The Platitidinous Plant
Certain foods are super-good for maintaining the health of your heart.
For National Heart Month, the American Heart Association published a list of foods that conferred heart-health benefits in research studies. Every food on the list is of plant origin (except for fish.) Those super-good foods are:
- Beans, peas and barley
- Soybeans, other soy-based foods (not soybean oil)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel
- Red grapes and purple grape juice
- Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans
- Green or black tea
- Onions, scallions, shallots, garlic and leeks
Americans don’t eat enough plants
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you are aware that the US Government has been persuading us to eat more produce for the past 18 years. All adults are supposed to eat 5-servings of fruit and/or vegetables per day, and that amount is minimal, not optimal.
But no one is listening, according to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Less than 1% of adolescents, 2% of men, and only 3.5% of women meet the 5-a-Day guidelines, even when jam, jelly, orange juice, French fries, and ketchup is counted as produce! How can so many people be so far off the mark? No wonder why heart disease is the most likely reason why people die.
What’s your excuse?
Most of the food on the AHA list does not require cooking. Grapes, nuts, tea, tuna: down the hatch! Pour beans out of the can and rinse off the salty water. Eat a vegetarian meal one or two times (or more) per a week. In fact, this week, take the single step to prepare a dish that features beans - and let us know how it works out.
Do you eat enough plants? What's your excuse?