A spectrum of diseases comes under the umbrella name of ‘Cardiovascular disease’. Some of them are lifestyle induced diseases like Atherosclerosis, stroke or cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure and deep venous thrombosis while some others are congenital or caused by some other kind of infection.
While much cannot be done when the disease is due to some congenital defect or infection, but certainly eating a well balanced diet can help you revert or control lifestyle induced diseases and, to a great extent can prevent infection induced diseases also.
Here, we will discuss about those foods which are good for our cardiovascular health and help us stay fit and healthy.
Diet Remedy For Cardiovascular Diseases:
Largely speaking, we can safely say that following the food pyramid is the right way to ensure a healthy heart and overall fit body. A food pyramid consists of 6-11 servings of whole grains, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-3 servings from fruits group, 2-3 servings of dairy products, 2-3 servings of protein rich foods like eggs, meat, beans, etc. and fats, sweets and oils in very small quantities.
If you love to unwind after a hectic day with a glass of your favorite drink, then it is time to reconsider about this habit. Drinking alcohol on regular basis or more than recommended amount, can inflict serious damage to your cardiovascular health and other vital body parts like liver.
Alcohol is high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Men who choose to drink daily, should not exceed more than 3-4 drinks a day and women should not exceed 2-3 drinks a day. If you drink on daily basis, then try to cut it down a bit and keep two days in a week absolutely alcohol free.
Limiting your salt intake is very important as eating too much salt leads to high blood pressure, which further can lead to coronary artery disease. In fact, reducing salt in your diet can become a major step towards heart- friendly diet.
The American Heart association recommends one teaspoon of salt a day for average adults. You can reduce the intake by limiting canned and processed foods in your diet, cooking at home and substituting salt with spices and condiments.
Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. Though phytonutrients do not have nutritive value but they are essential for maintaining cardiovascular health as they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Fruits and vegetables are filling and yet low in calories and fat. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Choose variety of colors. It will help you get all the nutrients and phytonutrients available in different types of fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, whole cornmeal and bulgur are great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber which may help in regulating the blood pressure and sugar levels in the blood, and help in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Whole grains contain many nutrients which are good for cardiovascular health.
For example, B group of vitamins play a key role in body metabolism, iron plays a crucial role in carrying oxygen to the blood, magnesium helps in building bones and releasing energy from body muscles and selenium helps in maintaining healthy immune system. Include a variety of whole grains for reaping maximum health benefits.
Choose Your Fats Wisely
For a happy heart and healthy cardiovascular system, choose monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Examples include olive oil, fish, flaxseed, canola oil, oily fish like mackerel, tuna, sardines, etc.
Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. Examples include butter, chips, cookies, red meat, eggs, fried and processed foods, etc.