to way of eating raw, depending on their biological make-up and their lifestyle. You have to see what works for you and adjust accordingly.

4. It ain’t rocket science. Raw food’s so easy to make. Raw soups, juices, smoothies and salads can be pulled together in minutes. Dishes that sound complicated, like chia pudding and acai bowls, can be made in less time than it takes to microwave a frozen breakfast sandwich. You can get fancy, if you want. Just save the gourmet raw food dishes for when you have more time, and make enough to last for a few days.

5. Raw food recipes are limitless. Anything you eliminate, from cheeseburgers and milkshakes to steak and mashed potatoes, can be replicated or replaced by a raw food dish. Some foods will be very similar to the original cooked versions. Others will replace the flavors and textures with something different, but just as satisfying and much more nutrient-rich.

6. Packaged foods are a must for a busy lifestyle. There are new raw food products appearing on the shelves of health food stores, and especially on raw food websites, every day. These aren’t the typical convenience foods, most of which are over-processed, filled with preservatives and additives, and just not supportive of a healthy eating-style. The better choice is a raw food product made with a few organic, raw, good for you ingredients. It’s a lot easier to resist the world’s temptations when you grab a bag of raw cookies, crackers, or kale chips on your way out the door.

7. You’re already a raw food lover. Who doesn’t love to dive in to a slice of watermelon or a hot summer day? Even the most die hard anti-vegetable eater can go for a handful of pistachios or sunflower seeds as a snack. The best way to transition to a raw food diet is to build on the raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds you already enjoy.

Don’t be afraid to give raw food a try. It’s not difficult or complicated, and it may just be the eating-style that works best for you

Don’t end up with the sugar blues

sugarRefined sugar has been called poison, toxic, and the “anti-nutrient”. It’s said to be more addictive than cocaine. Is it really that bad? How much does sugar really affect your brain?

Let’s take a look at the somewhat complex relationship between sugar and your brain.

Your Brain Needs Glucose, Not Fructose

Brain cells need twice as much energy as other cells. After all, there’s a lot going on up there! Your brain cells can’t store energy, so they need a steady stream of glucose from your bloodstream. Your brain cells can live only a few minutes without energy supply – it’s that critical!

The healthiest sources of glucose are from the complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Glucose is also a building block of the lactose found in dairy products.

Unhealthy sources of glucose are sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which are all are roughly half glucose and half fructose. Virtually every cell in the body can metabolize glucose for energy, but only your liver cells metabolize fructose.

While honey and maple syrup do contain some nutrients, they are still the same basic composition as refined sugar – half glucose, half fructose.

All Fructose Is Not Created Equal

A healthy diet contains lots of fruits and vegetables which are sources of dietary fructose. But a diet high in these sources of naturally occurring fructose is not the same as a diet high in fructose from refined sweeteners. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you should skip eating carrots or apples because they contain fructose. It’s the added fructose from refined sweeteners you should be concerned about. So there’s no need to pick carrots out of your salad. 🙂

Dangers of a High Fructose Diet

Fructose has wrongly been promoted as a healthy sweetener because it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels or spike insulin. Instead it raises blood fructose levels, which is arguably even worse. Here are some of the problems with high fructose diets:
◾Increases triglycerides, blood pressure, and LDL (bad cholesterol), all markers for cardiovascular disease.
◾Increases levels of uric acid which can lead to gout and kidney disease.
◾Increases risk for diabetes. Fructose intake and diabetes rates are directly proportional worldwide.
◾Causes systemic inflammation.
◾Contributes to obesity by leading to leptin resistance. Leptin is a “satiety hormone” that lets you register feelings of fullness.
◾Causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

A word about agave syrup or nectar. The sugar in agave is virtually all fructose, making it a particularly bad choice of sweetener. I was disappointed when I learned this, too.

How Too Much Glucose Gives Your Brain the Blues

Just because your brain requires a steady stream of glucose doesn’t meant that more is better.

