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Heart-Healthy Foods for Older Adults

heart-healthy foods

Leading a lifestyle that incorporates fitness and nutrition is one of the best ways to live longer and stay healthy. Nutrient deficiencies and poor eating patterns tend to accompany other harmful habits, such as lack of exercise and an inconsistent sleep schedule. These compounding factors increase the risk of developing long-term health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and a weakened immune system.

The good news is that being more active and eating a balanced diet doesn’t have to be hard. With a few simple changes, you can add more fresh produce, whole grains, and low-fat dairy to your loved one’s diet to reduce their risk of heart disease by maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Benefits of Eating a Balanced Diet

A heart-healthy diet provides all the energy adults need to stay active and maximize each day. Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies can weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight illness and infections. Some foods, such as red meat, trans fats, and processed snacks, can also cause chronic inflammation, which is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, some forms of cancer, and dementia.

Use these tips to make healthier dietary choices.

  • When grocery shopping, stay around the store’s perimeter. The center aisles are where you’ll find all the processed foods, which contain added sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats.
  • Try to eat a rainbow every day. Brightly colored foods indicate the presence of various nutrients that can boost immunity, improve heart health, and support cognitive abilities. For example, red foods like strawberries and cherries have lycopene, which can reduce the risk of chronic illness.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day.
  • Control portion sizes by eating slowly and mindfully, using smaller plates to ensure you don’t take too much.
  • Fiber-rich foods like broccoli, oatmeal, quinoa, and whole-grain bread can help people stay fuller longer, making better dietary choices as a result.

4 Heart-Healthy Foods for Longevity and Vitality

What are the best foods for heart health? Consider adding the following to a balanced diet.

  1. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reverse cellular damage. Some research suggests that diets high in vitamin C can prevent atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries. Many fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of this essential nutrient, including citrus and bell peppers.
  2. Omega-3 fatty acids: The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel can also reduce the risk of heart disease. Vegetarians and vegans have plant-based alternatives such as eating walnuts and cooking with canola oil.
  3. Tofu: This versatile soy-based protein is available in many textures and can absorb the flavor of sauces, marinades, soups, and stir-fries. It’s an excellent alternative to meat, contains all the essential amino acids, and is rich in minerals and vitamins, including calcium, manganese, iron, and vitamin A.
  4. Avocados: These tasty, rich fruits have a wealth of heart-healthy fats, fiber, and several micronutrients associated with cardiovascular wellness. Half an avocado contains folate, potassium, and magnesium, which all lead to better heart health.

Specialized Attention for Many Health Conditions

With customized care plans, unwavering compassion, and rigorous training, Legacy Homecare LA’s Care Companions provide world-class care to clients, ensuring they can age in place without leaving home. Our team members are ready and willing to step in and provide services that match your loved one’s needs, from daytime companionship to help with simple tasks and 24-hour in-home care. To learn more about what we offer and how it can benefit your family, contact us today.

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