Healthy heart and a healthy mind is the most important for the body to function great. The heart is a muscular organ and has four chambers: right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle and left ventricle. It is located slightly to the left of the breast. Its main function is to provide oxygen-rich blood to all the organs in the body. Hence, it is crucial to follow a heart healthy diet and cause lesser heart risks. The heart starts beating three weeks after embryogenesis (the formation of the embryo). From then onwards it starts to pump blood to and from the parts of the body. It pumps oxygenated blood to the organs and takes de-oxygenated blood from the organs. This is done with the help of the pulmonary arteries, the pulmonary veins and the rest of the components that play a major role in the circulating system.
Thus, eating heart healthy foods is necessary as not eating right can lead to many heart diseases. Some of them are described below.
Coronary Heart Disease: This happens when cholesterol plaques are accumulated at the walls of arteries and thus narrow down the blood supply to the heart and greatly increases the chance of a blood clot that leads to a heart attack. Thus, eating healthy heart foods which are low in cholesterol is very important.
Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction: This is caused when a coronary artery gets blocked and starves the heart of oxygen that leads to part of heart muscles to die off.
Stable Angina Pectoris: When the coronary arteries get or lose their elasticity, it leads to chest pains or discomfort when body is exerted. This is due to obstruction of extra oxygen that is needed by the heart when doing strenuous exercise. Rest and a heart healthy diet plan can reduce the symptoms.
Unstable Angina Pectoris: Chest pain or discomfort that continues to worsen is an emergency situation as it can lead to a heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm or cardiac arrest.
Congestive Heart Failure: The heart in this condition is too weak to pump sufficient amount of blood and thus leads to shortness of breath and swelling of the legs. Foods good for the heart should be eaten along with treatment to overcome this.
Cardiac Arrest & Cardiac Death: Sudden loss of heart function leads to sudden death.
There are many other heart diseases but only few are mentioned to give you a clear view of what conditions can occur and the fatal consequences they have. However, prevention is better than cure so eating heart healthy diet can make you live a better and happier life.
Heart Healthy Diet To Have A Healthy Heart
Lower Your Portions
It may be a way to weight loss but also it has its positive effects on the heart. A low-calorie, nutrient-rich and low-sodium diet such as fruits and vegetables can have great heart benefits. Keeping in mind the number of servings and calorie intake should be noted. Also eating fresh meat instead of processed meats and organic vegetables are better for people with heart conditions. Thus, a healthy heart diet plan is required for patients suffering from heart conditions.
Substituting More Fish Over Meat
Having fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna etc regularly is a part of heart healthy diet. Fish is healthy and has plenty of proteins with negligible amount of fat when compared with meat. Most importantly fish have omega 3 fatty acids which are highly important for your hearth health. They help you to maintain omega 6 to omega 3 ratio by increasing omega 3 fatty acids thus helping your heart.
Eating whole grains as an alternative to refine grains and low fiber products are of great necessity. This is due to the fact because it has low cholesterol and high levels of nutrients and vitamins. Substituting whole grains like brown rice, wheat bread, barley, oatmeal, buckwheat and high fiber cereal instead of white bread, waffles, cornbread, pies, muffins, buttered popcorn and egg noodles. Researchers have also concluded that whole grains reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Healthy fats are found in olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and fish. These are considered as foods good for the heart because they contain omega 3 fatty acids which are unsaturated fats. This type of fatty acid is helpful in decreasing triglycerides and lowering cholesterol. This is due to the fact because it is rich in EPA and DHA that plays a role in replacing low density lipids with high density lipids. In this manner, it helps to reduce blood clotting and narrowing of the wall for blood flow. Whereas saturated fats like omega 6 fatty acids can obstruct blood flow and great increase the risk of heart failure and cardiac arrests. Thus, foods like butter, lard, bacon fat, margarine, cocoa butter, coconut or palm oils are highly unsuitable for a healthy heart. To increase heart health you should also concentrate on reducing your cholesterol levels and intake.
Low Fat High Protein Foods
A heart healthy diet has a need to include protein rich foods in the plan because proteins for maintaining the heart muscles and elasticity of the arteries and veins. They include meat, poultry, lentils, beans fish and peas as they are rich in proteins. However, it should be noted that low-fat proteins are good for the heart. Substituting good proteins like low fat dairy products, salmon, sardines, soy products, lean meats and eggs for high fat proteins like liver, fatty meats, and processed meats. To know more about high protein containing food you can refer below article.
Low Sodium Intake
Diabetics and people with heart problems are usually recommended to cut down on sodium. This is because sodium intake in large amounts increases blood pressure that can increase risks of heart failures and strokes. Thus, substitute with heart healthy foods like herbs and spices, salt substitutes, low-sodium food products. And avoid canned soups, tomato juice, soy sauce and table salt.
Fiber Rich Foods
Not only low fat but also high fiber foods are necessary to achieve a healthy heart. It is high in whole grains like wheat, buckwheat, barley and oats. Fiber foods are considered to be foods good for heart because they help in lowering cholesterol as well as blood pressure and thus; are thought to lower the chances of heart diseases.
Lower Sugar Intake
Researchers have suggested that sugars can increase blood pressure levels and are even comparatively likely to cause cardiovascular disease more than high-sodium intake. Thus, sugar needs to be controlled by eating fruits that give us natural sugars. Fruits which contain less fructose should be preferred over more fructose content fruits as your body metabolizes fructose differently than other sugars. Also, cakes, chocolates, candies and sodas need to be avoided.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are very essential as they have good amounts of vitamins and minerals. Eating fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables, canned fruits, low-sodium vegetables or fruits are considered the best healthy heart foods. Sugary canned or frozen fruits as well as vegetables with creamy sauces should be avoided or at least limited to a certain extent.
Work On Meal Plans
Making out a meal plan every weekend for the whole week can be the best way to start your healthy life. Try to all the vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy products and others to make your meals as wholesome as possible. This is because so that you do not deprive yourself of foods that you enjoy, instead look for healthy new recipes to try. This will make your food tasty as well as interesting.
Make sure that at least every week you give yourself that one day where you can eat a high carbohydrate diet without worrying yourself about the calories or harmful effects. This is necessary so that you don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love and crave for.
Smoking is highly injurious for your body especially lungs and heart. Many researches show that smoking affects the rhythm or your heart, blood pressure and it also contributes in atherosclerosis ie blockages in the arteries. It increases the probability of plaque formation and thus increasing your chances of having heart attack or paralysis. Many studies have also shown that after smoking your blood pressure and heart rates increase. Thus smoking is an enemy of heart.
Here also many studies have shown that drinking alcohol increases your blood pressure. It also causes stress or strain on heart leading to palpitations. It is recommended that men should have maximum of 2 drinks per day while women have 1 drink per day. People who are fat or have high tri glyceride levels should avoid alcohol more as it tends to increase its level also increase your weight especially beer.
Red Wine Is Heart Protecting
Research has shown that having red wine in limited amounts can actually be healthy for your heart. This is because of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine. It is known to increase your HDL cholesterol which is good cholesterol and decrease LDL cholesterol which is bad cholesterol, decreases blood clotting and inflammation too. It also has antioxidants such as flavonoids which are thought to be healthy for your heart. Antioxidants apart from countering free radicals and protecting you from cancer, they are known to keep your inner arterial linings healthy.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can relieve yourself from heart or health issues. Thus, a heart healthy diet helps in preventing the fatal consequences that you can face from eating unhealthy.