How To Eat At 50 Years Old To Lose Weight The Top 6 Foods That You Must Eat For a Healthier Heart

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The Top 6 Foods That You Must Eat For a Healthier Heart

Today everyone is concerned about their heart health and trying to lower cholesterol, keep blood pressure under control, maintain a healthy digestion and boost immunity. So a lot of people are jumping on a sort of “functional food bandwagon.” What exactly is a functional food cart? Simply put, a functional food wagon is simply foods that promote healthy body functions, helping the body to repair itself and function optimally. Before jumping into the trend, first lay the foundation of a healthy whole foods diet, then add functional foods.

Here are the top 6 expert recommendations for foods that are vital to your heart health.

1. Calcium: Calcium in food helps reduce high blood pressure, helps with a regular heartbeat, and builds strong bones (even men are at risk for osteoporosis). Calcium is a nutrient that most of us don’t get enough of. One of the best ways to get calcium is through foods like milk, cheese and yogurt, not everyone likes or can tolerate dairy. This is where functional foods can play a role, experts say. Along with eating calcium-rich foods like dark, leafy green vegetables, look for fortified orange juice, bread, waffles and soy milk. And don’t forget to get enough vitamin D, which is vital for calcium absorption.

Calcium requirements: Adults and pregnant women aged 19 to 50 – 1000 mg per day, adults over 51 – 1200 mg and pregnant women under 19 – 1300 mg per day.

2. Fiber: We all know that fiber helps with digestion, but keeping us regular is only the beginning. This key nutrient also helps fight disease and can reduce the risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Produce and whole grains are prime sources of heart-healthy fiber, while functional foods like breads, cereals, soy milk, and yogurts can fill in the gaps.

Fiber requirements: Aim for at least 30 grams per day.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: One of the most powerful nutrients known to mankind, these polyunsaturated fats are essential for a wide range of functions. Omega-3 fatty acids not only increase the good, HDL cholesterol and lower the bad, LDL cholesterol, but they can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Whole foods rich in omega-3s such as salmon, walnuts and flax, as well as functional foods such as omega-3-rich eggs, bread, milk, soy milk and cereals are excellent sources.

Requirement: For people with documented heart disease 1 gram daily. For others, eating fish twice a week will provide the requirements the body needs.

4. Plant sterols and stanols: Plant sterols lower blood cholesterol and help people fight coronary heart disease. Plant sterols and stanols are found in small amounts naturally in grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds. To get better amounts and if you have high cholesterol, look for plant sterols in margarine, fortified juices, granola bars, among other foods.

Requirements: For those with high cholesterol levels at least 2 grams per day. For those with low or normal cholesterol no additional requirements other than diet are recommended to date.

5. Probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms very similar to the beneficial ones already present in our gut. Although still in the early stages of study, encouraging evidence suggests that probiotics may benefit those taking antibiotics, those with certain bowel disorders, diarrhea, or certain infections. While yogurt is a well-known functional food with probiotics, one can also find them in juices and soy drinks, although some foods have much more than others.

Requirement: No real recommendations. If you think you could really benefit from them, talk to your doctor.

6. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is one of those vitamins that we simply cannot do without. Known to prevent a wide variety of diseases, including cancers, vitamin D is readily available. Just 10-15 minutes in warm sunshine over several weeks can allow the body to synthesize its needs. Limiting factors are geography, dark skin, sunscreen, and season. So, one should resort to functional foods like milk, yogurt and fruit juices to supply vitamin D.

Requirements: 200 international units per day for people under 50, 400 IU for people between 51-70 and 600 IU for people over 70.

Always remember that for good heart health you need the foundation of a good diet. The basics of a heart-healthy life include eating lots of foods that are good for you, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, getting enough exercise and maintaining your weight. Apart from this, resorting to functional foods will boost your heart health.

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