TIP OF THE WEEK

Foods to help cut sodium in your diet

Sodium is an essential nutrient that our bodies require, but eating too much of it can lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease.

While choosing items labeled “reduced sodium” and “no salt added” can help make a difference, there are some foods that are naturally low in sodium, according to Goodhousekeeping.com:

— Dry peas and beans: Beans, peas and lentils are all rich sources of plant-based protein and fiber that can significantly benefit heart health.

— Fruit: Most fruits are low-sodium and some are even considered sodium-free. Apples, apricots, bananas, grapefruit, oranges and most berries are among the variety of sodium-free fruits.

— Yogurt: Plain yogurt is naturally low in sodium, but flavored varieties can sometimes sneak in added sugars and salt, so be sure to check the nutrition label.

— Unsalted nuts and seeds: Recent research indicates that individuals who regularly ate nuts had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Opt for unsalted and raw nut varieties when you can.

— Vegetables: Some naturally sodium-free vegetables include asparagus, green beans, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic and squash.

— Ancient grains: Farro, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, kamut, freekeh, barley, bulgur, quinoa and many other nutrient-dense ancient grains are less processed and have little to no sodium content.

DRINK

Coffee and the brain

According to a new study, caffeine and coffee could have positive effects in brain functions. Researchers from the University of Minho School of Medicine in Portugal found a link between drinking coffee and a decreased degree of connectivity in the right precuneus and right insular areas of the brain, which improve motor control and higher levels of alertness.

FUN FACT

Fortune cookies

Fortune cookies are not from China. They were invented in the 1900s in San Francisco.

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