There are things you can do to keep your heart healthy and happy.
WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY
- To be heart healthy you must get involved in regular physical activity. To do something you enjoy like gardening, dancing, walking the dog, means greater chance of sticking with it and therefore continuing to keep your heart healthy well into your twilight years.
- If you smoke, don’t. Easier said than done, perhaps, but make the effort – work out a strategy to quit by involving the support of a medical professional and loved ones to help you you on track to kicking the habit and looking after your health and your heart.
- Focus on a diet that your body deserves. Yes diet – this means the good stuff that nourishes your body like a balance of plant foods and meat and dairy, not the stuff your brain’s reward centre says you want like sugary drinks and biscuits that provide no nutrient value.
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT DIET AND GETTING YOUR HEART HEALTHY …
So what is a Heart Healthy diet? It is a simple diet conducive to general health and wellbeing that incorporates real wholesome foods in your diet. Start with these simple strategies:
- Aim to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods every day. What does this mean? Foods that have high amounts of nutrients in them like vitamins (e.g. vitamin A, B, C, D, K) and minerals (e.g. iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium etc). You’ll find these in plant foods, dairy and whole meat products.
- Eat a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables daily
- Go for the wholegrain cereals and grains rather than refined flour and processed baked products (you know the ones – you recognise none of the ingredients in the ingredients list)
- Choose low or reduced fat dairy products
- Choose unsaturated plant oils in place of butter when preparing foods
- Opt for nuts and seeds for snacks rather than snacks lacking a nutrient punch
- Remove fat from meat and take the skin off poultry to reduce saturated fat
DID YOU KNOW UNSATURATED FATS HELP KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY?
It seems a useful strategy to reduce the risk of heart disease is to opt for plant oils high in polyunsaturated fats rather than butter which is predominantly saturated fat. Currently New Zealanders eat too much saturated fat. By reducing your saturated fat intake and replacing it with unsaturated fats, in particular polyunsaturated fats you will reduce the risk of Heart disease.
TAKE ACTION TO GET HEART HEALTHY …
A fantastic addition to your diet would be hemp seed oil which contains a whopping 75% polyunsaturated fat. Just make sure you look after your oil just like your heart. Due to that content of polyunsaturated fat these oils are unstable at high temperatures so drizzle them on bread, add to mash potatoes, and get creative with salad dressings.
AND LASTLY, HERE’S A SIMPLE HEART HEALTHY RECIPE USING Hempseed oil
Measure 2 parts acid e.g. lemon or vinegar with 1 part hemp seed oil, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over a mix of salad leaves and tomatoes. Serve with a healthy portion of lean protein.