These foods all contain beneficial nutrients including fiber, potassium, and magnesium. However, their ability to prevent heart disease is usually attributed to compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids, found primarily in fruit, vegetables, nuts, cocoa, and beverages such as tea and wine, are bioactive compounds from plants that cannot be synthesized in the human body. Many have potent antioxidant or anti-inflammatory activity, reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation, and activate natural protective processes in the body to fight back against heart disease.
But I bet your doctor would roll his or her eyes and scoff at the thought of using foods as serious medicine to prevent or treat heart disease. No, they would say – you need statin drugs if you want to prevent heart disease. Well, with the limited training and knowledge your doctor has regarding food and basic nutrition, you can’t expect any other response. The big drug companies spend enormous amounts of money to influence the education doctors receive, and present doctors with drug study results that are tweaked to show the greatest benefits while minimizing the side effects. And the unfortunate truth is that the actual value of big pharma’s drugs is judged on the price of shares in the financial market, not on the health benefits these drugs produce for YOU.
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