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6 Magical Ingredients for an Energetic Heart

By Dylan Byrd
6/3/2013 8:00:13 AM

It's no secret: Managing one's diet is the key to keeping blood pressure low, energy levels high, and winning the race against heart disease. The following treats are easy, often unconventional ways to cover your bases, and build enough clean energy to hit the gym after a grueling workday.

Credit: Care2

Go Nuts!

Hemp seeds, despite their classification as Cannabinoids, are not meant for smoking. In fact, you can bid lethargy good riddance with these omega-3-ridden power nuts, because every ounce is packed with up to 11 grams of protein.

Adding two tablespoons of hemp seeds to a protein shake is the equivalent of throwing a raw egg or a chunk of steak into the blender, and they provide all nine essential amino acids. Hemp seeds are portable enough to eat as a snack, without any risk of failing a drug test.

An almond carries half as much protein-per-ounce as its distant family member, but the nut boasts enough monounsaturated fat to be just as qualified for the spotlight. A single almond's healthy fat clears pathways through your arteries, lowering bad cholesterol and blood lipids in the process.

Not only do almonds make you feel better, they make you look better too! Research from the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis indicates almond health benefits include an improved skin complexion, along with making you feel more full than you actually are. This is a snack sure to boost your confidence on and off the treadmill.

A Fresh Take on Meat

Let's face it, eating mounds of dark meat may require loosening the belt a notch or two. But all the leftovers that follow a big turkey dinner are proof of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) at work: a process that makes your body feel more sustained, for longer periods of time, from less intake.

Dark meat is better for your cholesterol, despite a wealth of controversy on the subject. Similarly, seafood buffs and critics often underestimate tiny scallops: easy to sear, caramelize, or wrap in bacon. These morsels are slandered due to their association with fatty foods, but with a whopping 80% protein intake from every ounce, even a strip of bacon can't offset the benefits.

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