Coronary heart illness is America’s top cause of death and therefore, it is important that we should avoid factors that can cause heart problems. Health professionals including licensed nutritionists recommend to get enough heart-friendly vitamins and minerals, as well as a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Laura Ginesi, a Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University, recommends a healthy diet with vegetables and fruits, and food sources that are low in saturated fats. This will aid in minimizing risks of heart diseases. She said, “This diet provides the range of vitamins and minerals needed for cardiac muscle to function at its best.”
#Magnesium and Potassium
Magnesium and potassium help our heart beat regularly. Lack of magnesium and potassium may result to irregular heart beat. Magnesium and potassium are found in dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, beans and seeds, whole grains, fish, bananas, yogurt, dark chocolates, and the likes. However, eating too much magnesium can cause diarrhea because our body will try to release the excess. Health professionals recommend 400 mg current daily value for magnesium.
By now, we know that high cholesterol is harmful for our heart and contributes to severe heart diseases. It is recommended that we make sure our diet contains plant sterols that aid in reducing our cholesterol levels. University of Pavia in Italy conducted a study and documented that there is a significant 9.4 percent reduced cholesterol for those who took plant sterol supplement with their meals.
These plant sterols are found in small amount in foods including fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. It is also hard to get the recommended daily amount of sterols from the foods that we eat everyday. Many food manufacturers have started to fortify some basic foods with plant sterols such as energy bars, orange juice, cookies, margarine, and yogurt. The American Heart Association prescribes fortified foods with caution. These fortified foods are highly recommended for individuals with high cholesterol levels and must not be taken by those with normal cholesterol levels. Consult with your healthcare provider or physician about these recommendations.
#Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels. These two can severely cause heart diseases. A research conduction in Japan showed a substantial relationship between heart problems and omega-3 fatty acids. The research involved giving 239 patients with coronary artery problems omega-3 fatty acids. Fish such as salmon and tuna are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as tofu and walnuts.
“A moderate amount of omega 3 fatty acids reduces the risk of abnormal heart patterns, while excessive amounts may increase risk of arrhythmia [abnormal heart patterns] called atrial fibrillation. The recommendations are for two servings of oily fish each week,” Dr. Ginesi recommended.
Chromium is defined as a vital trace mineral that can aid improve our insulin sensitivity, augment protein, carbohydrates, and lipid metabolism. Take note that we need chromium in very small amount. Downside is that there is a limited information about the precise daily requirement for chromium because many studies have conflicting issues.
Latest recommendations include chromium picolinate supplements may benefit some people but health professionals recommend heart-friendly diet instead of relying on supplements to get chromium.
Many studies claim that Vitamin D (with exercise) can aid in regulating blood pressure and controlling glucose. Although sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D, we can also get it from eggs, fortified cereals and spreads, as well as in supplements.
Restricting salt intake helps reduce risks of heart problems. Research shows that there is about one in three adults experience high blood pressure which is linked to high risks of heart ailments, kidney failure, and stroke. “A high sodium level is considered to contribute to the development of high blood pressure so people should be eating less salt to reduce the risk of heart disease,” Dr. Ginesi said.
#Keeping Alcohol Intake within the Government Guidelines
Have at least two successive days in a week free from alcohol intake. Some health experts recommend a glass of red wine(Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo, and Malbec). They are believed to be rich in protective polyphenols.
#Knowing your numbers
Important numbers such as weight, cholesterol levels and blood fats, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. If you are overweight or obese, consult immediately with your health provider or doctor how you can handle your risks.
Have at least 30 minutes of exercise in most days. It should be the kind of exercise that can raise your heart rate. It does not have to be in gym or expensive. Jogging or walking are enough. Consult with your doctor about the exercises that you can handle.
Also read our article about some foods that can make you gain weight.