Matters of heart are generally related to the women, and it can be surprising to know that heart disease kills almost 500,000 American women each year, surpassing the male number by almost 10 times.The heart is so small (about the size of a fist) yet capable of taking care of your body for lifetime.
A good diet can give your heart the required energy and boost to keep functioning appropriately for the years you live. Helping the heart with a good diet can be your contribution towards enabling it to work unhindered.
Tips To Diet For The Heart
It is said that a good belly can enhance the blood flow in your body by 20%. And it is not that difficult to include a heart fitting diet in your lifestyle.
Have a Healthy Start
The ‘witching hour’ or morning is a crucial time for the heart. During this time, cortisol (stress hormone) hit the highest point and may cause cholesterol plaque to rupture and obstruct blood flow to the heart. This can combine with (stress related) increase in blood pressure and heart rate to amount to a heart attack. Morning food is especially crucial in providing the right dose of nutrition to your heart.
A bowl of oats, complemented with fresh fruits, can be one of the best beginnings to your day. The coarse oats can be better than the instant ones. Being rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, folate and potassium, oatmeal can lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and keep arteries clean and clear. You may think of extra fiber (in the form of a banana) to make your tummy happy.
Include Low-Fat Protein
Include low-fat protein like, soy protein, in your diet. It is an inexpensive inclusion to your diet making a recipe of high levels of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, minerals and vitamins which is heart-friendly. Soya protein rich diet can reduce triglycerides and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Soy protein can be obtained from many sources such as tofu, edamame (green soybeans), soy nut, soy protein bar, low-fat dairy products, egg white, poultry and legumes. Lean meat, skim milk, walnut, soybean, skinless chicken and fish are also other good sources of protein. Cold fish have the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.Animal protein can also be substituted with plant protein to reduce fat and cholesterol intake.
Repeat Vegetables and Fruits
Children are repeatedly given a message to eat more and more fresh fruits and vegetables, which is in line with a heart–friendly diet. Vegetables and fruits furnish low calories but high dietary fiber to the body. They are also important sources of vitamins and minerals, and serve as protective foods. They can prevent cardiovascular disease and keep the heart healthy.
Instead of consuming processed foods, eat fresh fruits on a regular basis. Keep them at places which can be easily seen and give you a reminder to be eaten. Avoid snacking on cheese and ready-made food items. Fresh fruit salad made of seasonal fruits can be a delight for family eating hours.
Go for Whole Grains
Being a good source of fiber and other nutrients that helps regulate blood pressure and heart health, whole grains can be a crucial inclusion in a heart-healthy diet. You may try including a new whole grain, like barley or whole-grain couscous, in your diet.
Ground flaxseed can lower the total blood cholesterol. The ground seeds can be eaten with yogurt or applesauce or any other healthy accompaniment.
Restrict Unhealthy Fat and Cholesterol
Diet is a balance of eating certain things and not eating the others. Sometime, excluding certain elements from your diet can make much difference to healthy living. When wanting a healthy heart, you should restrict saturated and trans fat. Limiting these can decrease blood cholesterol and the risk of coronary artery illness.High blood cholesterol level can cause buildup of plaques in arteries (atherosclerosis), increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
According to the American Heart Association, saturated fat should be restricted to less than 7% of a person’s daily calories requirement and trans fat to less than 1% of the daily calories requirement.As much as you can, limit solid fats in your diet. Butter and margarine should be minimized in food. Trim fat off meat pieces or opt for lean meats to enjoy a heart–healthy diet. When consuming fat, go for the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones.
Olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds and low-fat yogurt are healthy choices. Check food labels for trans fat content information. The ‘partially hydrogenated’ ones contain trans fat.
Watch out For Sodium in Food
Increasing sodium in your diet can contribute to high blood pressure, thereby causing risk of cardiovascular disease. Limit sodium intake to make a heart-healthy diet. Healthy adults should have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium intake a day (about a teaspoon).
Excess intake of sodium can be had from canned and processed foods. Consume freshly cooked food as far as possible to limit the sodium consumption in your diet. Should you consume processed food items, choose the ones which are low in sodium. Sometimes, foods can claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt.
However, sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt. Herbs and spices can serve as substitutes for salt while keep up the flavor and essence of food.
Assess the Appetite
A heart-healthy diet not only serves good for the heart but also keeps the overall body fit and functionally active. Besides consuming healthy food, it is also important to control the portion size of what you eat. Improper eating can lead to overdose of calories, fat and cholesterol which can be burdening for the heart and stomach as well. Eat less but more frequently instead of eating more and twice or thrice every day.
Initially, you may have to stick to measurements for getting to know the right quantity of food you should eat. However, you can soon get an estimate of the amount of food intake required by your body. You should not only eat to fulfill hunger but also to accomplish your bodily needs.
Accompany your diet with lots of laughing as laughter is said to be one of the most vital components of a healthy heart.