7 Steps to Keep Your Heart Healthy
You can keep your heart healthy no matter what your age, but it does take effort — possibly even changes in your everyday habits, such as eating a heart-healthy diet and increasing your activity level. Here’s how to get started:
1. Berry Up
Berries are loaded with antioxidants and water soluble vitamins. They are important for the prevention of cancer and to maintain your weight. They may also lower your risk of coronary heart disease.
2. Leafy Greens
The more colorful the veggies, the healthier they are. Greens such as kale, spinach, cabbage and collard greens are rich in vitamins and minerals and a good source of iron.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fatty fish deliver omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which have cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. Fish rather than fish oil capsules are healthier and add vitamin D, selenium and antioxidants! Best choices are salmon, albacore tuna, herring and trout.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains help with digestion and are excellent for your heart, regularity [because of the fiber content], and maintaining a steady level of blood sugar.
5. Raw Nuts
Nuts are a great source of protein and monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as much needed vitamin E. Examples of great choices include walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Nuts are also very calorie-dense, however, so you need only a palmful for good nutrition and to feel satisfied.
6. Add Legumes
Beans are another nutrient powerhouse, providing you with a reliable protein alternative to meat as well as the fiber needed for good digestion and prevention of chronic diseases. Beans — including navy, kidney, black, white, lima, and pinto — are part of the legume family that also includes split peas, lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans. Many are good sources of calcium, important to prevent osteoporosis, especially after menopause.
7. Yellow and Orange Veggies
Yellow or orange veggies are great sources of vitamin A for skin and eye health and better immunity against infection. Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and the many types of squash are sweet and delicious.
Cooked tomato products, like tomato paste, puree, stewed tomatoes, and even ketchup, deliver more of its well-known antioxidant lycopene, a cancer fighter, and potassium than when eaten raw. Tomatoes also have vitamins A and C and phytochemicals that make it an nutrition essential for women’s health.
9. Low Fat Dairy
For optimal bone health, you need three daily servings of dairy products (for example, eight ounces of milk or yogurt, or one and a half ounces of cheese per serving), which also provide other nutrients, like protein, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.
All fruit contains natural sugar or fructose which helps boost your spirit and your energy level. Each gram of fructose you consume provides
you with 4 calories of energy. Fructose takes longer to digest and enters your stream more slowly than other simple sugars. This helps stabilize your blood sugar better than other sugar and starch sources.
Fruit also provides you with a significant amount of antioxidants, which protect you from harmful free radicals. Free radicals are byproducts of using oxygen in your body for certain cellular functions. Antioxidants react with the free radicals to negate their harmful effects. Keeping your cells healthy keeps you feeling energized and prevents you from feeling rundown from the damage these free radicals can cause. Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant, but it also keeps you feeling energized by boosting your immune system. Fruit is a Natural Energy Booster!