Too much glucose reduces the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein that promotes the formation of new brain cells. Low levels of BDNF can lead to depression and dementia.

Poor memory formation, learning disorders, and depression are linked to eating refined sugar. Chronically high blood sugar levels leads to decreased activity in the hippocampus, the part of the brain most associated with memory.

Excessive glucose affects your attention span, short-term memory, and mood stability. It increases free radical damage and inflammation of the brain. It can even change your brain wave patterns, making it hard to think clearly.

High blood sugar levels trigger the release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol which can lead to feelings of anxiety and further impair your thought processes.

Refined sugar consumption leads to wild swings in blood sugar levels. After a sharp rise comes the crash. Low blood glucose levels lead to mood swings, irritability, tiredness, mental confusion, and impaired judgment.

But it gets worse. Consuming too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance in the brain. A insulin becomes less effective in helping the brain take up glucose from the blood, brain cells begin to starve to death. This could be a cause of Alzheimer’s which is now being considered type-3 diabetes. It’s evident even in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s that the brain’s ability to metabolize glucose, it’s only form of energy, is reduced.

So stop giving your brain the “sugar blues” by cutting refined sweeteners out of your diet. You’ll benefit immediately with clearer thinking, level moods, stable energy, and better judgement. And you’ll benefit in years to come by taking a big step towards staying mentally sharp for life.

Deane Alban is co-founder of BeBrainFit.com and author of Brain Gold: The Anti-Alzheimer’s, Anti-Aging Guide for Your Brain. She has taught and written on a wide variety of natural health topics for over 20 years. Her passion is teaching others how to rejuvenate their brains and overcome the common, but avoidable, problem of midlife mental decline

12 top foods for a healthy heart

When it comes to eating for good health, choosing foods for heart health should be at the top of the list. The heart is the organ that literally keeps us going – delivering nutrients, oxygen and disease fighters throughout the body. Cardiovascular disease also happens to be the leading cause of death in the U.S., ranking just ahead of cancer.

There are several foods which can help give us a healthy heart and cardiovascular system – especially if they are chosen in their healthiest whole food forms. Instead of processed foods found on grocers’ shelves, choose fresh whole foods which you can eat with little or no processing and cooking. Certified organic whole foods are the best choice of all.

Top foods for a healthy heart
Cayenne pepper

Cayenne has been called “the king of herbs” for good reason, and that is especially true when it comes to heart health. It is loaded with antioxidants and other valuable compounds which help protect the heart and arteries.

As the famed herbal healer Dr. Shulze said, “If you master only one herb in your life, master cayenne pepper. It is more powerful than any other.”

Spinach

Popeye’s favorite vegetable is a delicious, nutritious fighting machine when it comes to heart health. Included among the many heart-healthy compounds in spinach are: potassium, folate, calcium, betaine, antioxidant carotenoid lutein and nitrate. Spinach is also one of only two plant sources of co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) which is vital for heart and muscle health.

Blueberries

Blueberries are one of our most powerful disease-fighting foods. They get their dark blue color from the powerful antioxidant anthocyanins and they are packed with heart-healthy fiber and vitamin C.

Salmon

This cold-water fish is packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is also a great source of protein. You can also get plenty of omega-3s from pollock, tuna, herring, mackerel and swordfish.

Legumes

Legumes, including beans, are full of protein, are virtually fat-free and are loaded with fiber, iron, calcium and potassium.

Fresh beans may take longer to soak and cook than canned ones, but they taste better, aren’t packed with sodium and preservatives and they’re less expensive.

Nuts

Nuts are a great source of healthful proteins, vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats raise good cholesterol levels and escorts bad cholesterol to the liver, where it’s filtered from your body.

Oats

Grandma referred to fiber as “roughage” and we need plenty of it each day. Oats are a good way to get it. Oats are a great source of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. Oatmeal topped with blueberries gives you a super heart-healthy breakfast.

