With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many view February as the month of love, but it is also Canadian Heart Month. 103 million adults have high blood pressure and 6.5 million are living with heart failure. While genetic factors do play a part in cardiovascular disease, the good news is 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action. Simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact when it comes to heart health. Show your heart some love with these 7 tips.
1. Get moving
Your heart is a muscle and, as with any muscle, exercise is what strengthens it.
The first step is to determine your target heart rate, then find an activity you enjoy and can stick with for the long run.
2. Quit smoking
Quitting smoking is tough. But you know that it’s important to quit, and one of the biggest reasons is that it’s linked to heart disease.
Here are some strategies to quit smoking and stay strong.
3. Lose weight
Losing weight is more than just diet and exercise. It’s a personal journey that involves finding what you like and what works for you.
4. Eat heart-healthy foods
Salmon and guacamole are loaded with healthy fats that are good for the heart.
- Try salmon spread with vegetables for your next gathering ›
- Heart-healthy guacamole also makes a great appetizer ›
- Or how about some easy broiled salmon? ›
5. Don’t forget the chocolate
The good news: chocolate and wine contribute to heart health.
The bad news: only in moderation.
Alcohol and cocoa (a key ingredient in chocolate) have antioxidants that have been shown to increase good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and improve blood clotting function.
6. Don’t overeat
Although this advice primarily applies during the holidays, when deaths from heart attacks spike thanks to copious amounts of food and temptation, it’s valid year round.
Eating a lot of food at once leads to:
- Blood shifting from the heart to the digestive system
- Faster and irregular heart rhythms, which can lead to heart attack or heart failure
7. Don’t stress
There are more than 1,400 biochemical responses to stress, including a rise in blood pressure and a faster heart rate. If you don’t manage your stress, it can create more stress and trap you in a stress cycle.
20 Delicious High-Protein Foods to Eat
Protein makes up the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin, hormones and pretty much everything that matters in your body. For this reason, you should eat high-quality protein at every meal.
Studies show that this improves health in various ways, such as helping you lose weight and belly fat, while increasing your muscle mass and strength.
A diet high in protein also lowers blood pressure, fights diabetes and more.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) for protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men.
However, many health and fitness experts believe that we need much more than that in order to function optimally.
Here is a list of 20 delicious foods that are high in protein.
Whole eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet.
They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, eye-protecting antioxidants and brain nutrients that most people don’t get enough of.
Whole eggs are high in protein, but egg whites are almost pure protein.
Protein content: 35% of calories in a whole egg. 1 large egg has 6 grams of protein, with 78 calories.
Almonds are a popular type of tree nut.
They are loaded with important nutrients, including fiber, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium.
Protein content: 13% of calories. 6 grams per ounce (28 g), with 161 calories.
Other High-Protein Nuts
Pistachios (13% of calories) and cashews (11% of calories).
3. Chicken Breast
Chicken breast is one of the most popular protein-rich foods.
If you eat it without the skin, the majority of calories in it come from protein.
Chicken breast is also very easy to cook, and tastes delicious if you do it right.
Protein content: 80% of calories. 1 roasted chicken breast without skin contains 53 grams, with only 284 calories.
Oats are among the healthiest grains on the planet.
They are loaded with healthy fibers, magnesium, manganese, thiamin (vitamin B1) and several other nutrients.
Protein content: 15% of calories. Half a cup of raw oats has 13 grams, with 303 calories.
5. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that is very low in fat and calories.
It is loaded with calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and various other nutrients.
Protein content: 59% of calories. A cup (226 g) of cottage cheese with 2% fat contains 27 grams of protein, with 194 calories.
Other Types of Cheese That Are High in Protein
Parmesan cheese (38% of calories), swiss cheese (30%), mozzarella (29%) and cheddar (26%).
6. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt, also called strained yogurt, is a very thick type of yogurt.
It tastes delicious, has a creamy texture, and is high in many nutrients.
Protein content: Non-fat Greek yogurt has protein at 48% of calories. One 6-ounce (170-gram) container has 17 grams of protein, with only 100 calories.
Just make sure to choose one without added sugar. Full-fat Greek yogurt is also very high in protein, but contains more calories.
Regular full-fat yogurt (24% of calories) and kefir (40%).
Milk is highly nutritious, but the problem is that a huge percentage of the world’s population is intolerant to it.
However, if you tolerate milk and enjoy drinking it, then milk can be an excellent source of high-quality protein.
Milk contains a little bit of almost every single nutrient needed by the human body and can provide several impressive health benefits.
It is particularly high in calcium, phosphorus and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Protein content: 21% of calories. 1 cup of whole milk contains 8 grams of protein, with 149 calories.
Broccoli is an incredibly healthy vegetable, loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and potassium.
Broccoli is also high in various bioactive nutrients believed to help protect against cancer.
Calorie for calorie, it is very high in protein compared to most vegetables.
Protein content: 20% of calories. 1 cup (96 grams) of chopped broccoli has 3 grams of protein, with only 31 calories.
9. Lean Beef
Lean beef is very high in protein, and also tastes delicious.
It is loaded with highly bioavailable iron, vitamin B12 and large amounts of other important nutrients.
Protein content: 53% of calories. One 3-ounce (85 g) serving of cooked beef with 10% fat contains 22 grams of protein, with 184 calories.
If you’re on a low-carb diet, feel free to eat fatty cuts of beef instead of lean beef.
