I've been looking for a nutritionist to contribute to my site for a while now... As much as I love finding new recipes and sharing my tips for heart healthy living, I'm not an expert in the field of nutrition. Lucky for my readers, Jae Berman is registered dietician and physical trainer in San Francisco. She has amazing credentials and I'm grateful she's willing to contribute to healing hearts one voice at a time.
|Jae Berman of Jae Berman Nutrition|
A Heart Healthy Intro
By Jae Berman
I spend my days working with individuals on how to make nutrition work for them. So many of us want change to happen quickly and follow an “all or nothing” approach. You will be “good” for as long as you can and then you just cannot take it anymore. Trust me..I get it! There isn’t anything too sexy about eating well, balanced and in moderation. That being said, it is pretty awesome to feel healthy, strong and energized! What we eat makes such a difference in our mood, energy and health…what you eat for breakfast can literally change your day (and life for that matter) for the better. Let’s work together to make nutrition and food get you feeling better and in control of your health.
I was not always a healthy eater. I actually was horribly picky and ate pretty awful foods as a kid and in my teens. When I was in college I became more interested in food. I was exposed to friends with serious body image issues and disordered eating and hated watching their negative relationship with food. After some extensive international travel in my early twenties I saw how important food is to our culture and of course, our health. I got interested in yoga and became a teacher and then attended Columbia University for a Masters in Applied Physiology and Nutrition. I then completed my dietetic internship at UCSF Medical Center and then continued working in the clinical setting with the Heart and Lung Transplant team for 2 years. I now manage my own private practice at Jae Berman Nutrition.
Food has a huge impact on our cardiovascular health. Not only do you want to manage the obvious things like calories, fat and sodium to maintain a healthy heart but you also want to eat foods that will manage inflammation, blood glucose control and internal stress hormones. Also eating foods high in antioxidants is a great and essential part of a heart healthy diet.
One heart “superfood” I would love to share with you is beets. Beets have it all when it comes to taking care of the heart. They have no fat, a great source of fiber and full of vitamins and mineral. What makes beets especially heart healthy thought is its ability to lower blood pressure. Even a small amount of beet juice – ¼ cup -- was found to lower people’s blood pressure over a 24 hour period compared to those taking nitrate pills, which is a common medication for blood pressure. It is important to keep blood pressure in normal ranges because when blood pressure rises it makes the heart work harder. Long term or chronic high blood pressure can cause serious stress and damage to the heart. Exercise and stress management are ways to lower blood pressure but here is a way your food can have a direct affect on your cardiovascular health.
How to eat beets? Since beets are so tough and dense they need to be cooked to make them easier to eat. Boil until tender and chill – you can then cut and slice into a salad, pickle with some vinegar or blend and make a cold soup. Roasting is also easy – add beets and some olive in into a pan and roast in an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 or 20 minutes or until tender. So delish!