Heart disease is one of the biggest killers of men and women in Europe and North America. Here are some food and drink tips that can help you protect your heart.
There are many ways you can ensure your heart is given a fighting chance. Eating a low-fat high-fibre diet has always been one way of combating coronary heart disease (CHD). Regular exercise is another.
Here are three additional ways to leverage food and drink to give you the edge against heart disease.
Drink Red Wine
Several wide-scale long-term studies show that people who have one or two alcoholic drinks, two to three times a week, reduce their chance of CHD by 32% over heavy drinkers or those who don’t drink at all. Additional studies from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston show that men who have had a heart attack can reduce their chances of further heart disease by 42% through a similar intake of alcohol.
For best effect, choose a drink high in resveratrol. Red wine is the best choice, and if you’re going to pick a country, research has shown that French red wines contain up to 400% more artery-protecting enzymes than wines from other countries. Not a wine drinker? Have one pint of real ale instead; it is packed with antioxidants.
Eat Oily Fish
Heart disease can often be a result of low vitamin D levels. In addition to making sure you get out more often and enjoy whatever sunlight is on offer, oily fish is the answer to low vitamin D. Avoid the oily fish that are also high in mercury, such as mackerel fresh tuna and swordfish. Instead, go for salmon, Atlantic herring, sardines, pilchards or kipper. Just 100 grams of salmon contains all the vitamin D you need for the entire day.
Drink Coffee (Moderately)
Researchers, led by Dr. Mittleman at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, pooled the results of five studies conducted in the last 12 years and came to the conclusion that two coffees per day reduces the risk of heart failure by 11%. People who drank less than two coffees per day reduced their chance of heart failure by only 4%, whereas those who drank more saw the 11% figure reduce with each cup. After nine coffees per day, the chance of heart failure increases. Two per day was the optimum amount. Why not treat the second cup as your pre-workout booster?
Along with a good diet and regular exercise, these simple food and drink tweaks should enable you to protect your heart against CHD, heart failure and heart attacks.