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By Heather Pratt, MNT

PomegranateFebruary is American Heart Month, and while you’ll no doubt see and hear a lot about the heart this month, it is but one piece of the whole picture of cardiovascular health. Of equal importance is the intricate system of arteries, veins, and capillaries—collectively called the blood vessels—that put the vascular in cardiovascular. The blood vessels are more than just inactive tubes for transporting the blood pumped by the heart; they play a crucial role in overall cardiovascular health, actively impacting blood pressure, blood viscosity, as well as the formation of plaque. The vascular system, and thus overall cardiovascular health, is very sensitive to the nutritional choices you make—every bite you take is a chance to improve your cardiovascular health.

 

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An easy way to get the sizzle of fajitas at home.



By Jack Challem

Vitamin DAn analysis of 31 studies has found that low levels of vitamin D lead to several serious complications of pregnancy. Conversely, women with healthy blood levels of the vitamin have a relatively low risk of those complications.

 

Doreen M. Rabi, MD, and her colleagues at the University of Calgary, Canada, determined that women with low levels of the vitamin were about 50 percent more likely to develop gestational diabetes and about 80 percent more likely to develop preeclampsia.

 

A mother’s low vitamin D levels during pregnancy were also associated with an 85 percent greater risk of infants who were small for their gestational age. In addition, mothers-to-be had greater odds of developing bacterial vaginosis and delivering low birth weight infants.

 

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