Why should we take care of our heart?
You live in your home, go to work every day and drive your car to wherever you wish to go. Of course, taking care of your home and your car are just a matter of course. What about your job: do you make sure that you are doing your tasks the way you should? Well, obviously, if the answer is anything other than yes, then you’ll probably soon be jobless. What about your heart: this vital organ inside of you that you never see? Have you been taking care of it?
Why is our heart so important and why do we need to take care it? The answer is simple. Your heart is a pump that transports blood throughout the veins and arteries. It provides your entire body and its organs with the needed oxygen and nutrients to keep them alive. It also gets rid of carbon dioxide and other wastes. By doing this process, our heart is providing our entire body with life. Whenever the heart stops doing its functions, the person would get ill and eventually die.
An organ with such a vital role sure needs care and attention. It requires acknowledgment and dedication. You need to have a healthy heart!
Healthy Heart diet: foods list
To have a healthy heart, you need to start with a well-balanced and specific low-fat diet. When we say low-fat for the heart, we always mean low in saturated fat. This fat is the kind that harms your pumping organ. So your food is one of the most critical factors affecting the well-being of your heart. Here is a list of the food to avoid:
- Processed meats: these contain high levels of salt and preservatives. Examples are bacon, hot dogs, and prime rib. These meats are very high in saturated fatty acids that can clog your arteries,
- Highly refined grains and carbs that include white bread, white rice, sweets, sugars and processed carbs. These include desserts and baked goods. The problem is when you prepare some food, like grains, for example, you get rid of the healthiest part of it that is the fiber. Some other nutrients get lost in minerals, fatty acids, and phytochemicals. This processing could lead to spikes in your blood sugar levels. For example, some sauces contain large amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Soft drinks: they provide a significant amount of sugar and are considered as empty calories. So they might cause a spike in your blood glucose level and put stress on your arteries. Think of it as such: the more carbonated beverages you drink, the higher you increase your risks for heart problems.
- Margarine: this is the number one enemy of your heart. This unhealthy food option contains a lot of trans-fatty acids that can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Powdered coffee creamers: these are among the most consumed items as they are taken with coffee. The sad news is that they have a significant amount of trans-fat as “hydrogenated oils”.
From another angle, many food options can help prevent any heart disease or even reverse any existing damage. These can also be used in a diet after a heart attack. From another angle, when you decide on these right choices, it is always a good idea to get members of your family used to them as part of their lifestyles. These are beneficial for kids as well.
- Salmon: It contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that can lower the risk for arrhythmia and atherosclerosis. It also helps lower the levels of Triglycerides.
- Oatmeal: It is high in soluble fiber that helps decrease the levels of cholesterol in the body. Try to look for oatmeal that do not contain refined sugar and substitute your rice and pasta with whole grain options.
- Blueberries, strawberries and any berries: These contain high levels of anthocyanins and flavonoids. These are powerful antioxidants that help dilate blood vessels and lower your blood pressure. Always look for your blue and red colors in fruits.
- Dark chocolate: It contains high levels of polyphenols that prevent blood clots, lower high blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Always look for dark chocolate containing at least 60% cocoa.
- Citrus fruit: It contains high levels of flavonoids that dramatically lower both the risk of stroke and the levels of cholesterol.
- Soy: They are good ways of adding fat-free proteins to the diet. Such proteins will lower the levels of bad cholesterol.
- Potatoes: These are not bad at all for your health, unlike what people might think. As long as you bake them, boil them or even grill them, then you are in for a food choice rich in potassium. This mineral helps in lowering the level of blood pressure. Potatoes are not junk food; it is when you fry them that you turn them into unhealthy junk food.
- Tomatoes: They are very rich in lycopene and are high in potassium. Tomatoes help with lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, keeping your blood vessels unclogged and protecting you from heart attacks.
- Nuts: the best nuts for your heart are almonds, walnuts, macadamia, peanuts and pistachios. These contain high levels of fiber, Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Due to their nutrients, nuts help lower your blood cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk for heart issues.
- Legumes: These include lentils, beans, and peas. These lower the risk for heart diseases, control blood glucose levels and help diabetic people avoid any associated diabetes health complications.
- Olive oil: This is the star of the healthy diet for a healthy heart. Due to its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), this oil helps lowering your cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and dramatically reduces the risks of heart attacks.
- Red Wine: It lowers the risk of heart diseases due to the resveratrol.
- Green Tea: It is rich in catechins that are powerful antioxidants.
Healthy Heart diet: the recipes
When you want to have a healthy lifestyle for your heart, you have to look for the menus and recipes that are using the ingredients you want and preparing the food the proper way. Here are some examples of meals:
- Avocado Burrito Breakfast Bowl: It includes olive oil, onions, red pepper, pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, cherry tomatoes, avocados, almond milk, shallots, eggs whites and Salsa Verde.
- Vietnamese Avocado Zoodle Salad: it contains soy sauce, garlic, green onions, pepper flakes, sesame oil, tofu, Zucchini noodles, lettuce, carrots, and avocados.
- Guacamole deviled eggs: These include eggs, avocados, fat-free sour cream, lime juice, Roma tomato, scallions, salt, pepper, cilantro.
Heart diet: the menu
It may seem simple to read about which food options are right for you and which ones are bad for you. It is also somehow simple to put together the recipe after getting the ingredients; however, it may be tricky to put together a diet plan that is good for your heart. So, here is a sample for one day:
Breakfast: 1 cup of green tea with two slices of whole wheat toast and zero-fat cheese. You can have a banana with it
Snack: 1 bowl of fruit salad (bananas, berries, oranges, and nuts)
Lunch: Some grilled salmon fish with a side of roasted asparagus and mushrooms. You can add a side of season salad with olive oil and lemon juice dressing
Snack: 1 orange and a handful of almonds
Dinner: a bowl of salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula leaves, chickpeas and a medium baked potato. Let the dressing always be a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, and crushed garlic.
Healthy Heart diet: Tips
To achieve optimal health for your heart, you need to start embracing a healthy lifestyle. If you are already fit and healthy, it still won’t hurt to understand the significant factors affecting the well-being of your heart. And, if you are living your life in chaos, then it is about time you start planning a lifestyle away from dangerous, harmful habits. Here are a few tips.
- Stop smoking.
- Control your cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that when your numbers are in chaos, you are at high risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
- Make sure your blood pressure is stable. Sometimes, one cannot know that he is suffering from high blood pressure until it is too late and creating disruptions for the body. If you are diabetic; then, it is about time you keep your blood glucose levels normal. Diabetes can also lead to heart attacks and strokes.
- Keep moving and have a healthy weight. Diet and exercise are the best friends of your heart. There are so many guides that can show you the proper way to lose weight and work out. If you want some help, yes you can diet plan coupons. There are many diet systems that you can follow for weight loss. For example, it seems very impressive when looking at the grapefruit diet results. This system is a crash diet that is very low in calories. From another angle, the natural detox diet has been found very useful as it focuses on eating fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored. The soup diet can be very effective as it facilitates digestion by blending many ingredients in the form of soup. One should always watch out when picking the right diet. For example, what is the military diet? This method is a very tough one and leads to a rapid weight loss in a concise period. Some might resort to weight loss pills because it is less hectic and more pronounced. For example, there is the new belviq diet pill.
- Using some supplements that could help, like the safflower oil diet, could prevent heart diseases, the hardening of the arteries and strokes.
- Keeping your mind healthy and stay away from depression by surrounding yourself with your loved ones. Becoming isolated can lead to dramatic side effects.
- Following the perfect diet plan as mentioned above.