Earlier this month, we talked about how to recognize the warning signs of atrial fibrillation. It is a serious condition that can lead to stroke and is potentially life threatening. The right elder nutrition plan can play an important role in preventing this condition. Here are four foods you should add to your diet to reduce your risk of heart disease.
1. White meat
Red meat is flavorful and can be a good occasional treat, but it shouldn't be a regular staple of your diet. A study by the Harvard Medical School found that bacteria in red meat can lead to heart disease. People with high cholesterol levels are even more susceptible to this issue. Try replacing hamburgers with chicken breast sandwiches - they're just as tasty, but much healthier for your heart.
2. Whole grains
Grains are an essential part of a healthy diet because they are complex carbohydrates. But what is the difference between refined grain and whole grain? The Mayo Clinic said that refined grains are processed to prolong their shelf life, and in doing so some of their nutrients are stripped away. Whole grains are a better source of fiber and magnesium because they don't undergo milling. You can easily add some to your diet by eating foods like brown rice, oatmeal or buckwheat.
It may seem like a health craze, but more studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to brain and heart health. The University of Minnesota Department of Public Health produced a study that found polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from fish can aid the heart in recovering from a traumatic episode. Because heart trauma can lead to atrial fibrillation, regular omega-3 intake could play a role in keeping one heart condition from leading to another. If you're unable to eat fish on a weekly basis, the study claimed that fish oil pills are a great alternative.
4. Fresh fruit
Eating a variety of fresh fruit is a great way to get an assortment of essential vitamins. AARP specifically recommended focusing on red fruit for heart health. Eating apples rather than merely drinking apple juice seems to be the best bet for getting all of the fruit's benefits. Apples are known to help reduce cholesterol levels. Cranberry juice, on the other hand, is useful for preventing plaque buildup in the arteries.
In addition to adding these four foods to your regular menu, follow your doctor's advice for eating a balanced diet. Keep eating lots of vegetables and limit your salt intake. Remember that heart disease is the primary cause of atrial fibrillation, so encourage healthy eating among your friends.