Era Living shares nutrition advice for older adults in honor of National Heart Month.
Cardiac-related diseases continue to be the leading cause of death for both men and women in this country. It is an especially troubling statistic because, in many cases, the disease is preventable.
In honor of National Heart Month, we’ve dedicated this week’s article to educating Seattle seniors about heart disease and providing tips you can use to keep your heart healthy.
Heart Smart Nutritional Choices for Older Adults
- Breakfast of champions. A healthy breakfast provides many benefits to the body. Oatmeal, for example, is a great source of protein and fiber. It helps you feel full longer so you are less likely to overeat. The high concentration of fiber is good for keeping your cholesterol on track.
- Adopt a plant–based diet: Research continues to support the role a plant-based diet can play in heart health. Programs like the Mediterranean Diet or the Dash Diet are routinely linked to lower incidences of heart disease.
- Mindful eating: Another tip is to be mindful of everything you eat. Seniors who live alone are more likely to eat meals in front of the television or at the kitchen counter. This can lead to overeating.
- Limit sodium intake. Sodium is a mineral that can contribute to high blood pressure. A diet based on highly processed foods, such as frozen dinners or canned foods, likely comes with too much of it. Try to cook meals using herbs and low-sodium spices whenever possible. When buying canned foods, look for products with reduced salt or low sodium labels.
- Limit alcohol consumption. This can be a controversial one. Because some experts say the resveratrol in a glass of red wine might be good for the heart, people may be inclined to overindulge. Too much alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure, high triglycerides and obesity. Moderation is the key. Most experts say that means no more than one glass a day for women and two for men.
- Drink green tea. There is growing research that shows the antioxidants in green tea can help keep your arteries flexible. This helps prevent plaque from building up in them. Some studies show that blood vessel function improves within 30 minutes of drinking a cup of green tea.
To continue learning more about heart health, we encourage you to visit Getting Healthy on the American Heart Association’s website. They share a variety of helpful resources ranging from physical activity guidelines to smoking cessation programs.