12 Simple steps towards a healthier heart


Modified from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/12-Steps-towards-a-healthier-heart/articleshow/12455984.cms

Heart diseases as we all know are the number 1 killer in the world, claiming moiré than 17 million lives every year. The cause of the increase in this number can be attributed to various reasons including lifestyle and lack of any physical activities in addition to the increased stress that we are subjected to.

The good news is that most heart diseases can be prevented by making healthy lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, being more active and stopping smoking.

Here’s a list of heart healthy foods that you should include in your regular diet plan.

Oatmeal: Commonly had in the form of porridge, a bowl of oatmeal in the morning can fuel you with much needed omega-3-fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, calcium and soluble fibre.

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Nuts: Nuts like walnuts and almonds provide essential nutrients like plant omega-3-fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, fibre, phytosterols and mono and polyunsaturated fats. To gain the most from nuts, you can mix it with a bowl of fruit salad or yogurt.

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Flaxseeds: Another rich source of omega-3-fatty acids, fibre and phytoestrogens. Just sprinkle a little ground flaxseed  on your salad or your bowl of cereal every morning.

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Vegetables: Veggies like broccoli and carrots supply us with alpha-carotene (a carotenoid), fibre, potassium, calcium and vitamins C and E. Perk up your daily soup or salad with some shredded carrots and broccoli.

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Red wine: This should not be viewed as a reason for anyone to take up drinking. But a glass of red wine, which contains catechins and reservatol helps reduce your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increase your good cholesterol levels (HDL), thus keeping your heart upbeat.

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T-factor: A lot of individuals seem to write off canned goods believing that they are never good for you. Not necessarily. Some canned products like tuna or tofu are useful in providing nutrients like omega-3-fatty acids, folate and niacin. You can grill them or mix them with your salad, but make sure you don’t skip these necessary nutrients.

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Oranges: A fruit that is present on diet chart of almost every health conscious individual, and for good reason. The citrus fruit is a rich source of vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin B6.

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Sweet potato: Many may find it hard to believe, but sweet potatoes are recommended by many health experts for their richness in beta-carotene, vitamins A, C and E and fibre.

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Spinach:The secret to Popeye the sailor’s super-strength. Used in salads, soups and sandwiches, it is a rich source of lutein (a carotenoid), B-complex vitamins, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium and fibre.

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Papaya: Another fruit well-known among the health conscious population. Papayas are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

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Tomatoes: Commonly seen in all kitchens, tomatoes can provide you with beta and alpha-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fibre.

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Chocolate: Dark chocolate to be more precise. Advised by many as something to be avoided for good health, dark chocolate is actually a rich source of reservatol and flavonoids, both of which are extremely good for your heart.

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All these food products are loaded with nutrients that are good for your heart health, which is why they should have a place in your regular diet chart.

For more diet tips and to consult with one of our expert dieticians, you can call +91 99201 5500 or you can also visit www.asianheartinstitute.org

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