Heart disease risk is one measure of health that spikes dramatically once men hit 45 and women reach 55. Therefore, the more cholesterol-lowering foods you can build into your diet, the better. Oats are great for this due to a type of soluble fiber called beta glucan. Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol during digestion and allows it to pass out of your body, rather than stay behind in your arteries.
Aim for at least 3 grams of beta glucan each day to reduce both total and LDL cholesterol levels by 5-10%. It’s worth it – people who eat a lot of oats have been found to have a lower risk of early death than people who don’t. Oats are a very affordable staple, so there’s no excuse not to pick up the habit!
We’ve spoken a lot about foods that improve your cardiovascular and metabolic health, but what about your brain power? That’s where leafy greens come in. Recent research has determined that people who eat a lot of leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collards compare in cognitive ability to people 11 years younger who rarely eat these foods.
One caveat is that leafy greens do not mix terribly well with the blood thinner Coumadin, so speak to your doctor about the right portion size if you take this medication.
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