This blog post has been inspired by a very good friend of mine who recently had a heart attack.
In researching this post, I have found a host of information with tells me that if you include these foods in your diet, it will really help to reduce your risk of heart issues. Here is my list of foods to eat, as well as a supplement which might help matters.
High fibre foods keep cholesterol levels in check. So, this means that bowl of All-Bran in the morning is a good thing (despite tasting like twigs) but you can also have barley, oats, brown rice, lentils and beans. I love all those things. You can also add bran to your baking, if you like making breakfast muffins for example.
Olive oil is always trotted out as being heart healthy, and it is, because it is a source of mono-unsaturated fats. Obviously you need to be moderate in your use of it. Good fat is still fat.
Apparently, 2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter will provide you with a third of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E intake. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, and has been indicated as important in heart health. Again, be moderate with Peanut Butter, because it is calorie heavy. Other nuts are healthy too. Pecans, a personal favourite of mine, are high in Magnesium which is great for the heart. One ounce of pecans drizzled over a spinach salad can deliver a third of your daily requirement of the mineral, and taste fantastic okay.
Whole-wheat bread is a no-brainer. 1 slice has 11 mcg of selenium. Selenium is an important anti-oxidant which works with vitamin E to protect your heart.
How about a glass of wine? Yup. A 5 oz glass of red wine each evening is great for your heart. But no more. I don’t know about you, but I find it tricky to stop at just one glass of a nice red wine. I usually try and find heart health somewhere else. Apparently a 1.5 oz glass of Whisky offers the same effect.
Again, it turns out that your Mother was right. Eat your Broccoli! It has Calcium in it. Also Kale, figs, pinto beans and okra are great calcium sources, without the dairy fats we are all used to hearing about. Turns out Popeye was onto something as well. Spinach is a great source of Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid and all these help prevent heart disease. Plus, if you replace boring old lettuce with spinach in your salads, they taste so much more interesting. Sweet potatoes are great too because they have lots of Vitamin A in them. Let’s not forget about fruit though. Strawberries are full of Vitamin C, are a great source of fibre and potassium which are all important for heart health.
Eat chicken and salmon. 3 ounces of chicken provides a third of your daily requirement of Vitamin B6, and Salmon is loaded with those Omega 3 fatty acids. They lower your triglycerides and reduce blood clots that could block the arteries. In addition, it has Vitamin B12 in it too. Oh, and it tastes good too!
Garlic has been used for years and years. Turns out it is chock full of antioxidants, and it is also a mild anti-coagulant. You need to a couple of years of eating garlic daily to get the heart benefits from it, but on the upside, you shouldn’t be bothered by vampires!
The supplement which is recommended is Co-enzyme Q10. It apparently re-energises your heart cells. In trials it has also been shown to block the process which creates plaque build up in the arteries and helps to lower blood pressure. When I take it, I get an upsurge in energy too.
The most obvious advice is, don’t smoke, do exercise, watch your weight and eat a healthy diet.
And to my friend? Get better soon!