Doctors relate cardio vascular diseases to a hectic lifestyle, stress, smoking and unhealthy eating with little exercise. So take your life into the right course and bring some positive changes into your diet and fight the signs of cardiovascular diseases before it is too late. Through healthy eating you not only control cardio vascular diseases but also combat diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes which can pose threats to your well being as well!
What Should You Be Eating?
There are healthy foods that can bring about a sea change in your health and give a positive start to your life! Include more of these foods and stay healthy and hearty! Quite literally!
Fruits and Vegetables
The importance of fruits and vegetables is indispensable for any diet! Did you know that a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet can reduce the risk of a cardio vascular diseases like a heart attack or clogged arteries by 25%? So start eating healthy.
Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, and also contain antioxidants. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, lime contain a good amount of vitamin C. Vegetables like spinach, sweet potatoes, and artichokes contain a good amount of antioxidants that are not only good for your heart but helps fight cancer causing cells as well!
Mango and carrots contain high levels of beta carotene. Try and incorporate fruits and vegetables in every meal. It will keep you light and active all day long! Start the day with a healthy fruit juice to go with your breakfast. If you like fruit juice then drink a glass of fresh and pure fruit juice without any artificial sweeteners. Snack on an apple for a mid afternoon meal and eat boiled vegetables when you sit for your lunch. Do not choose artificial fruit juices with syrup as it will not be beneficial for your health. Along with your serving of vegetables make sure that you keep the salt content to the minimum.
Eat Fish For a Healthy Heart
The association of a healthy heart and fish goes a long way back. But what is it that fishes have that make them heart friendly? Fishes, at least certain types of fish like salmon, trout, sardines contain good amount of omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce the clotting of blood around the arteries. So include generous amount of fish in a healthy way to your diet.
However, you must remember that too much of fish is not good either thus keep the servings limited. Eating fresh fish thrice a week is good enough for the heart as it will give you the required amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Eat fish the right way. Do not deep fry as it takes away most of its nutrients. Thus switch to baking and roasting lightly.
Include Folate for a Heart Healthy Diet
Including folate in your diet is a healthy way of ensuring that you stay healthy from heart related ailments. How does folate work? Folate helps regulate the homocysteine levels in the body thus reducing the risk of cardio vascular problems. Leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and asparagus contain a good amount of folate as do oranges, lentils and cereals.
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The folate in these food items helps contain the high levels of cholesterol in your body. To help folate work better, your body needs nutrients like vitamin B12 and B6 that are found in lean meat, bananas, green vegetables and lentils as well. So load up on these.
Include Soluble Fiber in your Diet
Food items that contain soluble fiber helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and also improve glucose metabolism that is associated with diabetes. Besides doing good for the heart ,fiber is very essential for the body in general. Soluble fiber is found in oats, flax, lentils, and some legumes and also available in good quantities in fruits like apples, grapes and also pears, so drink grape juice and eat lots of apples to stay healthy and active.
Choose Healthy Whole Grain Food
The inclusion of healthy whole grains in your diet is a good way of ensuring that you stay heart healthy. But what are the foods that contain the nutrients of whole grains? Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread. Do not choose polished and treated rice. Rather go for unpolished and brown rice instead.
Even when you are eating pasta go for the healthy alternative, choose whole grain pasta. White flour should be replaced with whole wheat flour. Whole grains are excellent or your body and they contain a host of vitamins and nutrient s along with generous amounts of antioxidants that are great for your body.
Should you Eat Nuts?
Certain nuts in limited quantities are a great way of including omega 3 fatty acids in your diet and are a good alternative for people who do not eat fish. Walnuts are a good source of omega3 fatty acids and almonds are a good source of monosaturated fats. Canola oil, olive oil and flaxseed oils contain monosaturated fat that help reduce cholesterol hence they should be the ideal cooking medium.
How to Make Healthy Choices
It can be a difficult choice to switch over instantly to a healthy eating routine; however you must find ways to motivate yourself to eat healthy for a better life!
Choose the better and less fatty alternative to some food. Like instead of opting for full fat milk you should opt for skimmed milk or even soy milk can be a great alternative. Soy contains isoflavones that are good for the heart!
Skip the butter and choose the healthy margarine. However all margarine are not good for you so choose well. Cheese has less fat than butter so choose cheese instead.
Rather than binging on a beef burger opt for a burger that contains lean meat or better still, choose a soy patty that is delicious and nutritious at the same time!
When you order a sandwich the next time opt for healthy whole grain bread and go for roasted lean meat instead of sausage and salami! Load up on the veggies and skip the mayo!
And lastly exercise well. Try and walk at least 5 days a week to stay heart healthy.