1. Almonds - the MUFA's & Vit E in almonds work together to cut cholesterol, and they are a great source of veggie protein & fiber. Eating tip: 2 tablespoons of almonds over low-fat unsweetened yogurt with fresh berries is a great way to start your day!
2. Avocado - great source of heart healthy MUFA's. Eating tip: mash a 1/4 cup Hass avacado with lime juice, salt & pepper & serve with baked chips or raw veggies.
3. Dark/or Semi-sweet Chocolate - cocoa powder made from ground, defatted cocoa beans, contains compounds that have the potential to protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer & diabetes. Eating tip: Melt 1/4 cup of dark chocolate & drizzle over fresh strawberries or your favorite berries for a great summer dessert that won't wreck your waistline.
4. Flaxseed Oil - best plant source of omega -3 fatty acids and helps reduce systemic inflammation, which reserachers believe may lead to heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Eating tip: stir 1 tablespoon into a smoothie as a healthy snack.
5. Macadamia nuts - contain good fiber to help with digestion. Eating tip: crush 2 tablespoons of these nuts. Dip one 3-ounce portion of chicken breast or 4 ounce piece of fish in low-fat milk, then press the nuts to adhere. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes or until done.
6. Natural Peanut Butter - (NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP in it either!) A tablespoon or 2 on toast, celery topped with raisins (my personal favorite i call ants on a log! great crunchy, sweet, creamy snack!)
7. Olive oil - best all around for cooking and salads as it contains mostly MUFA's, which lowers "bad" cholesterol (LDL), without affecting the good CHO (HDL). Go for the extra virgin variety.
8. Pistachios - contain lutein & Zeaxanthin, 2 carotenoids that protect us as we age from age related macular degeneration. Eating tip: stir 2 tablespoons toasted pistachios into 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese with 2 teaspoons of honey & 2 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips for a sweet snack.
9. Sunflower seeds - packed with B vitamins...just what we women need to help combat fatigue, anxiety, insomnia & depression, and inflammation. They are just great at curbing hunger in between meals too.
10. Walnuts - Like seafood and flaxseed, walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect your heart and preserve brain health. Eating tip: add 2 tablespoons of walnuts to your favorite summer salad!