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We have always heard that we are what we eat. So the foods we eat can affect our weight, hormones, and the health of various organs, including our heart. Eating a healthy and balanced meal will help us reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Coronary arteries are the main blood vessels that supply our heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients. A person faces coronary artery disease (CAD) when those arteries are damaged or diseased.
When plaque or cholesterol or fatty deposits build up in our arteries, the condition is known as atherosclerosis, which is commonly known as hardening of the arteries. This plaque is the number one reason you are at risk for coronary artery disease.
As plaque builds up, the coronary arteries narrow, blocking or slowing the flow of blood and oxygen, which is necessary for proper heart function. This decreased blood flow can cause chest pain, also known medically as “angina”. Other symptoms observed include shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, and an irregular heartbeat.
The disease is multifactorial and the main risk factors are tobacco or smoking, diabetes, a familial tendency to develop the condition, high blood pressure, and abnormally high blood cholesterol.
Atherosclerosis can also occur for various other reasons such as sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and psychological stress. Blocking these arteries completely can cause a heart attack. That is why it is advisable to make lifestyle changes to improve coronary artery health.
General recommendations for tackling CAD
We all know certain foods that are not heart or health friendly and we shouldn’t eat them.
However, changing our lifestyle and eating habits is often difficult, but making healthier choices and keeping our hearts healthy isn’t as difficult as it sounds! Let’s look at the following guidelines:
Choose healthy fats: When it comes to heart health, fats are always called bad, but only the trans fat and excessive consumption of oils or fats are bad for our health.
Some fats are actually good for our bodies, like medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil or A2 ghee, which in moderation control our body’s inflammation. Omega-3 fats in walnut, flaxseed, and fish are also healthy choices as they are really good for the heart and brain, and help control inflammation.
The bad fats from junk or processed or fried foods should be avoided. Cold-pressed or unrefined oils like sesame, mustard, peanut, and rice bran oil can be used in cooking, but in moderation.
Stay active: Exercise or activity is very important to maintain proper blood flow, which will reduce pressure on the heart and prevent plaques from forming.
Try to do physical activity every day, including at least 30 to 45 minutes of walking, 10,000 steps, cardio, yoga, swimming, and aerobic exercise.
Hydrate: Water is the main macronutrient that we always forget about. Almost 80 percent of our body is made up of water. When we don’t drink enough, our organs become stressed and we feel sluggish.
Drinking water is also important for detoxification, proper blood flow, and making sure plaque doesn’t build up in the arteries. Try to drink about 2.5 to three liters of water a day to help your body get rid of toxins.
Mass with fiber: Fiber is important in attaching to and eliminating the bad fat in our bodies. Soluble fiber, which is easily found in many grains and fruits, helps us lower total blood cholesterol by lowering the LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the body. Eating a high-fiber diet has also been shown to have heart health benefits such as: B. reducing high blood pressure, inflammation and plaque buildup.
Watch how you cook: Instead of frying, choose healthy cooking options like steaming, baking, roasting, frying, stirring, roasting, poaching, and frying.