Although February is almost over, it is American Heart Month, a month when many organizations stress the importance of proper diet, exercise, and nutrition to help keep our hearts healthier even as we age. At Care Indeed, our San Jose in home care providers want to share some information about the foods that all of us, not only those who are aging, should be eating in order to maintain a strong, healthy heart!
Here are a few foods that are proven to be heart-healthy.
Dark chocolate – rich in flavanols, benefiting cardiovascular health.
Apples – the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be true. Apples contain pectin which helps lower cholesterol, and antioxidant flavanoid compounds that also reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Bananas – rich in potassium, bananas help regulate blood pressure, balance sodium and water in the body, and maintain normal heart function. Potassium is essential in the body; a single banana contains approximately 12% of the daily requirement.
Salmon and other “oily” fish – you’ve no doubt heard of Omega 3 fatty acids, the “good” fat found in many foods. Salmon and other types of fish contain these fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of blood clots due to their ability to lower triglyceride levels.
Beans – pinto, white, red, kidney, beans are good for the heart! Most beans contain flavonoids, which helps reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack as these compounds prevent the adhesion of platelets in the blood. Beans also help block the absorption of cholesterol, as soluble fiber binds the cholesterol so it is eliminated from the body.
Whole grains – whole grain foods are packed full of fiber, which helps lower the risk of heart disease. Eating whole grains helps protect against coronary disease as these foods contain phytosterols, phytoestrogens, and antioxidants.
Nuts, berries, tomatoes, and pomegranates are other “heart healthy” foods, so make sure your diet contains plenty of these foods! If you are a caregiver for an aging or disabled family member, be sure their diet contains plenty of these healthy choices as well.
Need help with caring for an aging loved one? At Care Indeed, we provide in home, live in, medical companion services, transportation, and other care for aging seniors in the San Jose and surrounding areas.