These menus follow the guidelines set by the American Heart Association to help reduce your risk of heart disease. They are jam-packed with fruits, vegetables, a variety of whole-grain products, and “good” fats. The menus are rich in foods that contain soluble fibers as well as omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fish, nuts and flaxseed, which all help to lower cholesterol and protect our heart health. This heart healthy diet is high in B vitamins including B6 and folate, which may help to lower levels of a substance called homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are a clear risk factor for heart disease. Other heart healthy substances included in these menus are phytochemicals such as isoflavones found in legumes such as soybeans; lycopene found in produce such as tomatoes; indoles found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, polyphenols present in green or black tea; and beta-carotene found in orange and yellow produce. The foods contained in these menus increase your intake of not only phytochemicals but also antioxidants, which also can help to protect you from certain health problems such as heart disease.
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