Here are the top 10 tips for a healthy ticker:
1. They are filled with fiber. Not only does fiber help lower levels of LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”), can help control weight. Being overweight increases the risk of heart failure by a third, while obesity doubles. While two-thirds of Americans are too heavy, only half get enough fiber. The main sources include oats, beans, raspberries, blackberries, oranges and green peas.
2. Mad. I did when I found out that 99 percent of women and 90 percent of men do not have enough potassium in your diet. Responsible for regulating the fluid balance in the cells, potassium also mitigates the effects of excess sodium. Excess sodium and potassium, too little is a recipe for high blood pressure. Achieving a healthy balance by reducing salt intake and increasing potassium intake with bananas, potatoes, broccoli and kiwi.
3. Saying “no” to extra cup of coffee. Four or more cups of tea a day may increase blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Drinking more than two cups of coffee a day can harden the arteries and contribute to arteriosclerosis. Jump to Tea, its heart-healthy benefits include lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
4. “Beet” heart disease. Beets contain the antioxidant betanin, which can help keep LDL cholesterol from clogging your arteries, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In addition, the potato is a good source of folic acid, which helps break down homocysteine the heart hurtin ‘. The main sources of folic acid include spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce and papaya.
5. Become a better listener. University of Baltimore researchers found that people with “dominant personalities” had a 47 percent higher risk of heart disease compared with patients, peers liabilities. So how do you know if you’re “dominant”? Another study identified several markers – including the tendency to interrupt!
6. The “L” word in your heart really longs for: lycopene. This heart-healthy phytonutrients – found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit – may lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Harvard researchers found that eating seven or more servings of tomatoes a week can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent.
7. Choose healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts) – when used in place of saturated fats (butter, bacon and beef), help reduce cholesterol. Another healthy fat – omega-3 – helps reduce inflammation. Omega-3 includes salmon, walnuts and flax seeds.
8. Do not turn breakfast in holiday break. While skipping breakfast actually lowers your metabolism, going overboard is no better. A new study conducted at the University of Buffalo, found that big fatty breakfasts trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals associated with clogged arteries. So jump into the pile of cakes and opt for a strawberry-banana smoothie.
9. Ode to soy. Twenty-five grams of soy protein a day may help lower cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. Other soy-heart-healthy nutrients include folic acid and magnesium (which helps maintain normal blood pressure). Soymilk, edamame, tofu and soy nuts are just some of the many ways to enjoy soy.
10. Go to a raise. In HDL cholesterol, that is. Higher levels of this “good” cholesterol can be almost as important as low levels of LDL cholesterol to keep cardiovascular disease at bay. Besides exercising, quitting smoking and limiting Tran’s fats, a University of Scranton study found that cranberry juice may help increase HDL levels. Jennifer Grossman is the director of the Dole Nutrition Institute.