An improved and better diet and lifestyle can decrease the chances of heart disease by improving the cardiovascular functions. Make a commitment to eat healthy, lose weight and avoid alcohol and smoking to keep your heart healthy.
What you Need to Do
Increase the Intake of Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber gives the feeling of a full stomach without adding on to the calories. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include oats, fruits and vegetables and legumes. An oat meal porridge or oatmeal topped with fruits is the best option to start the day. It gives you enough energy to kick start the day and sustains the energy levels for a long time. Foods with soluble fiber help manage healthy cholesterol levels.
Opt for Whole Grain Foods
Whole grain foods like whole wheat, rye, millets, brown rice are rich in complex carbohydrates which promote a healthy heart. Avoid refined, canned and processed foods as they are full of empty calories. They do not supply any of the essential nutrients and promote weight gain which puts your heart at risk. A diet rich in whole grain foods is found to bring down the blood sugar levels. Whole grain foods are also rich in vitamin E, magnesium and anti -oxidants that promote the general well being.
Consume Monosaturated Fats
Avoid junk foods and fried snacks that are rich in Transfats and vegetable oils and milk products like butter and cheese that are rich in saturated fats. They increase the cholesterol levels of the body and create arterial clots. Switch to olive oil or canola oil as they help reduce the LDL cholesterol levels. Soy is a rich source of protein and it also helps in lowering the cholesterol levels.
Benefit From Fruits and Nuts
Fruits like apples and strawberries and nuts like almonds and walnuts are good for the heart. Apples are rich in a phytochemical called quercetin; it acts as an anti inflammatory agent and removes blood clots. Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, protein and fiber. They help in keeping the cholesterol levels under check. Strawberries and walnuts compliment the nutritional content of oatmeal porridge and are best served for breakfast.
Add Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Fishes like salmon are rich ion omega 3 fatty acids. They help in keeping the cholesterol levels under check. Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial to the heart as they bring down inflammations and dissolve blood clots. Flax seed is another rich source of omega 3 fatty acids.
What you Need to Avoid
Reduce the Sodium Intake
Excess salt in your diet increases the risk of blood pressure which causes damage to the cardio vascular health. A low sodium diet is heart friendly and reduces heart disease. Avoid canned and processed food as they are rich in salts. Use low sodium salts or sodium substitutes in your diet.
Reduce the Alcohol Intake
Alcohol and heart disease is a very bad combination. So, avoid alcohol altogether or reduce the consumption to minimal levels. Red wine is considered beneficial because of the presence of antioxidants called flavonoids, but moderation is advised in its consumption.