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Apr 17

Doctors Say Women Over 40 Should Prioritize These Heart-Healthy Foods To Lose Weight In The Midsection – SheFinds

1. Blueberries

When it comes to the healthiest snacks out there, it doesn't get much better than some tasty, high-fiber blueberries. These are great for your heart, your waistline, and your tastebuds.

"A one-cup serving of blueberries provides just 80 calories alongside 4 grams of satiating fiber to help you feel fuller longer," Burgess tells us, noting that these berries are also packed with essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and a phytonutrient called anthocyanins, all of which can keep your heart healthy and ais weight loss.

She also points out that a new research study found that post-menopausal women aged 45-65 who ate a cup of fresh blueberries each day showed improvements in endothelial function, which "helps keep our blood vessels running smoothly and therefore is important for overall heart health." Incredible!

She recommends pairing blueberries with a handful of nuts as a snack, or even mixing them into a pancake bake for a heart-healthy, weight loss-friendly breakfast.

Read more about the incredible health benefits of berries here.

Another nutrient-rich superfood that can help keep your heart as healthy as possible is the delicious, satiating chickpea. These legumes are loaded with protein, fiber, and folateplus, they're low-sodium, which Burgess points out is great for your heart and for weight management.

"Eating legumes four times or more per week has been associated with a 22% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease compared to eating them less than once a week," she tells us. She also cites one study that found a diet high in legumes may lower cholesterol levels.

There are so many ways to enjoy chickpeas; Burgess recommends air frying them for a crunchy snack or even whipping up some homemade hummus. Yum!

This article shares more of the benefits of chickpeas and hummus for weight loss.

White grain bread can take a serious toll on your health, thwarting your weight loss goals. Luckily, whole grain bread is a different story; Burgess says making this swap is one simple way to improve your heart health.

She offers advice for ensuring the bread you buy is whole grain: "Simply turn over to the ingredient label and ensure the first ingredient listed contains the word 'whole,'" she instructs. "You can also look for the 100% whole grain stamp from the Whole Grain Council."

Burgess tells us that one study in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that people who ate whole grain bread rather than refined white bread saw a reduction in their abdominal fat. "This may be due to the fact that whole grains contain more fiber than refined grains," she says.

In general, research shows that increasing fiber intake may be one good way to decrease fat around your midsection. "Overall, increasing whole grains and fiber may help decrease abdominal fat which goes hand-in-hand with reducing risk of cardiovascular disease," Burgess concludes.

Many factors play into both your cardiovascular health and your ability to lose weight. However, your diet is one of the most important things to consider. In addition to limiting your intake of processed foods, adding heart-healthy options such as blueberries, chickpeas, and whole grain bread to the mix is one great way to reach your goal weight.

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Doctors Say Women Over 40 Should Prioritize These Heart-Healthy Foods To Lose Weight In The Midsection - SheFinds

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