Grains: Dieticians suggest that you increase your intake of oats, barley and rye in 2012. For years, doctors have been telling patients that eating oats can bring down your cholesterol and recent studies show that rye can, too. The American Diabetes Association has also noted that eating a diet high in fiber and grains, like rye, can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Adding barley to your diet, whether it is as a side dish or inside a soup or casserole, can also lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Salmon and other oily fish: If the diagnosis is to get more vitamin D this year, then get your fill with salmon and other oily fish – such as, mackerel, sardines, herring, fresh tuna, trout and anchovies. Oily fish are some of the only food sources of vitamin D. These fish are also good for curbing cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of oily fish per week, but warns against eating too much more than that because some oily fish contain mercury, which can affect your brain and nervous system.
Soy: If 2012 is your year to help reduce your risk of cancer, then soy may be your answer. Research has shown that soy can ward off certain cancers as well as have an impact on your heart. The Food and Drug Administration states that 25 grams of soy protein a day can reduce heart problems by helping to lower cholesterol levels. To add soy to your diet, you can find it in soy burgers, tofu and soy milk.
Red Wine: While you will rarely hear any doctor advising that you drink any alcohol, red wine may just be the exception. Research shows that antioxidants in red wine, polyphenols, aid in protecting the lining of blood vessels in the heart. These antioxidants come in the form of flavonoids and nonflavonoids, which red wine has more than any other food or drink. Experts advise that you should stick to red over white wine because red grapes have 10 times more benefit to your health than white grapes. But, as with any alcohol, red wine should be enjoyed in moderation – approximately 5 ounces a day for women and 10 ounces a day for men.