Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke. Coronary heart disease (angina and heart attack) and stroke may be caused by the same problem – atherosclerosis. This is when your arteries become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material (called atheroma) within their walls. The role of diet is crucial in the development and prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stop you gaining weight, reducing your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Start by knowing how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight. Nutrition and calorie information on food labels is typically based on a 2,000 calorie diet. You may need fewer or more calories depending on several factors including age, gender, and level of physical activity. If you are trying not to gain weight, don’t eat more calories than you know you can burn up every day. Increase the amount and intensity of your physical activity to match the number of calories you take in. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity – or an equal combination of both – each week. Regular physical activity can help you maintain your weight, keep off weight that you lose and help you reach physical and cardiovascular fitness. If it’s hard to schedule regular exercise sessions, try aiming for sessions of at last 10 minutes spread throughout the week.
Your diet plays a major role in the health of your heart, so eating healthy should be somewhere on the top of the list for keeping your heart healthy as well. There are numerous heart disorders that occur due to unhealthy food patterns and consumption. Lifestyle factors are the major causes of heart disease, and diet occupies an almost compelling spot when lifestyle factors are taken into consideration. Here is a list of foods that keeps your heart healthy:
Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for your heart to function optimally. Fishes such as salmon and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which lower the risk of heart diseases such as arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and atherosclerosis (accumulation of plaque in the arterial walls).
Oats: Like oats and milk for breakfast!? Congratulations! You are in luck; oatmeal has soluble fibers which help in lowering bad cholesterol levels. Just make sure that there is no added sugar in your oatmeal, as it will defeat the entire purpose.
Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants that reduce the risks of heart attack and also decrease your blood pressure. So go ahead! Toss some blueberries in your oatmeal to get your daily dose of antioxidants which are such pre-requisites for supreme health.
Dark Chocolate: This will probably bring a smile to your lips. Dark chocolates contain polyphenols, a type of flavonoid, which is very good for your heart. Dark chocolate is known to reduce the risks of strokes and heart attacks. Watch the portion size as no matter what its benefits are, dark chocolates are still rich in calories.
Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits such as lemons and Indian gooseberry are rich in compounds that lower cholesterol levels in the body. Tip – Start your day with a lemon juice and warm water. This betters your metabolism and also keeps your heart in fine shape.
Soy: Lo Behold Vegetarians! (and non-vegetarians as well). Soy is a protein rich food that is so good for your heart. It also contains heart-healthy fats and fibers that help bring down and normalize cholesterol levels.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in an antioxidant called ‘lycopene’, which is very effective in getting rid of bad cholesterol. It thus helps in keeping your arteries healthy and reduces the risks of heart attacks.
To keep your heart healthy you need to change your lifestyle of hurry and worry. Keep your schedule planned, avoid confrontation, healthy diet, mild exercise.
Most people associate fibre to be good for the digestive system. It helps to add roughage and therefore helps in avoiding constipation. When we dig deeper, the fibre seems to do good not just to the stomach but to the heart as well. Those who are prone to develop heart disease should make an attempt to include more fibre in their diet and reap the rich benefits it offers.
There are two classifications of fibres
Dietary are found in diet products and functional being added fibre through various food supplements. Soluble and insoluble fibre, based on their solubility in water. Most foods contain some amounts of both. The insoluble one has more digestive benefits, as it adds to the roughage. Both types have cardiac benefits.
Read on to know some of the cardiac benefits of fibres.
High-fiber diet mainly reduces cholesterol which helps in multiple ways to maintain not just a healthy body but also improves the overall quality of life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.
If you are concerned about your heart’s health, it is important for you to make some dietary modifications. Simple changes in your everyday diet may offer benefits, which help in preventing future heart problems. If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol or have atrial fibrillation.
Here are some tips regarding the best diet for protecting your heart:
You should also add whole grains to your diet. They are effective in controlling blood sugar and lower the chances of diabetes. Hence, the risks of heart diseases are less if you do not have diabetes. Whole grains also help with weight loss, which is beneficial for the heart. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.