THE human body is a powerful chemical laboratory, a powerhouse that produces and secretes drugs (hormones, enzymes, painkillers, sedatives, etc.) that enable our cells, tissues and organs to function properly and efficiently.

It also automatically calculates the dosage and secretion of the drug according to the body’s demand and dispenses it to the anatomical part that needs it.

No man-made machine can yet equal the marvelous human body, in spite of our great advances in all aspects of science and technology.

Carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are the fuel molecules the body uses to provide energy, which allows all our organs to work, in much the same manner as mercury, cadmium, alkali or lithium ion provide the energy for batteries to operate gadgets/machines.

The foods we eat are digested, metabolized and transformed into various specific chemical ingredients: macronutrients, organic acids, vitamins, trace minerals, etc.

All these are needed for biosynthesis for normal physiology and health of our body.

While healthy food items are generally good for the entire body system, some are also specifically beneficial for certain organs and diseases.

The following are considered heart-healthy foods:

Fish: life saver

Salmon, the supper food, and tuna are great sources of omega-3s, EPA and DHA.

All these can help lower blood pressure and the risk for heart disease.

These are also anti-inflammatory.

Other sources are herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, lake trout. Eating fish, instead of red meat, is better for health and longevity.

Vegetables: wonderfood

Swiss chard is a dark green leafy vegetables loaded with Vitamin A, fiber, magnesium, potassium and zeaxanthin (for eye health).

Green leafy vegetables in general are anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that are good for us.

Inflammation is the most common “initiator” trigger of most, if not all, diseases common to man, from arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even cancer.

Most vegetables and fish have anti-inflammatory properties that make them healthy food items for daily consumption, or at least, four times a week.

Malunggay leaves and ampalaya (bitter melons) are vegetables that have medicinal properties minus side-effects seen in drugs.

They help control blood sugar and cholesterol, and also boost the immune system.

However, here the caution: Malunggay or Ampalaya capsules are practically useless and quite expensive, compared to their vegetable counterparts.

Eating malunngay (in soup or in any recipe) and ampalaya vegetables is the healthier and less costly option.

Reports of deaths among diabetic patients who discontinued their anti-diabetic drugs and relied solely on ampalaya capsules is a warning we must learn from.


Fresh herbs, like SORT (sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme), which are specially good when they are used to replace salt, trans fat and sugar.

SORT are flavor enhancers and great with berries and nuts, and even coffee.

All spices, including pepper, onion, garlic, tumeric, curry, cardamom, cumin, etc., are boosters of the immune system.

Many of them reduce the risk for cancer.


All berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, acai berries, goji berries, cranberries, raspberries, huckleberries, gooseberries, etc.) are excellent anti-oxidants for over-all health.

Fruits, even avocados, are healthy items for daily consumption.

Red wine

Red wine with its cardioprotective resveratrol and cathechins, two powerful antioxidants, found highest in Pinot Noir.

Carbernet Sauvignon and other red wines have them too.

They can boost the good cholesterol and protect the walls of the artery.

Of course, too much of a good thing is bad, so moderation is the key: one glass a day for women, and two glasses a day for men are the recommended “doses.”


Black beans are loaded with antioxidants, folate, magnesium and fiber, which are useful in helping control cholesterol and blood sugar.

Rinse the beans to reduce the sodium (salt).

Other beans, lentils, legumes as a whole, are very healthy proteins.

Sweet potato

Sweet potato (kamote) is better than white potato and has lower glycemic index, which prevents abrupt blood sugar spikes like white potato and table sugar do.

Sweet potato has Vitamin A and lycopene (like in processed tomatoes).

They are now popular in the USA as sweet potato fries, as an alternative to regular French fries.


Oatmeal, the popular health food, loaded with fiber.

A cup (234 gm) has only 158 calories.

It feels you up for hours and makes you move your bowels regularly everyday.

It also reduces your risk for colon cancer, like other high-fiber foods.

Oatmeal for breakfast and snacks is the healthy way to go.  

Low-fat yogurt is superior to ice cream which is loaded with sugars.

Yogurt has 200 percent more calcium and potassium than milk and can help control blood pressure.

The Greek yogurt is highly recommended.

Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil contains healthy monosaturated fats and is rich in polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant which protects the arteries from inflammation and cholesterol deposits.


Tofu, a vegetarian soy protein had polyunsaturated fats, minerals, fiber, and is good for heart health.

It is a good substitute for animal proteins.

The taho that is being sold by vendors is made of tofu, but be sure it is intact and not curdled, and do not use a lot of syrup to reduce sugar and calories.

Edamame, green peapod soybeans, has soy proteins and a great source of fiber also which can lower cholesterol.

On top of this, it tastes so good.

Nuts/Whole grains

Almonds has a lot of plant sterols, healthy fats and fiber, all helpful in cholesterol control.

Twenty-four almonds provide 160 calories.

Whole grain foods are likewise essential in our diet.

Walnut is loaded with omega-3s, fiber and monounsaturated fats that are healthy and effective in reducing inflammation and cholesterol.

Fourteen walnuts have 180 calories in them.

Peanuts is also a good source of fiber.

Thirty dry roasted peanut has 170 calories.

Calories in other nuts: Macadamia (11), 200 calories; Pistachios (47), 170 calories; Pecan (20 halves), 190 calories; and Cashews (20), 170 calories.

Those nurses who ate 5 ounces or more of nuts per week reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 35 percent, according to the Nurses Health Study involving 86,016 nurses, followed up for 14 years.


Coffee, regular or decaffeinated, 2-4 cups a day, has antioxidant in it that reduces the risks for diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

For those who tolerate coffee well, coffee is also good for the heart and the brain.

And the same thing with green and black teas.

Teas, in general, and coffee, are healthy drinks, unlike soft drinks of any form (regular or diet, caffeine-free or not), which are “liquid candies,” a culprit for the development of metabolic syndrome, especially among children.

Soft drinks, without exaggeration, are toxic agents.


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