We often hear about what holiday foods we should avoid. Eggnog, for instance is loaded with fat, sugar, and empty calories. But what we don’t hear about are the holiday foods you can indulge in, guilt-free as part of your heart-healthy diet.
A Heart-Healthy Diet Can Include These Holiday Treats
1. Caramelized nuts. Roasting nuts with a bit of honey or maple syrup, and sea salt or sesame seeds sprinkled on top is a healthy holiday treat. Some of the best nuts to choose are almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans which contain healthy unsaturated fats. Almonds are also a good source of gamma tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that neutralizes artery damaging peroxynitrite (a free radical).
2. Biodynamic red wine. Red wine enjoyed in moderation is a good choice in a heart-healthy diet. It contains resveratrol, a phytonutrient with cardio-protective benefits. Red wine helps to boost HDL cholesterol, as well as nitric oxide that helps to relax the arterial walls and improve blood pressure. If it’s available, choose biodynamic red wine, which is grown organically and in keeping with Nature’s moon cycles. That way you’re getting all of the healthy benefits without pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides.
3. Dark chocolate. Believe it or not, dark chocolate which contains 65% polyphenol-rich cocoa is one of the best desserts you can choose for a heart-healthy diet. It helps to lower blood pressure levels and helps to lower your risk of cardiometabolic disorders. In fact, research shows higher chocolate consumption was linked with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in strokes.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite holiday food?