A Heart Healthy Diet – green leafy vegetables, brightly coloured fruits, fish …
To lower cholesterol and improve you’re the health of your heart, healthier foods is not enough - think healthier drinks too.
Here are some smart heart drinks that you should probably be drinking more of, in your quest of a ‘hearty health’ -
• Water – The best drink to go around with no calories and full hydration. Have 6-8 cups daily – and if that is too plain for you, zing it up with slices of lemon or lime. You can even opt for flavored water – though check the label to make sure they are not loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
• Milk – Another healthy beverage would be low-fat milk or soymilk. So if you feel like you are not getting your daily dose of calcium, a glass of milk each day can change things. If you opt for soymilk, go for the calcium enriched version. Sterol-fortified milks are available, which help to lower cholesterol levels.
• Whole fruit juice – Scout the supermarket for real fruit juice without any extra sugar. One serving is the daily amount expertly recommended, which is one small glass. You also have the option to buy a sterol-fortified version, helpful in lowering high cholesterol levels as well as reducing inflammation – a process which plays an important role in the development of heart disease.
• Alcohol – Smiles are aglow at the mention of alcohol actually having medicinal properties good for the heart. Although they are beneficial for the heart to a degree, it is still not enough for nondrinkers to start slugging!
Research shows that drinking one or two alcoholic beverages daily reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Drinkers should remember that although moderate drinking is probably good for their heart, there is also strong evidence that more than three drinks daily can raise blood pressure.
Besides, alcohol can interact with some medications and can lower blood sugar in diabetic people. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or dietitian before making alcohol a part of your meal.
• Grape Juice - If wine is good for your heart, shouldn’t grape juice be, too? Like all fruits and vegetables, grapes come packed with a lot of nutritious compounds which decrease your risk of heart disease. However it is still not proven whether grape juice is as beneficial as wine.
All fruit and vegetable juices provide heart-healthy benefits, though it is easy to drink more juice than you realize, toting up lots of calories along the way. Anyway, eating the fruit itself will get you more goodness than having its juice.
• Java – On whether coffee is beneficial, there have been contradictory test results. While some seem to show benefit from moderate consumption, others suggest it is pretty indifferent either way - with a few studies even showing that coffee actually increases blood pressure as well as heart attack risks. However an overview of the research is reassuring that moderate coffee consumption does not pose a problem for most people.
Although experts say that the antioxidants in coffee do your heart good – unless you are sensitive to caffeine, in which case it will raise your blood pressure and cause palpitations. If you think caffeine may be causing your elevated blood pressure, experts suggest simply switching to decaf for a few weeks to see if it helps.
• Tea – Another drink that is packed with antioxidants! At the same time, its health benefits may be exaggerated. Research has shown that green or black tea could help decrease the chances of heart disease. Green tea is packed with powerful antioxidants that lower cholesterol and perhaps even blood pressure.
Make a day’s worth of some green tea and refrigerate. When it’s cool enough pour yourself some, with ice if you like, and keep sipping all day!
Drinks of this variety pack a punch for your heart, while fizzy beverages or energy drinks can be trouble-makers. When thirst strikes, choose wisely – after all, these are matters of the heart!
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