Eating for a Healthy Heart

These days we all need to be looking eating healthily to protect our hearts – especially as the British Nutrition Foundation is reporting unprecedented rates of obesity in the UK due to our highly calorific diet and sedentary lifestyles. So, here we present a few dietary tips to keep your heart in tip-top shape:

  • Cut cholesterol – High cholesterol is a major contributor in heart disease. Good lipoproteins – high-density lipoproteins (HDL) - help to take cholesterol to the liver to be excreted. For HDL cholesterol eat lots of fruit vegetables, pulses and switch from full-fat milk to semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, and cut down on saturated fats such as those found in red meat, hard cheeses, hydrogenated oils, full fat dairy and cream
  • Eat your greens – Research now shows that eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables raises levels of salicylic acid – a key ingredient of aspirin – which has been shown to reduce the incidence of heart attack. So drink fresh juices, add chopped fruit to your breakfast cereal, and snack on fruit and raw vegetables, such as sticks of carrot, throughout the day
  • Garlic benefits – Over 100 clinical studies into the effects of Garlic have found it to be beneficial for heart health. Recommended amount: 1 clove a day or take an odourless supplement
  • A little tipple – Drinking alcohol in moderation is good for your heart health. A glass of wine or a beer a day (but no more!) can help to reduce stress and blood pressure. Red wine also has the added benefit of containing antioxidants that help to prevent the arteries from hardening
  • Essential heart fats - the key to a healthy heart is to eat a diet low in saturated fats but rich in essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Vitamin E – an essential vitamin implicated in heart protection can be obtained by eating half an avocado a day, which also contains EFA’s. Other good sources of EFA’s are oily fish, olive and linseed oils.

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