Simply being young doesn’t protect your heart’s health. In fact, nearly half of the young adults aging 18-24 are at risk of coronary heart diseases. The good news is that a healthy diet along with lifestyle changes can prevent heart diseases in 80% of such youngsters. Healthy eating and living can make a huge difference for your heart and overall health. So, be choosy while eating and think twice before you eat, whether you are giving your heart a burden by giving a feast for your taste buds.
No single food serves a complete protection for heart’s health. However, certain foods can improve its health. Some foods help to lower the blood pressure, while the others keep your cholesterol in control.
You need not have bland or boring foods for a healthy heart. Read further to understand what to include in your food plate which can also leave you satisfied and happy.
- Avocados – Along with many other health benefits served by this creamy-green super food is its heart protective action. The mono-unsaturated fatty acids of this fruit can lower the bad cholesterol levels and can also prevent clot formation. Potassium from avocados maintains blood pressure and the magnesium lowers risk for heart diseases, especially in men. Keep your portions modest; they are not only delicious but have high calories!
- Fatty fish – Salmon, the ocean-going fish contains omeg-3 fatty acids which can effectively manage your blood pressure, keeping clotting at bay. Your risk of heart attack related deaths can be reduced by nearly 30% if you can aim to have just 2 servings of salmon a week. Dislike salmon? Other oily fishes such as sardines, herring, tuna, and mackerel can offer the same protection to your heart.
- Garlic – Adding this spicy food not only kicks the flavor into the dishes but is good for the heart. It increases the blood flow in and out of the heart, reduces bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Olive oil – A staple in Mediterranean cuisine and is a great pick for limited saturated fatty acids. It has been linked to lower the heart disease risk. Replace butter with olive oil while cooking and see the results yourself. Look for the least processed oils such as virgin and extra-virgin varieties.
- Nuts – Walnuts are great sources of healthy fat i.e. the omega-3 fatty acids. Also, they increase fibre in the diet. They can prevent irregularities in the heart rhythm or blood clots. Nibble on around 5 ounces of nuts each week to cut down your risk for heart diseases by nearly 50%.
- Berries – All berries are good for vascular health. Their anti-inflammatory property reduces the risk of heart diseases.
- Spinach – Your hearts health is for sure to boost up with the veggies. The stores of lutein, folate, fibre and potassium of spinach can keep your heart in top shape. People who have two and half servings of veggies each day have a 25% lowered risk of heart diseases. An additional serving per day can further reduce this risk by 17%.
- Legumes – They are the top-notch sources of soluble fibre, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. So fill up your breakfast or evening snacks with chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, lentils, etc.
Many of us would always wish to start a healthy diet plan and most importantly when coming to the issue of heart’s health, but we don’t know from where to start. But you cannot neglect your heart as such. Therefore, try to improve your diet for preventing heart diseases.
What should I eat more?
- Eat more colorful fruits and veggies, the more colorful is your plate the more nutrients would be there for your body.
- Include fiber rich foods in your diet, like cereals. You can also try yummies like pasta but it must be made from legumes or whole grains.
- Eat dairy products such as eggs, unsweetened yogurt, you can drink skimmed milk or whole milk, these are a package of calcium and proteins.
What should I eat less?
- You must avoid processed food, packaged foods specially the one which contains more sodium and sugars
- You must avoid refined pastas, rice, and white bread.
- You must not eat yogurt that is mixed up with sugars and processed cheese as well.
- You must avoid processed meat such as salami, fried chicken, and bacon.
Are fats good for my heart?
Yes, but not all. Healthy fats from raw nuts, olive oil, fish oil, flax seeds, or avocados are good source of healthy fats. But you must avoid trans fats that are present in deep fried foods, saturated fats present in fast food, and junk foods.
Why is sugar not good for my heart?
The common table sugar that you love to add in your tea/coffee or foods are a threat to your heart if taken in more quantities. It shoots up the blood glucose levels and stimulates insulin production, it can be a problem for the people who have pre-diabetes, diabetes or any metabolic syndromes. Foods that are in high sugar content are high calorie foods and it makes you obese and at the end it’s a risk for heart disease.
Bottom line – What you eat now can make a huge difference in your later stages of health. By following a proper diet, you can reduce your risk for cardiovascular diseases including stroke and heart attacks. It’s never late to start having a healthy diet, so start today! Set a goal to avoid harmful foods that affects your heart. Eat the foods that are heart friendly.