When you’re paying attention to good nutrition, it’s easy to spend a lot of time focusing on what not to eat – all the stuff that clogs your arteries and expands your waistline. Now’s a good time to look at the things that you should eat and the things you can do to keep your arteries healthy, and to fully understand why paying attention to arterial health is important.
Some foods pack more punch than others. Here are five foods that have a lot of disease-fighting power, and it’s a good idea to regularly make room for them in your meals. If you would like more helpful healthy living and nutrition articles to keep you on track with proper arterial health, visit the Life Line Screening Blog.
The Five Superfoods:
Salmon. As far as seafood goes, this delicious fish is one of your best food sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your heart rate steady, lower your triglycerides – a type of blood fat — and slow the growth of atherosclerotic plaque. You can bake it, broil it, roast it, poach it, or enjoy it smoked or in sushi. The FDA recommends that people eat up to 12 ounces of fish weekly.
Broccoli. It may not rank as the favorite food of kids, but as an adult you can probably appreciate the health benefits that broccoli offers. Its mildly bitter taste comes from chemicals it contains that may provide cancer protection. Experts think anti-cancer substances in the green veggies may act as antioxidants or encourage enzymes that detoxify harmful chemicals in your body, according to the American Cancer Society. Since cooking may destroy some of the helpful compounds, cook it as lightly as possible.
Almonds. These tasty nuts are a good source of fiber and the antioxidant vitamin E, and the fat they contain is mostly monounsaturated, which is considered a “good” type of fat that can help lower your cholesterol. They may also help control blood sugar and insulin levels. Research has shown that eating 2 ounces of almonds daily for 10 weeks didn’t cause people to gain weight. A daily serving size is the amount that you can fit into two sections of an ice-cube tray, suggests the American Dietetic Association.
Blueberries. These vivid little orbs are chock-full of antioxidants, which can help lower your risk of heart disease and cancer by neutralizing free radicals, rogue oxygen molecules that can contribute to atherosclerosis and damage your DNA.
Green tea. This drink contains chemicals called polyphenols, which act as antioxidants. One of these, called EGCG, may encourage cancer cells to die, though more research is needed to show whether drinking green tea can reduce your risk of cancer. However, it may also help control your blood sugar and lower your cholesterol. All these add up to plenty of good reasons to switch some of your daily servings of soda with green tea. Drink it iced or hot. It is delicious either way.
More healthy advice:
Another key activity to cardiovascular health – consider getting screened. Vascular screenings can visualize the inside of your arteries and see if dangerous fatty plaque is building up. Key health screenings include tests that look at the arteries of your neck and the arteries of your legs. Blockages in the neck arteries, called the carotid arteries, are a leading risk factor for stroke. A blockage in the legs is called Peripheral Arterial Disease and is linked to a six-fold increase in stroke and heart attack. Finding these silent conditions early can help you and your doctor take preventive action before a serious health event occurs. For more information on vascular screening, call (866) 346-5433.
Provided By: ARA