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5 Foods That Promote and Improve Heart Health

October 26th, 2021

Eating a healthy diet that is well balanced is essential for maintaining good health. As we age, it’s even more important to keep track of what we eat. Healthy eating can prevent serious conditions like heart disease. Interested in trying some new healthy heart foods? Take a look at the top 5 foods you should try that are good for your overall health and your heart.

Best Foods For Heart Health 

The key to eating healthy is to have a well-balanced diet. This means pairing good sources of protein such as meat, fish, or beans with starchy carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, as well as adding a good portion of fruit and vegetables. Let’s take a look at some other foods that are good for heart health.

1. Leafy green vegetables 

Leafy, green vegetables are all packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. They are often packed full of vitamin C, vitamin A and iron. There’s no better way to nourish your body than by adding some leafy greens to your diet. Simply enjoy some greens with your evening meal and you’ll hit your daily target. 

Try adding the following greens to your next meal: 

  • Cabbage 
  • Sprouts 
  • Spinach 
  • Broccoli
  • Kale  
  • Lettuce 

2. Wholegrains such as bread, pasta, and rice

Many people think carbohydrates are bad for you, but this isn’t the case. We all need a good amount of healthy carbs each day in order to maintain energy levels, the specific amount will vary depending on our weight. 

Fibre promotes good bowel health and some forms of fibre have been shown to decrease cholesterol levels. Starchy carbohydrates are the best choices as they are high in fibre and release glucose into the blood slower than high sugar food and drinks. Avoid foods such as:

  • Chocolate
  • Cake
  • Biscuits
  • Pastries and cookies 
  • Pies 

Some good, healthy options include: 

  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Pasta  
  • Quinoa 
  • Barley 
  • Oatmeal 

3. Fruit

We all know that getting our five a day is important to our health. Just like consuming wholegrains, eating fruit adds to our fibre intake. Berries are particularly good for promoting heart health. Research shows that regularly eating berries can reduce several risk factors for heart disease. For example, berries make the perfect quick snack on their own or can be added with flavoured yoghurt for a quick, wholesome dessert.

Next time you’re peckish try a handful of: 

  • Raspberries 
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries 
  • Blackberries 

4. Fatty fish 

Good fats such as omega 3s are beneficial for our health. According to the NHS website, we should have two portions of fatty fish each week. This means eating fish like salmon or mackerel. Fatty or oily fish like this is really rich in omega 3s, which is proven to be healthy for heart health. Remember, opt for baked, steamed, or grilled fish. Regularly eating fried fish is bad for our health due to the saturated fat. 

5. Nuts and seeds 

Nuts and seeds are so healthy because they contain unsaturated fats and omega 3s. Research shows that consuming nuts massively improve the lining of your arteries, lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease, and prevent the development of blood clots.

Despite nuts and seeds being healthy, they are about 80% fat, which amounts to a lot of calories. Try to have a handful of unsalted nuts a day, almonds, cashews, and walnuts are all good options.

Remember to enjoy your favourite treats 

It’s good to remember to think of your long-term eating habits, rather than a diet. This means that we need to allow ourselves to have treats now and then. Maybe you love a nice slice of cake, or you enjoy cheese. Eating this sort of food is good for us in moderation and will ensure we continue to enjoy ourselves.

Hydration is important for our health

Let’s not forget fluids. Many of us often underestimate the importance of intaking a good amount of water each day. Aim to have about 6 glasses of water each day. One of our top tips is to have a glass of water with each meal in order to intake enough fluids. Remember though, this doesn’t have to be just water. Fluids like milk, soup, and fruit juice all count towards our fluid intake. 

Foods To Avoid Or Cut Down When Looking After Heart Health 

We know that everything is good in moderation. However, regularly consuming processed foods, foods high in saturated fat, and alcohol is detrimental to your health. These types of food often increase our cholesterol and blood pressure, and when consumed frequently, can impact heart health. As research shows, diet is a crucial factor in coronary heart disease.

Some foods to avoid when looking after your heart health include: 

  • Sugary and fizzy drinks 
  • Deep fried foods 
  • Processed foods such as: microwave meals, sausages, and bacon 
  • Chocolate and biscuits 

Overall Benefits of Eating Healthy 

Finding a good balance between enjoying food and eating healthy can sometimes be tough. However, as we now know, it really isn’t as hard as it first seems. Here are some wonderful benefits of eating healthy that you can expect if you ditch the bad foods.

The right vitamins and minerals improve your immune system 

Our immune system needs healthy, nutritious food in order to work effectively and protect us against viruses and infections. This means eating food rich in Zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. Especially as the colder seasons creep up on us, it is so important to maintain healthy eating habits to give our bodies the best chance of fighting them off. 

Reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions

Research shows that healthy eating can prevent up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke diagnoses. Making different lifestyle choices, such as increasing physical activity and making sure to eat healthy is as simple as it gets. The foods we put into our bodies can reduce our blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

You will feel healthier and more energised 

The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is very literally true, so it’s no surprise that fuelling your body with good, nutritious foods will result in higher energy levels. Eating healthier for a long period of time will drastically improve your energy levels and keep you more active mentally and physically.

We Champion Healthy Eating At New Care 

We are dedicated to ensuring all of our residents have the happiest and healthiest lifestyle possible. We work with healthcare professionals in order to make sure individual dietary requirements are met. We cater for residents with a range of health conditions and intolerances that require a carefully considered diet. A healthy diet also needs to be coupled with light exercise or movement, which is equally important to us at New Care.

If you’d like more information about our care services and how we contribute to the health and wellbeing of our residents, please feel free to contact us for more information. We would be delighted to speak with you!