Ornish Living: Feel better, love better


Get StartedOr call 1-877-888-3091

Love Your Life.

Start Feeling Better Now

Subscribe Now

Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease combines four lifestyle elements: stress management, fitness, love and support, and nutrition.

For nutrition, Dr. Ornish prescribes a plant-based, whole foods diet with 10% fat, primarily from naturally occurring plant sources such as whole grains, beans and lentils, soy foods, vegetables and fruit. Other diets that are higher in fat have shown to decrease the risk factors and lessen the progression of heart disease, but an adherence to the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Guidelines is the only approach that has proven to reverse heart disease.

An adherence to the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Guidelines is the only approach that has proven to reverse heart disease.

All the foods you’ll find in Ornish Lifestyle Medicine have their own unique health-promoting benefits, and the synergy of a wide spectrum of food choices is more powerful than one single dietary food alone. There are some foods, however, that shine brighter than others, and here we’ve aimed the spotlight on five impressive heart-saving power foods.


It’s a perfect time for a crimson splash of pomegranate juice in a cold glass of seltzer water for a holiday cardio-protective cocktail. This unique and juicy fruit is rich in powerful cardio-protective plant compounds such as polyphenols, tannins, and anthocyanins. Studies have found that pomegranates improve blood flow to the heart in those with Ischemic Coronary Heart Disease, and they help reduce oxidative stress and plaque in the arteries.


Good old-fashioned oats are a heart-healthy classic that have shown impressive cardio-protective results in lowering LDL cholesterol in a myriad of studies since 1963. About 75% of the cholesterol reduction that occurs with oats is due to Beta-Glucan, a soluble fiber that surrounds cholesterol-rich bile acids in the gut and prevents them from being reabsorbed. The liver then pulls more cholesterol from the bloodstream to make more bile acids.


These little jewels are bursting with heart-healthy phytochemicals, including the powerful antioxidant resveratrol and anthocyanin, which has been associated with improving blood flow to the heart and countering plaque build-up in the arteries. A study published in the 2013 issue of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Circulation showed that women who consumed blueberries or strawberries three or more times a week lowered their risk of having a heart attack.


Research from the last decade continues to show evidence of the cardiovascular benefits of soy, including the reduction of cholesterol. Another recent study demonstrated that soy-rich foods protect menopausal women from atherosclerosis.


Beans are nutritional powerhouses with a growing body of evidence supporting their influence on the reduction of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol. They are an excellent source of plant protein, high in cholesterol reducing soluble fiber, rich in cardio-protective phytochemicals and a good source of energy-boosting complex carbohydrates.

What superstar food will be on your plate this week?

Contributed by

Carra Richling
Registered Dietitian

Eat well, be well!

Better Health Begins With You...

Comment 1