Heart disease is the number one killer in the world and almost everyone knows someone who has been impacted by this disease. The main cause of heart disease is unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, making changes to the nutrition intake can make a big difference to your heart health.
Here are 5 areas of changes you should make on your nutrition intake to prevent heart disease:
1) Healthy Diet
Have a healthy diet focus on high amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and plant protein. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of 5 portions of colorful fruits and vegetables a day. By eating a healthy diet, you can ensure sufficient Co-enzyme Q10 that is an important antioxidants in the cardiovascular system.
Those people who are on Statin drugs to manage cholesterol will be in danger of deficiency in Co-enzyme Q10 because Statin is known to deplete Co-enzyme Q10 in the body.
2) Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acid in the form of EPA and DHA play an important role as antioxidant that helps to reduce the risk of heart disease by:
- Reduce the thickness of the blood, preventing blood platelets from clumping up and forming clots
- Relax the blood vessel, allowing more blood to flow through.
- Lower the blood pressure, so the heart does not have to work too as hard.
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health rank reduced Omega-3 fatty acid level in the body as the 6th leading cause of death in the US. Recommended dosage is 900 mg EPA and DHA or 1400 mg of fish oil
3) Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin”. Researchers at Harvard Medical School reported that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
The amount of Vitamin D you need is dependent on your age, weight, skin color, location and illness. The recommended dosage is to start with 1000 IU per 25 lb of body weight. If you are overweight, you will certainly need more proportionately.
As we age, we lose the ability to activate sufficient Vitamin D in our skin. Darker color skin people have more pigment to protect them from UVB, the key sun ray that trigger Vitamin D formation in the skin.
The location South of the 35° N latitude is the best in terms of getting the most UVB ray. The farther up North you go, the less UVB ray is available. People with chronic disease will need more than the usual level because chronic illness cause the body use up more Vitamin D than you can make.
Therefore, to ensure that you have sufficient Vitamin D, it is best that you take Vitamin D supplements. The best form of Vitamin D supplement is in the form of Vitamin D3 ( Cholecalciferol ) in oil as Vitamin D is oil soluble. Avoid tablets and capsules.
4) Cut Free Radicals With Antioxidants
Free radicals are very unstable molecules form from our body metabolic processes as well as exposure to pollution in the environment. Free radicals cause damages to the body cells leading to premature aging.
Antioxidants stop the free radicals from damaging the body cells. There are many antioxidants of which Omega-3 fatty acids and Co-enzyme Q10 has been mentioned above. Other antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Green Tea and Pomegranate are important for immune health, cardiovascular health and metabolic function.
5) Processed Food
In food processing, we lose 60-90% of most heart healthy vitamins and nutrients. A new research study published in the New England Journal of Medicine of 80,000 nurses who replace processed carbohydrates such as white bread, bagel, candy, cookies and cake and animal fats with healthy plant-based oil and whole grain can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
The four most harmful substance commonly found in processed food are trans fat, salt, refined grains and high fructose corn syrup. All these ingredients play a part in increasing disease risk.
Take stock of your diet and lifestyle now and make the necessary changes in order to prevent and reduce the risk of heart attack.
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