Male or female, young or old, we all face huge challenges today, to keep our heart healthy. Healthy heart equals healthy life. News reports speak of young children even having serious heart issues. But, how do you steer your way through the glut of information and advice, and find out what is the best way to keep your heart healthy?
Does nutrition really matter? Yes! Following, we have simplified the answer to help you get started on the path to having a healthy life and a healthy heart.
Main key point: There is an important relationship between our daily diet and our heart health. A healthy diet is essential to keep our coronary arteries clear and open. Good habits are best learned young and maintained throughout our lives, benefiting us hugely with a healthy heart.
Second key point and great reason to read further: It is possible to lower or even get rid of your chances of a heart attack and heart disease by following healthy lifestyle habits.
What you need to do and not do
- Don’t smoke
- Have a normal BMI (body mass index)
- Exercise at least 2 ½ hours a week
- Watch less than 7 hours of TV a week
- Cut back alcohol intake to only 1/day for women and 2/day for men
- Daily healthy diet includes:
– Fruits and vegetables (5 portions daily)
– Whole Grains
– Fish/ Omega 3
- Limit sugar drinks, processed and red meats, trans fat, sodium
These life-habits are important because the overall death rate from heart disease is increasing worldwide. A lot has to do with the food we eat.
Health recommendations for a healthy heart
Your heart needs all the help you can give it. Eating certain foods can help you. Important Information to help you can be summed up by simply showing the good and the bad.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes DAILY
- Choose your fat calories very carefully (for example: replace vegetable oils with olive oil and butter with a slice of fresh avocado)
- Use a variety of protein rich foods and healthy choices of carbohydrates
- Eat meals regularly and drink lots of water
- Eat high fibre foods (for example: fruits, vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts, seeds and whole grains).
- Limit salt intake (No more than 6 grams per day)
- Don’t even think about consuming trans fats.
- Avoid empty calories that are high in sugar and fats, (for example: pies, cookies, cakes, chips, candy).
- Avoid added sugar in drinks or foods. Consume no more than 2 tsp. of sugar per day.
- Be extra careful of high fructose glucose corn syrup, these types sugar in processed food play a direct role in the development of heart disease.
Now, that we have showed you how easy it is to see the basic guidelines, let’s help you with knowing what foods are the best choices to help you get your heart healthy.
Changing from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet can reduce cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and threats of heart disease.
Some delicious suggestions to improve your heart’s health
- Berries are high in fibre and rich in Vitamin C, both of which help heart to function better.
- Dark Chocolate has antioxidants, which help protect the heart from harmful aliments, lowers blood pressure and helps the heart to run efficiently.
- Soy is lower in fat and contains many vitamins and nutrients that slow down the heart.
- Nuts include almonds, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts and all help lower heart disease risks.
- Red wine also has antioxidants BUT use caution by enjoying in moderation.
- Coffee provides good nutrients for the heart and improves blood flow.
- Beans lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Here is a shopping list suggestion of delicious foods that are good for your heart:
Oatmeal, Whole grain flour, Brown rice, Salmon, Avocado, Mackerel, Tuna, Sardines, Extra virgin olive oil, All types of nuts, Acai, Guava, Mangos, Papaya, Pomegranate, Kiwi, Spinach, Flax seed, Broccoli, Kale, Chia seeds, Organic soy and All Types of Berries.
The conclusion of the matter is, you can improve the health of your heart and it can be delicious too.