You don’t have to do a big change in your life to improve your health. Just by doing simple changes, such as adding a few nutrient-rich foods to your regular diet, can give a big boost to your body. A healthy lifestyle that helps promote good heart health and cardiovascular function includes a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, fiber, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products as well as low-fat sources of protein. Use heart-healthy diet foods to improve your health and lifestyle.
We have all seen the “Heart Smart” symbol on packages. Just twenty-five grams of soy protein as part of a diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol reduces your risk for heart disease. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. It is an organic compound of twenty-two amino acids. Protein is stored in the muscles and organs. The body uses protein to build and repair tissues as well as for the production of enzymes and hormones. Protein makes it possible for the blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. The body needs a large amount of protein in order to function. According to research, our daily protein requirements should be ten percent to thirty-five percent of our total caloric intake, with men needing slightly more than women. A lack of protein can cause a loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, as well as a weakening of the heart and respiratory system.
Heart-healthy diet foods
When getting started on a heart-healthy diet, it is important to learn how to read labels. Be careful. Everyone seems to be trying to lure people to buy certain products by tagging it with a label like “low-fat” or something. This doesn’t mean it is heart healthy or a good choice. The product may be low in one thing but high in something else like sugar or sodium. When you are reading a label be sure to look at the serving size. You may see that a product only has two grams of saturated fat but when you look at the serving size that two grams is based on a serving size of one ounce and it is a twenty-ounce package. You can see that the two grams of saturated fat, just became 40 grams. You also want to look at the amount of sodium, the number of calories, the amount of sugar and the nutritional content. Etc.
How much sodium should you have?
It is recommended for your heart health to keep your daily sodium intake below 2000 mg. Taking in too much sodium can increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure is not good for your heart and can lead to kidney disease as well as heart disease.
Why should you watch the calories?
Being as little as 10 lbs, overweight increases your risk for heart disease so be sure to control your calorie intake. Extra weight makes your heart work harder, so maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health. When on a calorie controlled diet, your calorie intake should never be below 1200. To lose weight all you need to do is to reduce the number of calories you burn daily by 200 calories and adjust your caloric intake to reflect this number.
Protein is not the only thing we need for good heart health
We need a complete balance of vitamins and minerals. Getting all the vitamins and nutrients we need is impossible with diet alone, and it can be frustrating. Too many calories, too much sugar, too much sodium etc. Stick it out. It is important to your good health and it gets easier. There are many foods to choose from and you will eventually be able to develop meals and snacks that are not only heart-healthy but that you like. You will get the most nutrients from fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, so try to stick to the outside aisles of the grocery store. Whole grains are also important. Get as many nutrients as you can from fresh foods. Supplement the rest with a good nutritional program that provides cellular nutrition. Cellular nutrition provides the right balance of vitamins and minerals at optimal levels to ensure your body is getting all the nutrient it needs at the cellular level.
Here are some ingredients to help you develop a heart-healthy diet. Included in the ingredient list, are some foods that you may find these ingredients in, plus the benefits these ingredients have for your heart health and cardiovascular system. Use this list to determine what heart-healthy foods will be beneficial to you. If you are already consuming these foods and have had blood tests that suggest elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, or other heart disease-related scores, you may need to be taking in these ingredients at more optimal levels or include some supplements in your heart-healthy diet to get your numbers at a healthier level. However, it is important to discuss any supplements you take with your doctor if you are on medication for anything.
Astaxanthin: This protects the heart and other organs of the body. (Food source: salmon, rainbow trout, shrimp, lobster)
Alpha Lipoic Acid: Assist in dilation or expansion of vessels, required for energy production. (food source: beef kidney, beef liver, beef heart, spinach, broccoli)
Folic Acid: Protects the vascular system (food source: Asparagus, broccoli, avocados, brussels sprouts, orange juice, spinach, fortified cereals)
L-Citrulline: Supports the production of L-Arginine (melons, fish, meat, poultry, dairy)
L-Taurine: Supports energy. (organ meats, fish, oysters)
Neptune Krill Oil: Provides heart-healthy compounds: Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants for enhanced nutrient absorption and antioxidant protection.
Omega-3 fatty acids: help maintain the healthy cardiovascular system by maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within normal range. (Salmon and other fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts)
Quercetin: Antioxidant that protects cells. (Cabbage, cranberries, kale, pears grapes, apples)
Plant Sterols: Shown to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol by blocking cholesterol absorption. (Whole soybeans, whole grains, healthy vegetable oils (except soy).
Vitamin A (beta-carotene): Antioxidant that protects the heart and other organs. (Deep green or deep yellow vegetables, carrots, spinach, kale, cantaloupe, apricots)
Vitamin C: Antioxidant that protects the heart and other organs. (Papaya, red bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, strawberries, oranges)
Vitamin E: Antioxidant that protects the heart and other organs, supports circulation and strengthens blood vessels, (Wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower oil, hazelnuts)
Vitamin B-6: (Fortified cereals, beans, meat, poultry, fish, bananas, garbanzo beans)
Vitamin B-12: (Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products)
Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, proper diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise, can prevent heart disease, Don’t let it happen to you. These heart-healthy diet foods should be your guide for your success.
Delores Powell: My passion is all about Health and Wellness, Success and to help others to succeed as well. Learn how to start a successful online business. Just click here!