Super Foods: Volume 2
READING TIME: 4 MINUTES
“God gives almonds to those who have no teeth.”
Unfortunately, the mainstream press has given the fat content in almonds a bad rap. Though these nuts contain fats, these types of fats are not harmful to the body and are, on the contrary, needed for your organs to function properly. Almonds can be a great tease, as many find them easy to overeat, and if one does not live an active lifestyle, weight gain may be inevitable.
The British Journal of Nutrition confirms that raw almonds can reduce cholesterol, and thus prevent coronary conditions. Try a small handful a day. It will work wonders.
So why are almonds good for palpitations?
They have a high content of magnesium and in moderation have been shown to prevent arrhythmic episodes. An indirect study by the Iowa Health Institute demonstrated that the consumption of almonds is capable of reducing the risk of heart disease by 30%.
Also, recent studies at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Department of Surgery in Torrance, California have shown that almonds are good for your virility and can increase testosterone levels. Almonds contain arginine, an amino acid that is a key part of the erection process. Arginine is often referred to as nature’s Viagra.
The studies found that arginine increased the frequency and duration of erections in rats. Granted, there is a big difference between humans and rats, but it is believed these results are worth further study.
“Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts.”
Charles Lamb, English essayist (1775-1834)
This is another vegetable that is seriously underestimated in today’s society, despite being quite highly respected throughout history. Two thousand years ago, in the eastern Mediterranean, it was known for its medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties . Out of the 300 known varieties of asparagus, only twenty varieties are edible.
In its natural state, the asparagus contains a massive quantity of vitamins and minerals, which are better preserved if the vegetable is cooked in steam. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties are capable of reducing heart palpitations caused by blood stream inflammation.
Its nutrients include potassium, about 288 milligrams per cup, vitamin A and vitamin K. Vitamin K is known to diminish the risk of death for those who suffer from heart disease or high cholesterol levels. Asparagus is actually listed as the top source of vitamin K.
Asparagus is also high in folate which helps to prevent heart disease.
“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”
Old New York Proverb
Garlic is an excellent food source that helps to control cardiovascular conditions that can develop into heart palpitations . It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It can also reduce the risk of blood clots, and it fights blocked arteries or atherosclerosis. If your cholesterol levels are not ideal, garlic can help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels while increasing your HDL levels.
Garlic is also a relaxant and will improve blood circulation. It is believed to reduce blood pressure, help the muscles to relax and allow blood vessels to widen.
It is also an excellent immunity builder. The key to garlic’s effectiveness lies in allicin. Allicin is the clear liquid that forms and oozes from garlic when it is chopped up. It is a very powerful antibiotic that prevent germs from growing and reproducing, due to its strong anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-viral properties. In fact, one milligram of allicin has the potency of 15 standard units of penicillin.
Garlic is also rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C and selenium. Both of these intoxicants help to expel free radicals from the body. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that can cause extensive damage to the body’s cells and tissues. They are believed to contribute to several diseases including heart disease, asthma, diabetes and cancer.
Try and eat raw garlic cloves once per day. Alternatively, garlic supplements can be taken but be sure to take those that contain allicin rather than those that contain “aged garlic”.
“My dream is to become a farmer. Just a Bohemian guy pulling up his own sweet potatoes for dinner.”
Sweet potatoes is to potatoes what Superman is to Clark Kent. Nutritionally, there are far more advantages. Sweet potatoes even come from a different botanical family than potatoes. Potatoes belong to the Solanaceae plant family which includes tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, while the sweet potato belongs to the Convolvulaceae plant family whose members include such gems as the Morning Glory flower.
Sweet potatoes are packed with many essential vitamins. In fact, it is arguably one of the healthiest complex carbohydrate foods you can eat. Although the sweet potato is one of a few items mentioned in this book with a higher carbohydrate content, its benefits far exceed its shortcomings. It is important to mention here after all the bad publicity on “low/no carb” diets that you do not negate these higher based foods. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” states that these diets can, if taken to the extreme, produce a state of excess ketosis (a process whereby the body bums stored fat for fuel) due to the absence of carbohydrates. Vital electrolytes, especially potassium, can be dangerously depleted, placing you at high risk for heart arrhythmia or heart attack.
Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamins A, B and C as well as manganese, fibre, potassium, calcium and iron . One of the benefits of this mixture is that it is known to help cell tissues regenerate. The high levels of calcium and iron found in sweet potatoes enables blood purification and help to control blood pressure.
Sweet potatoes are excellent for the digestive system because they are exceptionally high in fibre. Fibre ensures that the digestive system works properly and helps to prevent colon cancer. It helps in maintaining regular bowel movements and can also prevent constipation and diarrhoea.
Because sweet potatoes contain high bera-carotene levels (causing the bright orange colour), it sometimes is labelled as a “fountain of youth” food. Bera-carotene is an antioxidant that basically turns into vitamin A . This triggers certain DNA that is responsible for producing new skin cells and ridding of old ones. A deluge of new skin cells helps to keep skin smooth and fresh.
Sweet potatoes are best cooked in a steamer with the skins still intact. This is because most of the nutrients are found just beneath the skin. If you do choose to boil them, boil with the skins to preserve as many of the nutrients as possible.
“We load up on oat bran in the morning so we’ll live forever. Then we spend the rest of the day living like there’s no tomorrow.” – Lee Iacocca
When it comes to palpitations, oatmeal is more than just a hot, hearty breakfast. It is a bowl full of natural, warm goodness. Oatmeal is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and has a high content of potassium. It is full of Omega 3 fatty acids and folic acid, which is necessary for cellular regeneration and multiplication.
Although a secondary benefit for our interests here, oatmeal keeps cholesterol in check and arteries unblocked. This is due to its two types of fibres – soluble fibres and insoluble fibres . It also contains beta-glucin which helps to reduce cholesterol levels. It can help to maintain healthy HDL levels, while preventing heart disease. It collects the bad cholesterol from the arteries and carries it to the liver where it is disposed.
“…the avocado is a food without rival among fruits, the veritable fruit of paradise.”
David Fairchild, American botanist and plant explorer
For many years, the avocado had been named and shamed for its high carbohydrates and fat content. According to leading nutritionist Rosemary Stanton, and author of “Complete Book of Food and Nutrition,” nothing could be further from the truth. The fat in avocados is present in such small amounts you would have to eat many avocados before their fat content had any effect on your weight. Avocado “fat” at 4g of fat per tablespoon compares favourably to the fat in margarine and butter which has 16g/tbsp.
While the avocado is high in fat, the fat is “good” fat. It is pure, raw, plant-based, nutrient dense fat and is mainly composed of monounsaturated fats (about 75%). This can lower blood cholesterol and normalize blood clotting, thus keeping the heart healthy, according to MayoClinic.com. It also contains beta-sitosterol which reduces cholesterol levels. It is rich in folic acid which can considerably lower the risk of a heart attack.
Recent studies show surprisingly unheard of health benefits, thus turning any bad press for this fruit around for its betterment. The avocado helps your body in a very particular way. While it assists in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals, it also contains essential elements to prevent and diminish heart conditions. A remarkable note to take away is that vitamins and proteins are absorbed five times more efficiently when eaten with avocado. By now, you will probably realise that the absorption of key electrolytes is even more crucial and critical for palpitation suffers and avocado is of great help here. Also, it should be mentioned that the avocado itself has a rich and balanced content of electrolytes.
Avocados have a high potassium content – 60 percent higher than the amounts found in bananas . Potassium can help to reduce blood pressure and also help prevent kidney stones because it prevents calcium from being washed away in your urine.
Try and get into the habit whereby instead of adding butter or mayonnaise to your sandwich, use a tablespoon of avocado for a delicious and nutritious topping. Avocados are also an ideal substitute for butter when baking -just use half of the amount of the listed butter amount. This will not only reduce the calories, but it will make the food softer and chewier. While 3.5 ounces of butter contains 81 grams of fat, the avocado only contains 14.66 grams of fat.
“Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.”
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C that not only reduces the potential of cardiovascular disease, but can help lower the risk for angina. According to studies published in the “Texas Heart Institute Journal” (2007) and “Circulation Research” (2001), vitamin C supplementation also limited atrial fibrillation following coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Strawberries contain anthocyanins, kaempferol and quercetin. Scientists agree that these flavonoids stop cancer forming by fighting against any chemicals in the body. The tiny strawberry also contains potassium. Potassium, of course, aids in preventing hypertension, congestive heart failure, deterioration of the heart or cardiac arrhythmia.
Scientists suggests the pigments that make up the red colour in many fruits and vegetables like strawberries, tart cherries and tomatoes are powerful disease-fighting antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation associated with hardening of the arteries and reduce certain risk factors for heart disease.
Strawberries are not only delicious and nutrient-rich, but new research from the Harvard Medical School has found that they may offer heart disease protection. The new study found that those who reported eating the most strawberries experienced lower blood levels of C-reactive protein, a biomarker for inflammation in the blood vessels. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported their findings in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The findings revealed that women who ate the most strawberries – two or more servings per week – compared to those who reported eating none in the past month, were 14 percent less likely to have elevated C-reactive protein levels – a blood biomarker that signals the presence of inflammation in the body. It concluded that most women, who eat strawberries on a regular basis, are less likely to have any type of heart problems, including heart arrhythmias.
