MAINTAINING HEART HEALTH
MAINTAINING HEART HEALTH
Your heart is at the centre of all activity within your body. Therefore, maintaining optimal heart health is essential for performance…and life! Happy ticker = happy you.
To keep your heart working at its best, you need to follow a heart-healthy diet. Choose whole foods and avoid processed foods or those high in salt, trans fats, saturated fat and added sugars.
Here are the top foods to keep your heart ticking as it should –
1. Salmon – rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, which your body needs to function correctly. There is a well-established link between omega-3 fatty acids and heart disease. Research suggests they can decrease the rate of plaque build-up in your arteries which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Eating salmon can also help to decrease your cholesterol levels, by decreasing triglyceride levels in your blood. This in turn decreases the risk of heart disease.
2. Walnuts – made up of a large amount of ‘good’ fats. Walnuts are one of the only sources of alpha-linoleic acid (a different type of omega-3 fatty acid). Walnuts have been linked to reducing the formation of blood clots, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Nuts also contain fibre, which helps to lower cholesterol, and vitamin E which can prevent the build-up of plaque in your arteries.
3. Oats – are full of essential vitamins and minerals, making them extremely nutrient-dense. Oats contain huge amounts of a type of soluble fibre called beta- glucan. They promote good heart health by reducing levels of total cholesterol, as well as the pesky ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol. Oats also contain high levels of folic acid. Folic acid supplementation has been found to reduce levels of homocysteine – an amino acid which has been associated with the hardening / thickening of arteries and subsequent heart disease.
4. Berries – not only are they a tasty addition to your breakfast or a good mid-afternoon snack, they’re also a great for your heart health. Studies have found berry eaters had higher levels of ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol, which is associated with decreased risk of heart disease. Berries are also rich in polyphenols which protect the body from harm (including heart disease) caused by free radicals.
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