Many people seek the fountain of youth, but did you know that living a heart-healthy lifestyle could help you to defy your age? Registered Dietitian and best-selling author Frances Largeman-Roth offers her tips for how you can stay young-at-heart through good nutrition.
1.Choose whole grains.
Include fiber-rich whole grains in your daily diet, like oats, quinoa, whole wheat, barley and brown rice. They may lower your risk for type 2 diabetes.
2. Substitute with olive oil.
Instead of cooking spray or butter, use olive oil. Olive oil is a great heart-healthy ingredient; the Mediterranean diet has long been linked to heart health and longevity. Try drizzling extra virgin olive oil on top of pasta and using it as a salad dressing or as a substitute for butter on bread.
3.Support your circulation.
Add a guaranteed source of cocoa flavanols, like CocoaVia cocoa extract supplement, to your breakfast every morning. Cocoa flavanols are clinically proven to help maintain healthy circulation. Mix dark chocolate CocoaVia supplement in your coffee, milk, yogurt, or oatmeal for a delicious start to your day. Or simply add CocoaVia capsules to your vitamin regimen.
4. Go nutty.
Use unsalted nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, as a substitute for chips and crackers as a crunchy snack. You’ll help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
5. Get your vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory nutrient that helps repair and produce body tissues. Winter is citrus season, so add oranges or grapefruit to your snack routine to get your daily dose. Other vitamin C-rich foods include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, papayas, mangoes, kiwi and bell peppers.
6. Drink up.
Limit high-calorie, sugary drinks such as soft drinks, and sweetened iced tea and coffee drinks. Instead, drink lots of water – at least 2 liters per day.
7. Befriend the milkman.
Incorporate three cups of fat-free or low-fat dairy a day, such as milk, yogurt or cottage cheese into your diet. The calcium and vitamin D in fortified dairy foods are essential for strong bones.
8. Fill up on lean proteins.
Cut down on red meat and add more beans and lentils – a low-fat, protein- and fiber-rich option.
9. Stock up on salmon.
Add salmon to your diet, about two, three to four-ounce servings per week. Salmon has good-for-you, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
10. Fight inflammation.
Incorporate foods that contain high amounts of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that fights inflammation and may help reduce the risk of heart disease. You can find it in blueberries, blackberries, plums, cherries, Mission figs and eggplant.
Largeman-Roth recently partnered with CocoaVia to help spread awareness on maintaining good heart and circulatory health. For more information visit www.cocoavia.com.