Herbs that treat the uterus treat the heart also. Plants that strengthen the heart are often green/red, e.g. hawthorn, rose, strawberry, raspberry and motherwort. These foods help to reduce hypertension, tonify the heart and eliminate excess fluid.31
“Red beans and ricely yours.” Louis Armstrong loved red beans and rice so much he signed his personal letters in this way.
Whether you enjoy kidney beans as a side dish or as an added ingredient, these beans have a particular advantage for the cardiovascular system. They contain various vitamin B nutrients including B1, B9 and B9 (folate) which can help to improve memory and the body’s immunity to various diseases.
These vitamins help to reduce the amounts of homocysteine – a harmful amino acid that B-vitamins can control – in the blood and can help reduce the risk of stroke and peripheral vascular disease . Folate is an added benefit, especially during pregnancy, to eliminate faulty neural tube formation in the foetus.
Kidney beans contain high levels of iron; important in preventing heart palpitations. With kidney beans, the mix of iron and its vitamin B nutrients brings extra power to the palpitations. If one of these minerals decreases, the other will do the same. An iron and B-12 deficiency together can be a contributing factor to palpitations. Vitamin B-12 levels can remain stable through such foods as cereals, grains and fish.
Kidney beans are also high in soluble fibre which is good for ridding the body of high cholesterol and sugar levels. They can also help to balance the levels of electrolytes in the body.
“Who eats kale? It’s so bland; it doesn’t even taste like kale.” – Dr Greg House, House TV Series. Series 5, Episode 21.
Kale may not be the most appealing vegetable ever to appear on your plate, but its many health benefits should be enough to whet your appetite. It is undoubtedly a vegetable that you should not do without.
For a start, kale is high in fibre. One portion of kale contains 10.5% of the daily recommended intake. As mentioned with previous foods, fibre reduces cholesterol and clears it from the arteries. The process is straightforward. The fibre binds together with some bile acids in the intestine . The acids stay inside the intestine and pass out of the body during a bowel movement instead of absorbing with the fat they’ve combined with. This prompts the liver to replace the lost bile acids by using existing cholesterol. This helps the cholesterol levels to drop. This is one of the reasons kale helps the heart and its electrical circuit as it can help keep blood sugar levels under control.
Kale can be another alternative to cow’s milk – if none of the former milk choices appeal to you – and it is also a good source for calcium. This leafy vegetable also has an impressive list of additional vitamins to add to its credit. Vitamins include: B1, B2, B6, C, E, Copper, Iron and Manganese. A portion of kale provides 86% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, which is believed to help prevent colon cancer and reduce the symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Kale is also good for your eyes as it can help prevent cataracts due to its zeaxanthin and lutein antioxidants.
Finally, kale contains sulforaphane which encourages the liver to dilute and break up cancer causing chemicals – primarily colon cancer and breast cancer.
Traditional Chinese medicine recommends a fruit called Longan for the prevention of palpitations. Its main purpose is to calm the nerves and reinvigorate the circulatory and heart systems. The longan (and also to a similar extent the lychee) is thought to give internal “heat” and healing in the body. Longans are not only delicious, but also enriched with many vital nutrients which make them one of the most nutritious and healthiest fruits. The Chinese often provide “Longan and Ginseng” soup for sufferers of a racing heart.
GRAPE, CELERY OR LETTUCE JUICE
Freshly squeezed grape juice has a high concentration of a compound called resveratrol. This compound has anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-inflammation and anti-viral properties. Grapes are known to be excellent for the heart, and consuming fresh grape juice on a frequent basis will help rid your heart palpitations.
Lettuce juice is high in Vitamins: A, B, C, D and E and the minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Lettuce juice is highly concentrated and when mixed with celery or grape, it gives the concoction more of a kick. Lettuce contains a chemical substance similar to opium, which acts as a powerful relaxant to the nervous system. It is therefore known to help with stress, anxiety and heart palpitations. Celery and lettuce are packed with beta-carotene, a disease-fighting nutrient and the antioxidants can combat health problems like cancers, cataracts and heart disease.
Also, be sure to use variations of the items listed. For instance, explore other types of fish and various seafood products. Other examples include cauliflower, which is close to broccoli, as it comes from the same species and both have very similar structures.
For an alternative to amaranth, try quinoa. There are so many similarities between these two that it would do no justice to leave it out. Quinoa is a cool weather crop and amaranth is a warm weather one. Also, an interesting note here is that quinoa and amaranth are often treated as grains even though they possess broad leaves, unlike the true grains and corn, which are grasses.
Others include organic blackstrap molasses instead of honey and blueberries and wolfberries instead of strawberries. Also it should go without saying that there is an array of choices when it comes to beans and they should not be discounted in your inclusion.