Diet Tips to Boost Heart Health for Seniors
As you continue to age in place, one of the most important things you can do to ensure your long-term health is to protect your heart's health. A healthy heart is key to aging healthfully and continuing to live a healthy and productive life well into your senior years.
One of the easiest, yet most critical ways that you can protect your heart is through your diet.
The saying, "You are what you eat," has never been more prevalent than when it comes to your heart's health. As more seniors look to safeguard their heart health, eating a diet that is kind to the heart is increasingly important as one ages.
That might leave you asking: What can I do to ensure that I am eating a heart-healthy diet?
When looking to create a heart-healthy diet you need to be sure to stock your fridge and pantry with healthy essentials. Using frozen essentials can help keep your fridge and pantry stocked with heart-healthy options.
Here are some key nutrients that you should include in your diet to boost heart health for seniors, including examples of what foods you can find these nutrients in.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables should fill up a sizable portion of your daily food intake. Ensuring that you eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables is a critical part of heart health for seniors. Moreover, people who eat an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables are less likely to eat junk food, which is great, because junk food is not-so-good for your heart.
Which vegetables are good for heart health? The good news is every single vegetable out there is good for you as long as you are not preparing them with extra salt, sugar, and additives. Every vegetable can have a place in a heart-healthy diet.
Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or corn are okay to include in your diet in moderation. However, most vegetables in your diet should be non-starchy vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, greens, mushrooms, or tomatoes.
The more colors of vegetables that you are eating, the more different nutrients your body is getting.
Soluble fibers are the types of fiber that dissolve in water and can help lower your cholesterol and better help manage your blood sugar levels. You should aim to include a minimum of 10 to 25 grams of soluble fibers in your diet daily. However, including more will rarely hurt most people.
Soluble fibers are found in heart-healthy foods such as oats, beans, berries, and ground flaxseed to name a few.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids aren't just fats, they are one of the healthiest fats for both your body and heart. Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial to the body unlike saturated fats because they provide additional benefits such as controlling blood pressure, decreasing triglyceride levels, slowing the growth of plaque on the arteries, and reducing arrhythmias.
Omega 3 fatty acids should be consumed at least several times per week, if not daily. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in a variety of heart-healthy foods including many types of fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines. If you are not into fish, you can also find omega 3 fatty acids in other foods, including many nuts and seeds like walnuts, ground flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
These are some heart-healthy foods seniors can include in their regular diet to ensure they are eating a diet that protects their heart. Your doctor can help you determine the exact amount of each nutrient your lifestyle and diet require.
At Senior Helpers in Milford, we work hard to keep the seniors in our care healthy and energized. Do you or your loved one need some extra help? Contact us to learn more about our 24-hour home care in Milford, Stoughton, Franklin, Walpole, Webster, and Foxboro.