The heart is the most important organ in our body, and we should always treat it as such by feeding it healthy foods to keep it beating and to keep our arteries clear. Cultivating healthy eating habits is paramount to keeping an array of diseases at bay and while we should start as early as possible, it’s never too late to begin incorporating heart-healthy foods into your loved one’s diet.
It should come as no surprise that vegetables are on this list. Vegetables boast a load of different benefits, but in this case, colorful vegetables are high in fiber and carotenoids. Carotenoids are what give vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and peppers their color and are filled with antioxidants that help enhance our immune system.
The obvious next step is fruits. Another great source of antioxidants, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins that are necessary for the body and immune system. Fruits like oranges and cantaloupes have high levels of beta-carotene and potassium. Berries are also a rich source of antioxidants.
Finally, a dessert that is good for us! Dark chocolate that is over 70% cocoa is filled with resveratrol and cocoa phenols that help lower blood pressure and consist of flavonoids which are antioxidants. Dark chocolate is a great alternative to regular chocolate and can help curb cravings without feeling guilty afterward.
A favorite option for breakfast, oatmeal also has a lot of heart-health benefits. It helps lower cholesterol as it is filled with soluble fiber, and it also keeps you feeling full for longer periods so you can avoid snacking through the day. However, if your loved one is gluten intolerant, make sure to check the label before purchasing as not all oatmeal is gluten-free.
Salmon and tuna contain high amounts of omega3 which decreases the risk of abnormal heartbeats and promote a better flow of blood through the arteries.
Just like dark chocolate, red wine is a very welcomed addition to this list. People who drink red wine in moderation have been shown to have lowered their risk of heart disease as it contains antioxidants in the wine that protect against the buildup of cholesterol. However, your loved one is not advised to start drinking just for the benefits of red wine, this is mainly for people that already enjoy a glass of red wine with their dinners or occasionally. Remember, everything in moderation is key.
If alcohol is not your loved one’s cup of tea, green tea might be. Filled with antioxidants that keep the arteries flexible, green tea has long been known for its chockfull of health benefits. It prevents plaque buildup, and it has been proven that even after one cup of green tea, our blood vessel function starts improving immediately.
Nuts and Grains
Nuts and whole grains promote good heart health. Nuts like almonds and walnuts contain fatty omega-3 acids. While whole grains are great at lowering blood sugar levels and controlling cholesterol.
Eating well is not the only thing your loved one needs to do to keep the heart healthy, aerobic exercises like running, walking, swimming, and tennis should also be done in tandem with eating healthy to boost heart health. At TerraBella Little Avenue, our Sensations Dining program provides fresh and nutritious meals in a restaurant-style setting. Feel free to contact us today to find out more about our community.