Broccoli

This green super-veggie gives you vitamins C and E, calcium, folate, fiber and beta-carotene. Along with spinach, broccoli is a rare natural source of CoQ10. Broccoli is healthiest if eaten raw or lightly steamed.

Asparagus

Asparagus is another supremely healthy vegetable. It contains significant amounts of folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene. Try lightly steaming asparagus in butter and lemon juice along with minced garlic and perhaps a touch of sea salt.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed has loads of fiber, omega-3s and other beneficial nutrients. Not normally eaten by itself, flaxseed goes great as a salad topper and in muffins, cereal and cookies.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are delicious (especially when mashed) and are a great source of beta-carotene, fiber and vitamins A, C and E.

Garlic

Garlic helps maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and helps prevent atherosclerosis. Garlic is healthiest when fresh or freshly crushed, as well as in fermented form and garlic oil.

Sources for this article included:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm

http://www.tbyil.com/cayenne_pepper.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com

http://www.spinachwords.com/heart_health.shtml

http://homecooking.about.com

Heart attack prevention

Each year, 1.5 million heart attacks occur in the United States resulting in over 500,000 deaths. Another common, though usually less fatal, cardiovascular problem is irregular heart beat. Though irregular heart beats are not as serious as heart attacks in most instances, they can lead to serious complications if not treated. Fortunately, nature has potent herbal solutions for each condition which will usually stop them in their tracks in short order.

Cayenne pepper will stop a heart attack in under two minutes
Sometimes called “the king of herbs,” cayenne pepper has the ability to stop a heart attack in its tracks in under two minutes. Famed herbalist, Dr. John Christopher frequently used cayenne pepper to treat patients for heart attacks and reported that it never once failed to stop a heart attack in only a couple of minutes or under.

The best form of cayenne pepper to use to stop a heart attack is cayenne pepper tincture (extract), and it only takes a couple of droppers full to do the trick. Regular cayenne pepper powder, such as is found on the grocers spice aisle, can also be used and the recommended amount is at least two teaspoons full. Either way, anyone who is concerned about the possibility of a heart attack is well advised to keep a bottle or vial of cayenne pepper extract or powder close by at all times.

Cayenne pepper is renowned for its overall cardiovascular benefits and is considered by many herbalists to be the top herb for overall heart health. Among its many healthy properties is its ability as a natural blood thinner. It also strengthens, stimulates, and tones the heart, balances circulation and blood pressure, and calms palpitations.

Hawthorn berry can put a quick end to irregular heart beat
Irregular heart beat, also known as heart flutter or atrial fibrillation, is a condition where an abnormality of the heart rhythm results in a rapid and sometimes irregular heartbeat. The herb, hawthorn berry, is particularly potent in normalizing an irregular heart beat in short order. Often a person with irregular heart beat will find their heart rhythm beginning to normalize in just a few minutes after taking hawthorn berry. Like cayenne pepper, the best form of hawthorn berry is extract. One of the most popular extract forms is known as hawthorn berry syrup. Hawthorn berry also comes in supplemental capsules and the raw plant can be used to make hawthorn berry tea.

Also similar to cayenne pepper, hawthorn berry is widely known for its overall cardiovascular benefits. Hawthorn was also one of famed herbalist Dr. Christopher’s favorite herbs for the heart. Hawthorn is rich in flavonoids which protect small capillary vessels from free-radical damage. It normalizes blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and fat deposits in the liver and aorta. In addition to arrhythmia, hawthorn also helps conditions such as angina, arteriosclerosis, blood clots, and hypertension. Though a dropper of hawthorn berry extract may settle irregular heartbeats in short order, it may take months to realize hawthorn’s full benefits.

Note: In the event of a heart attack, regardless of how soon it is stopped, one should seek immediate medical attention. Likewise, one should seek medical attention for severe and prolonged irregular heartbeats

Sources included:

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HeartMonth/
http://www.allheartattack.com/statistics.php

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