What you eat can make a big difference in keeping your heart healthy. Eating a heart-healthy diet can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. So, let’s talk about some of the best foods you can eat for a healthy heart.
To begin, it’s no surprise fruits and vegetables are a crucial part of a heart-healthy diet.
Mothers aren’t kidding around when they tell their children they can’t leave the dining table without finishing their veggies. And as you age, you should remember that wisdom because, like your growing years, these are important for your maintenance years as well. Vegetables and fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help protect your heart and keep it functioning well. Try to eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Try to mix up your choices to get various nutrients. A trick to knowing you’re getting all nutrients is to have all colors in your diet. Berries, leafy greens, tomatoes, and citrus fruits are all excellent choices.
Whole grains are another important component of a heart-healthy diet.
Fiber plays an irreplaceable role in good digestion, and they also play a significant role when it comes to heart health. Whole grains are high in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Some great whole-grain options include brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread and pasta, and oatmeal.
Nuts and seeds are a heart-healthy food group.
Many Asian cultures are aware of the benefits of having nuts and seeds every morning. Lots of families in India start their day after eating soaked almonds and walnuts throughout the year. These nuts are high in healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease. Walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseed are all great options to add to your diet. Do not overdo these as nuts are high in calories, and too much fat can make you dizzy.
Finally, and we hope this was a no-brainer, it’s essential to limit your intake of unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats.
Fatty meat should be replaced with lean meat. And all your bakery delights will have to take a back seat if you wish to focus on your heart’s health. Fats in this food can raise your cholesterol levels and, in turn, increase your risk of heart disease. So reduce and, if possible, remove the intake of fried foods and baked goods like donuts and pastries. Instead, opt for healthier fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
In addition to these specific foods, there are some general tips to keep in mind when it comes to eating for a healthy heart.
1. Limit the intake of processed food, especially with sugar. Such food items skyrocket your blood sugar levels, thereby leading to inflammation. This has a direct link to an increase in heart risk and disease. Replace such food habits by choosing whole and minimally processed foods.
2. It’s all about portion sizes. Overeating any food, yes, any food which includes healthy foods, can contribute to weight gain and other health issues. Try not to binge eat, and get help if you find yourself addicted. Use smaller plates and bowls, and aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. And don’t watch your favorite shows when you eat.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you have caffeine multiple times. There are different theories about how many liters you should have each day. But it’s safe to say you should drink when you’re thirsty and not replace water with sugary drinks. Dehydration can put extra strain on your heart and make it harder for your body to function well.
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