It’s hard to believe heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, especially with all we know about preventing this silent killer. The most important component in your prevention arsenal is a heart healthy diet. “Rather than getting really specific with a diet, I find it is easier to look at the big picture and eat as healthy as possible,” says Dr. Zachary Langgle, Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Forest Park. Here are Dr. Zach’s dietary recommendations for a happy, healthy heart.
Juicing Veggies and Fruits
Juicing is an ideal form of nutrition because it starts with eating large quantities of raw food. This means the body receives maximum amounts of nutrients consumed with minimal calories. “I recommend juicing to all of my patients,” says Dr. Zach. “Juicing vegetables and fruits makes it much easier to consume ideal quantities of them throughout the day, while allowing your body to extract and utilize the most nutrients.”
Other heart healthy foods to consider:Raisins
These petite bites help prevent inflammation and gum disease, two factors that contribute to heart disease. Kids love them because they have just enough sweetness and a meaty texture many people crave in a snack. Grab a handful of organic raisins next time you need an afternoon pick-me-up.Fish
Studies show that adding fish to your diet twice a week or more can lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent, due to the good work done by a fatty acid called Omega-3. Omega-3’s prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and prevent irregular heartbeat. But keep in mind, not all fish are created equal. Where your fish comes from is important, too. Fish caught in cold waters, such as salmon from Alaska, have much lower levels of dangerous mercury than those from warm waters, like catfish or tilapia.Walnuts
The walnut, a funny looking, flavorful nut, delivers a powerful blow to heart disease. A recent study performed at Penn State University showed the oil found in walnuts fortifies the strength and function of blood vessels, an important factor in preventing heart disease. Snack on them between meals, add them to healthy salads and sprinkle them into your morning oatmeal.Avoid Salt
Salt can be tough on your ticker as it increases blood pressure. In fact, a recent Harvard study blames one of every ten American deaths on salt. Dr. Zach recommends avoiding canned and processed foods, which both have added salt. Preparing meals at home is great way to control the quality of your ingredients and keep sodium intake down.Make a Plan
We understand that not everyone can just hop into the kitchen and prepare a healthy, delicious meal after a long day at work. That’s where meal planning comes in. Sitting down for a few minutes to plan out the meals for your day or week will save you money at the grocery store and ensure you’re making meals that are good for everyone’s heart.