World Heart Day 2020: In the COVID pandemic times, people have learnt about the importance of having good health and immunity. Since most of us are working from home, it's a great time to cook and eat some wholesome, nourishing meals, improve our eating habits and learn to eat better. However, we should approach this opportunity with positivity and adapt to this as a lifestyle change. So on this World Heart Day, let's pledge to eat heart-healthy foods, promote our overall health and follow an active lifestyle for general well-being. Fitness Nutrition Specialist Aman Puri,(Founder, Steadfast Nutrition) shares diet tips for better heart health while working from home.
- Eat real food: Eating nutritious and wholesome food will have a good impact on your overall energy levels and your work productivity. Additionally, it will help avoid binge eating and maintain your sugar levels. Having short, frequent meals has an advantage of including a different variety of foods, which provides you with essential nutrients for your heart and overall health.
- No processed food: Avoid processed food like bakery items which may be rich in trans fat or saturated or hydrogenated fats. Also avoid foods high in saturated fats like red meat, full-fat dairy products (less than 10% of calories).
- Drink water and stay hydrated: Working for long hours on screen makes you sluggish, so have a glass of water every hour. Try including coconut water, lemon water or herbal teas as well.
- Low salt intake: Include less salt as high sodium leads to high blood pressure and at risk of other heart conditions. i.e. no more than 5 milligrams (mg) per day or 1 tsp/day (WHO, 2013).
- Fix your meal pattern: Eating on time and having set meal timing is essential as it reduces the chances of overeating, indigestion and also helps maintain a schedule.
Top Five Heart-Healthy Foods
- Spice it up with Garlic, cinnamon, and turmeric:Having raw garlic helps provide antioxidant ‘allicin,’ known to regulate blood pressure better. Try adding cinnamon and basil to your green tea/herbal tea. Also, the presence of ‘curcumin’ in turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory, include it in dishes or even can be added to your milk.
- Whole grains and millets: The phytonutrients offered by whole grains like oats, wheat flour, Dalia; and millets like jowar, ragi, bajra provide fibre, stanols, B vitamins which are known to have a positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels.
- Pomegranate: The presence of punicalagin antioxidants in pomegranate is said to have a unique ability to increase the HDL levels and reduce lipid oxidation. Also, they have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea.
- Fatty fishes: Get your omega-3 dose in the most bioavailable form fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, wild salmon. American Heart Association (AHA), suggests that having fish twice a week is advisable for better heart health.
- Antioxidant-rich berries:Dark blue, black, pink and red-coloured berries are full of antioxidants and offer many essential vitamins and minerals. E.g. cherries, strawberries, jamun, blackberries, red grapes, etc.
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