Tuna is a very popular type of fish.
It is low in both fat and calories, so what you’re left with is mostly just protein.
Like other fish, tuna is also very high in various nutrients and contains a decent amount of omega-3 fats.
Protein content: 94% of calories, in tuna canned in water. A cup (154 g) contains 39 grams of protein, with only 179 calories.
Quinoa is a seed/grain that is currently among the world’s most popular superfoods.
It is high in many vitamins, minerals and fiber, and is loaded with antioxidants.
Quinoa has numerous health benefits.
Protein content: 15% of calories. One cup (185 g) of cooked quinoa has 8 grams, with 222 calories.
12. Whey Protein Supplements
When you’re pressed for time and unable to cook, a protein supplementcan come in handy.
Whey protein is a type of high-quality protein from dairy foods, shown to be very effective at building muscle mass, and may help with weight loss.
If you’d like to try whey protein supplements, Amazon has a large variety available.
Protein content: Varies between brands. Can go over 90% of calories, with 20-50 grams of protein per serving.
Lentils are a type of legume.
They are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, manganese and various other nutrients.
Lentils are among the world’s best sources of plant-based protein, and are an excellent food for vegetarians and vegans.
Protein content: 27% of calories. 1 cup (198 g) of boiled lentils contains 18 grams, with 230 calories.
Other High-Protein Legumes
Soybeans (33% of calories), kidney beans (24%) and chickpeas (19%).
14. Ezekiel Bread
Ezekiel bread is different from most other breads.
It is made of organic and sprouted whole grains and legumes, including millet, barley, spelt, wheat, soybeans and lentils.
Compared to most breads, ezekiel bread is very high in protein, fiber and various important nutrients.
Protein content: 20% of calories. 1 slice contains 4 grams, with 80 calories.
15. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkins contain edible seeds called pumpkin seeds.
They are incredibly high in many nutrients, including iron, magnesium and zinc.
Protein content: 14% of calories. 1 ounce (28 g) has 5 grams of protein, with 125 calories.
Other High-Protein Seeds
Flax seeds (12% of calories), sunflower seeds (12%) and chia seeds (11%).
16. Turkey Breast
Turkey breast is similar to chicken breast in many ways.
It consists mostly of protein, with very little fat and calories. It also tastes delicious and is high in various vitamins and minerals.
Protein content: 70% of calories. One 3-ounce (85 g) serving contains 24 grams, with 146 calories.
17. Fish (All Types)
Fish is incredibly healthy, for various reasons.
It is loaded with important nutrients, and tends to be very high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Protein content: Highly variable. Salmon is 46% protein, with 19 grams per 3-ounce (85 g) serving and only 175 calories.
Shrimp is a type of seafood.
It is low in calories, but incredibly high in various nutrients, including selenium and vitamin B12.
Like fish, shrimp also contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
Protein content: 90% of calories. A 3 ounce (85 g) serving contains 18 grams, with only 84 calories.
19. Brussels Sprouts
The Brussels sprout is another high-protein vegetable, related to broccoli.
It is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and is very high in fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients.
Protein content: 17% of calories. Half a cup (78 g) contains 2 grams of protein, with 28 calories.
Peanuts are incredibly delicious.
They are high in protein, fiber, magnesium and many studies show that they can help you lose weight.
Peanut butter is also high in protein, just make sure not to eat too much as it is quite “more-ish.”
Protein content: 16% of calories. One ounce (28 g) has 7 grams, with 159 calories.
The Bottom Line
The importance of eating enough protein can not be overstated.
It is the simplest, easiest and most delicious way to lose weight and have a better looking body. Period.
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If you wake up before your alarm goes off, get out of bed
If you go back to sleep or wait for the alarm, chances are, you’ll feel drowsier. Follow your natural sleep cycles, seize the day, and embrace those extra minutes if your body tells you it’s time to get up.
Do something active
You may not have the time or energy for a full-blown exercise routine every morning, but get your body moving somehow. Bop around a bit more than usual while you get ready in the morning or add a few minutes of jogging in place to the routine. Try taking three minutes to dance to whatever pop tune is striking your fancy. If you can’t even muster the energy to get out of bed, just force yourself to wiggle around under the covers or tense and un-tense your muscles several times to get your body in gear.
Take a shower as soon as you get out of bed
The water and change in temperature will get your circulation going. Try a shower gel with mint or some other invigorating scent to help make you more alert. Keep a peppermint or lemon by your bedside to help facilitate the wake-up process through aromatherapy.
Remind yourself of what you have to do
Fixing these things in your mind at night might make it harder to relax and get to sleep, so it can be helpful, both as nighttime catharsis and morning wake-up, to note your to-do list on a small whiteboard or a piece of paper kept on the nightstand. It will help you feel at night like you have those things handled, or at least noted, for the following day, and it will give you more reason to get up in the morning.
4 boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tsp. canola oil
12 oz. small carrots
1 (5.8-oz.) box of olive oil and herb couscous
1/3 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 c. roasted salted pepitas
1/4 c. Chopped fresh mint
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Season chicken thighs with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook, skin side down, in canola oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until skin is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate.
- Add carrots and season with kosher salt and black pepper; toss to coat. Top with chicken, skin side up. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package directions. Toss together chopped parsley and roasted salted pepitas, fresh mint, chopped garlic clove, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve chicken, carrots, and couscous topped with herb mixture.