Salmon is a potent dietary source of the heart-healthy omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. Despite what you may have heard, farmed salmon actually contains more omega-3 fats than wild salmon. Salmon is also a smart choice of fish because it contains low levels of mercury. EPA and DHA have profound effects on heart health, ranging from decreasing triglyceride levels – an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease — to reducing the risk of sudden death from heart attacks by almost 50 percent. Salmon can be a versatile protein and omega-3 source in your diet. Enjoy smoked salmon as a snack or in an omelet. You might also choose to broil, bake or poach salmon filets for lunch or dinner. And if you’re in a pinch, canned or packet salmon is a portable source you can add to salads without needing a refrigerator to keep it fresh.
Chia seeds — yes, from the famous Chia pet – have emerged as a health-boosting powerhouse. One tablespoon of chia seeds contains five grams of fiber, while you’d need two tablespoons of flaxseed meal to get the same amount of fiber. One tablespoon of chia seeds has approximately 2.4 grams of the plant-based omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid, also found in flaxseed meal. Chia seeds contain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that may help improve blood sugar control. You can find chia seeds in the health food section of your local grocery store, usually near the flaxseed. Adding chia seeds to your diet is simple. Mix them into yogurt, add 1 tablespoon to a protein shake or stir them into oatmeal for an extra infusion of fiber and antioxidants.
Blueberries are one of a limited number of fruits with its origins in North America. A berry with a long history, researchers estimate that blueberries have been around for 13,000 years. They were a long-time staple of native American foragers, used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. Blueberries have also been shown to fight America’s silent killer, high blood pressure. Eating the equivalent of 2 cups of blueberries each day for eight weeks can lower blood pressure by 6 percent, according to a 2010 study in “The Journal of Nutrition.” Blueberries, like raspberries, are just as nutritious fresh as they are frozen. Top a bowl of Greek yogurt with blueberries and raw cashews for a simple, high protein, high antioxidant breakfast, or have a bowl of blueberries after dinner for a naturally sweet dessert.