There are many things we can do to keep healthy as we age. Exercise is essential, of course, but so is what you eat. A well-balanced diet of heart-healthy foods may reduce your risk of heart disease and help prevent other cardiac-related illnesses.
Assisted living communities like Villa De Anza offer dining options designed for each senior living resident’s health. If you live by yourself, you’ll have to make your own choices.
Know the best food for heart health and get the most out of life!
Foods for a Healthy Heart
Heart-healthy foods typically contain antioxidants, soluble fiber, and “healthy” fats. On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid trans and saturated fats, as they’re considered “unhealthy” fats. Also, cut down on foods high in sugars and sodium, as they may increase your risk of heart disease.
Whether it’s oatmeal or another meal, oats are a good protein and soluble fiber source. These nutrients keep you feeling full for longer, and soluble fiber can trap fats in your stomach and stop your body from absorbing them. By doing this, oats help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
You can’t go wrong with green tea if you’re looking for a drink full of antioxidants and an excellent way to unwind. Antioxidants affect the chemicals that cause your arteries to constrict, keeping them dilated and potentially lowering your blood pressure.
Overall, some studies have also shown that herbal teas, such as green tea, may help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Seafood lovers rejoice. Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, along with protein, vitamin D, and vitamin B. Omega-3 can lower the chance of abnormal heart rhythms and reduce inflammation.
Leafy greens are vegetables; the primary edible parts are leaves, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. Not only are they low in calories, but they’re also high in antioxidants and packed with nutrients that are good for the heart.
If you’re looking for healthy fats, avocados are a fruit high in mono and polyunsaturated fats. Together these fats reduce LPL cholesterol, sometimes called “bad” cholesterol, compared to HDL. These fats can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Avocados are also an excellent source of potassium, an essential mineral that can help control high blood pressure.
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. In particular, walnuts are high in omega-3s, which can help lower blood pressure. They can also reduce harmful cholesterol levels and keep your cells healthy due to nuts’ high amounts of monounsaturated fats.
You can also trade some of your dairy milk for almond milk, which is rich in magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E.
If you’re looking for tasty ways to get fiber and antioxidants into your diet, berries are loaded with both. Of course, you should pick the kind you like the best since it’s easier to keep up a healthy diet if you enjoy the food you’re eating, but blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all excellent choices.
If you’ve ever ordered a sandwich, you know the ever-present decision between white or whole wheat bread. But if you’re looking for a heart-healthy decision, go with whole wheat. This way, you get the entire grain, including the bran, which is high in fiber.
You can also choose other whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, and certain cereals.
Eating beans may help improve your cholesterol. Beans like kidney beans, black beans, and lentils have much more protein than expected. They’re a great source of essential minerals and fiber without any excess saturated fats you may find in animal proteins.
Making Healthy Choices
Eating right is all about getting the most out of life. It doesn’t have to involve significant changes. It’s about making little daily choices that add to a healthy lifestyle. There’s not going to be one superfood that will fix all your problems, so don’t pick foods because you feel like you have to choose the ones you enjoy.
Making dinner can be hard enough without figuring out what’s best for your heart. But it’s worth it to reduce your risk of heart disease and spend more time with the ones you love.
Villa De Anza Assisted Living in Riverside offers dining plans that are as delicious as they are healthy. We’re here to support you and your loved one’s journey, so contact us today and learn about what we can offer.