May 07, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S. In fact, every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Luckily, there are several things you can do to create a better, heart-healthy lifestyle. Some of these items include things such as weight management, regular physical activity, cutting out smoking and alcohol (or drinking in moderation). Equally as important, however, is maintaining a heart-healthy diet.
A diet full of foods that are good for your heart can help to prevent and manage heart disease, lowering your risk for both heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association says a healthy diet is one of your best weapons against cardiovascular disease. The foods you consume, as well as the portion size, can directly affect your risk for these ailments:
If you have already experienced heart complications, it is never too late to turn that around and change your habits. Eating healthy foods will help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. Certain foods that increase your heart disease risk should be cut out of your diet. We know it is often tough to change your eating habits, but it is so worth it to promote your personal health. Even better, healthy eating doesn’t have to mean bland and boring. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you'll be well on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.
In this day in age, we all live fast-paced lives, and everything is ready-made, especially the foods we eat. You need to be aware of what you consume, especially what you eat in abundance. After we discuss what foods to be incorporating into your diet (and which foods to avoid) that will give you a good place to start in determining what you need to change in your diet, specifically what foods you need to start cutting out. Taking these steps will likely save you from having heart problems in the future or help to prevent further complications. In simplest terms, you need to eat natural foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you check the food pyramid, these foods make up the most of a healthy diet.
While many foods are made for quick and easy consumption, coming pre-packaged and processed, these are generally foods you will want to avoid. The nutrients you gain from fresh (as opposed to processed) foods are more easily absorbed in the bloodstream and quickly converted into energy. When your metabolism increases, you store less fat in your body and you are, therefore, not as prone to heart disease. While eating fresh foods may take some extra time and preparation, it also tastes better and does numbers on improving your health (and will even help you lose weight). This simply means you need to get more organized both when you go to the grocery store and in your preparation. Many items can be made ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated so that they can be consumed later in the week.
The most recent recommendations for a healthy heart consist of various targets that must be attained day after day, so as to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke and prevent relapse. Let’s dive in to what guidelines we should be following when it comes to choosing what to eat.
But eating healthy isn’t just about fresh foods but more specifically, what minerals are found in each of the foods. When it comes to nutrients, we need certain minerals for optimal heart health/ These include magnesium, calcium and potassium. These minerals are also called electrolytes and have important jobs—they regulate your nerve and muscle functioning, your body’s hydration, and your blood pressure, and they help to rebuild damaged tissue.
Calcium: Good sources of calcium include yogurt, kefir and low-fat dairy products, collard greens, organic tempeh, and sardines and salmon with bones.
Magnesium: Good sources of magnesium include spinach, Swiss chard, peas, organic tempeh, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and salmon.
Potassium: Good sources of potassium include squash, sweet potato, broccoli, banana, lentils, low-fat dairy products and deep-sea fish such as flounder or halibut.
When it comes to specific foods, we have created a list below for you to follow. Remember, fresh is best so eating fruits and veggies raw or making meals that use fresh ingredients is always going to be your best bet. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids which are necessary to keep your system functioning efficiently. They are low in fat and sodium, but high in fiber, which helps flush away toxins from your body. Eating fruits and vegetables can even help moderate your blood sugar levels.
Whole grain foods, such as wild rice, barley, brown rice and whole wheat, contain endosperm, which is where the healthy components are stored. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats from these foods work together to boost the heart's performance.
Fish and seafood are good choices because they are low in calories and high in essential unsaturated fats. (about 4 times a week). Red meat, on the other hand, is a significant source of saturated fats, which must be limited. (once or twice a week)
WHAT FOODS TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DIET…
Fruits & Vegetables
WHAT FOODS TO AVOID IN YOUR DIET…
And now that we have covered all of that great information we thought we would leave you with a few ideas of what some heart-healthy recipes can look like for each meal of the day!
BREAKFAST: Steel Cut Oatmeal With Fresh Fruit
LUNCH: Chicken Cauliflower Fried "Rice"
DINNER: Almond-Crusted Salmon with Ginger Grapefruit Glaze
Gingered Grapefruit Relish:
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