By: Gynn Flores
It is alarming to note that more and more people suffering from heart ailments are from the below 50 age bracket. In the good old days, it was usually 60 years old and above. This may be because of the food we eat, stressful lifestyle or simply the lack of discipline. It is our heart that keeps us going. Can you imagine when your heart suddenly stops beating? It simply means the end of our existence. Therefore love your heart. Here’s how:
I. Indulge in heart saving foods like the following:
• Fresh herbs to replace salt, sugar and Trans fats. Your food remains flavorful without the guilt. Examples would be rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme that contain anti-oxidants.
• Black beans contain foliate, anti-oxidants, magnesium and fiber that control high cholesterol and high sugar levels. Make soup or a stew with it.
• A glass of red wine for women and two for men a day will do well for your heart. Red wine contains rasveratrol and catechins that are good antioxidants that can protect your artery walls. Alcohol itself boosts the formation of good cholesterol (HDL). However, be cautious – too much alcohol can harm your heart.
• Salmon is rich in omega-3s EPA and DHA. This lowers the risk of rhythm disorders and reduces blood pressure. It also lowers blood triglycerides and reduces inflammation. Two servings a week is recommended and tuna is a suitable replacement.
• Extra virgin olive oil contains heart healthy antioxidants called polyphenols that protects your blood vessels and lowers cholesterol. Use this for your salads and cooked vegetables.
• A handful of walnuts or almonds a day can lower your cholesterol level and reduce inflammation in the arteries of your heart. Walnuts contain monounsaturated fats, omega-3s and fiber. Munch on this instead of chips and sugar-rich snacks. Almonds reduce the risk of diabetes.
• Green soybeans are rich in soy protein which can lower blood triglyceride levels. Make this an appetizer like in Japanese restaurants.
• Tofu is rich in soy protein. Make this a replacement for red meat which is bombarded with artery-clogging fats.
• Have sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes as the former is fiber-filled, have lots of vitamin A and lycopene and do not cause quick spike on your blood sugar.
• Oranges contain the cholesterol-fighting fiber called pectin and potassium which helps control blood pressure. Have some slices of these or make it your refreshing juice.
• Carrots are top cholesterol fighting food and help control blood sugar level because of their ample amount of soluble fibers. Include some chopped carrots on your spaghetti sauce or salads.
• Lower your LDL level which is the bad cholesterol by having some oatmeal in any form. Make it your breakfast in a bowl with some slices of fruit or make a cookie out of it.
• Low fat yogurt can help control high blood pressure. It is rich in calcium and potassium.
• Coffee and tea can be helpful in warding off type 2 diabetes. Although they are not advisable for those who already have the condition because they can cause complications.
II. Indulge in regular exercise ideally 3 to 5 times a week.
Choose from the following:
• Any sports activity
• Aerobic exercises
• Hit the gym
III. Avoid having a very stressful lifestyle
It may be easier said than done, but if possible, do not over spend. There is no point in living an expensive lifestyle if you have to work almost most of your waking hours. A simple but healthy lifestyle is ideal.
Will you start loving your heart now?
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