Healthy heart eating – Short but clear article to help us understand and prioritize

Eating for a healthy heart may sound complicated but it doesn’t have to be.

This short article gives you a few tips you can start using now!

You can read the full article here.

healthy heart foods

Healthy Heart: Benefits of Yoga on Blood Pressure

Yoga is an ancient practice that involves physical, mental and espiritual activity. It has different schools (Hatha, Bikram, Raja, etc) and it is practised in the context of different religions too (Bhuddism, Hindiusm  for example). This practice that also involves meditation originated in the 15th century and became popular in the western world in the 19-20th century. In 2016 UNESCO declared Yoga practise Intangible cultural heritage. As you can start to guess yoga is more than simple stretching exercises. 

yoga for high blood pressure

Yoga is a flow of poses that correctly done and sequenced increase muscular tone, mental awakening and coordination. It also improves flexibility, your posture, lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE. 

Not long ago, the American Heart Assoc. Professional Education Committee run a large study showing evidence of the benefits of yoga. They suggest that people with Blood pressure higher than 120/80 should consider trials of alternative approaches as adjuvant methods to help lower blood pressure.

Yoga is a gentle practise or a hard one. You make your practice. There are several videos you can watch to start your practice at home today, such us this one here

 

Easy Butternut squash soup (crock pot friendly!)

We have recently talked about adding more veggies into your diet. Sometimes it feels hard to do and when we think about our busy schedules it feels almost impossible to pay attention or work on something else. But if shouldn’t be.

There a bunch of ways, including this recipe that can allow you to increase your daily vegetables intake

If you use a crock pot:butternut squash soup

  • 1 butternut squash cut peeled and cut in pieces.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1 cup veggie broth

Set in High and cook for 3 hs. Use a hand blender to make it creamy. Serve with cheese for added calcium

 

 

The DASH diet or how what you eat can help lower your blood pressure

let’s start looking at what DASH diet means. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension. There have been two studies called DASH and DASH-sodium that looked at how what we eat could affect blood pressure. In the DASH study participants were divided in three groups: the first eating a regular North American diet, the second one adding a little of vegetables and the third one eating the called DASH diet which was rich in fruits and veggies, low in fats and cholesterol. The results demonstrated that the DASH diet individuals had the lowest blood pressure, levels that started to go down within two weeks of starting the meal plan. They also revealed that Cholesterol levels decreased and LDL (or “bad cholesterol”) levels decreased too.

In the second study participants were offered a diet with high amount of sodium (or salt), a second group with moderate amount of sodium and a third group with a very restricted amount of sodium. Results showed that the less salt people consumed, the greater the decrease in blood pressure. People who already had high blood pressure had the largest decrease in blood pressure.

Is it too complicated? Can I do it?

Yes and yes! DASH diet divides foods in 7 groups:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Grains (mainly whole grains)
  • Low  Fat or No-Fat Dairy Foods
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish
  • Nuts, seeds and dry beans
  • Fats and Oils

Then you need to look into including in your DAILY diet:

  • 4-5 servings of fruitsdash diet
  • 4-5 servings of vegetables
  • Grains (mainly whole grains): 7-8 servings
  • Low  Fat or No-Fat Dairy Foods: 2-3 servings
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish:  2 servings or less
  • Fats and oils:  2-3 servings
  • Nuts, seeds and dry beans: 4-5 servings PER WEEK

It seems a lot!?

Well, an easy way to get started is adding one or two servings of fruits or veggies to your diet by choosing a fruit as a snack or adding a new vegetable to your salad. Make salads more fun by adding the crunchiness of nuts or sprinkle with chia seeds for more fiber.

Make meat a twice a week meals instead of an every day choice. Use crockpot to make fast veggie lasagna or butternut squash soups.

 

 

 

 

 

Heart Healthy Strawberry and Kale Salad for Dinner

If like most of us Saturday has been a day of indulgence, sweets, visits with friends made more drinking, more eating, it is time to re set and go back on track for a healthy heart. Nothing better than start right now and prepare a nice salad for dinner

This is a simple and rich filling salad and has fruits and veggies that will keep your heart healthy.

 

  • 1/2 Cup Avocado, cut in pieces
  • 1 Ripe Tomato, cut
  • Boston lettuce or Kale for a more crunchy saladkale strawberry salad
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, finely cut
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish

I whisk same parts of canola oil and balsamic vinegar to use as a dressing, with no salt added.

If you want to see more recipes like this, click here.

 

Exercise for a healthy heart: how much, how often, what?

Exercise is well known to help in so many ways, from releasing endorphins and other chemicals that boost our mood to be proven to allow you to have a clearer and sharper mind. People that exercise more are sharper than their “not so active” counterparts. They have more muscle mass that not only burns more calories throughout the day allowing them to keep a healthier weight but also when older, allows them to be more stable and have less fractures or falls in general.

As an adult keeping a healthy exercise schedule also plays an important role in heart disease prevention. Studies show that those who exercise regularly have a extremely low risk of heart disease and stroke, have higher levels of energy, are able to sleep better as they also experience less stress. There are other risks that are kept low: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obesity.

 

No Perfect Conditions

Let’s make it simple!

How much? Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends 150 mins per week, that translated it is about 20 mins per day, not much, uh? doable? totally!

What? Moderate and vigorous exercise. If you are already training running, jogging or cycling can make it. If you are starting, a simple walk that later on can turn into a brisk walk is great! Would rather to swimming to be gentler on your joints? that works too!

Start slow to you build up strength and  resistance that will soon translate into better recovery times and more enjoyable activities.

Stick to it! and usually two secrets come with it: find a partner, a friend, a neighbour, a colleague….someone with your same goals and priorities. Start slow and build up, but never over do it. Start with a routine every other day or even every two days at the beginning and then slowly add weights or any other type of exercise to add variety.

Procrastination and Excuses (part II)

No More Excuses

 

Procrastination and excuses seem to be common denomination these days. Because is Winter and not as cold as it should be, because January has been grey”er” than ever and our mood is low, because there is a virus going around and “we are all sick”, because….

Let’s start now, doesn’t have to be big, quickly think of two or three things you can start doing now, for you, for your wellbeing. Doesn’t matter is Friday night, do not wait till Monday, change can start now.

I came across this article that provides nice examples and ideas on how someone dealt with excuses and was able to stick to a routine so she could become healthier, in all aspects.

You can read the article here. Hope you like it and motivates you.

 

Propaganda and impact on little ones’ healthy eating

Advertising is proven to be damaging all our efforts to educate our kids with contradictions and incorrect information. Government is looking to ban food and beverage ads with sugary and processed foods as is proven to affect little ones’ eating habits.

baby will be 300lbs when older

See the full article here.

 

 

 

Foods that can help save your heart

Black beans, edamame, wine!, walnuts, almonds, check out this article with 20 foods you can try to slowly incorporate to your daily meals, not only to add healthy options but also to save your heart!

The full article is here    healthy heart foods