3 Heart-Healthy Dietary Changes You Can Implement Today
The possibility of developing heart disease should be a major health concern for everyone. One way to lower your risk is to implement healthy changes to your diet. A few small changes can get you on the right track to a healthier heart.
Eat The Right Fiber
All types of fiber are important for your overall health, but not all high-fiber foods improve your heart health. When you are specifically focusing on heart health, you need to incorporate soluble fiber into your diet. Soluble fiber helps reduce the bad cholesterol in your body. Flax seeds are one source of soluble fiber and they are easy to incorporate into your diet.
Since flax seeds are small and have a neutral taste, you can simply sprinkle them on salads, oatmeal or other foods when you want to add a crunchy texture. As an alternative, you can find fiber powder at many stores. Buy the flavor-free versions that easily dissolve in water for the best versatility. This makes it easy to add small amounts of soluble fiber to sauces or uncarbonated beverages throughout the day.
Nuts have a bad reputation because they are high in fat and calorically dense for their portion size. Not all fats have a negative impact on your heart and blood vessels. Many nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats. You want to include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in your diet since they are just as important for a healthy heart. A handful of almonds or pistachios are adequate to ensure you are reaping the nutritional benefits without going overboard on calories. Be sure to purchase nuts without added salt or flavors.
Carotenoids are a group of nutrients that have antioxidant effects. Many colors of fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, but most notably, carotenoids are in orange foods. The carotenoids offer protective benefits to your heart by helping repair cell damage. Consider adding sweet potatoes to your diet at least once per week. You can mix orange and carrot juices together if you are not fond of vegetable juices. In addition to carotenoids, vitamins A and C are other nutrients commonly found in orange fruits and vegetables that have antioxidant effects.
For many people, integrating heart-healthy foods into their diet will only work if it is easy and appetizing. With many ways to improve your heart health through your diet, you are sure to find the combination of foods that works for you.
To learn more, contact a cardiology clinic like ICE, Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence.