Following through on a heart-healthy lifestyle is vital to living a longer, healthier life, especially throughout the aging process.
How can seniors stay on top of their heart health? You must first know what leads to heart disease. There are many contributing factors, including family history, smoking, lack of exercise, high levels of stress, and alcohol consumption. Not eating a proper diet is a big one, too, and that’s what we’ll be focusing on throughout this blog.
At Wyndemere, our Life Plan Community is dedicated to ensuring residents stay on a path to overall health and wellness, whether they live in independent living, assisted living or memory care. One way we do this is via nutritious dining choices.
Maintaining heart health isn’t as simple as eating a salad or cutting calories. It’s about selecting ingredients that contain vitamins and nutrients that actively fight against heart disease and other health conditions. Learn what these heart-healthy foods are, below, and how to incorporate them into your everyday meals.
The best heart-healthy foods for seniors
Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which work directly to protect against cardiovascular disease. Try baking your favorite fish instead of pan-frying it, and finish it with a lovely and simple olive oil and lemon-based sauce.
Namely, egg whites. Did you know that the egg yolk contains high cholesterol levels? To be the most heart healthy, consume the egg whites only and eat them alongside a hearty piece of whole-grain toast.
Turkey is one of the leanest proteins for a heart-healthy diet. Prepare it by roasting it in the oven with minimal salt, but use plenty of herbs and spices.
Nuts come with many health benefits. They’re filled with unsaturated fats and omega-3s and fight to lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Almonds make for a filling snack, along with walnuts and cashews.
Berries are filled with antioxidants, fibers and vitamins that are essential to heart health. From strawberries to blueberries, raspberries and others, berries can be eaten in a variety of ways. Try them in a smoothie, with yogurt, or on their own!
6. Leafy greens
Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are packed with vitamins and nutrients that can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Sure, they might not seem like the most exciting ingredients to eat on their own; however, they can be mixed into green smoothies or dressed up in salads.
7. Dark chocolate
Now here’s an ingredient that most people wouldn’t think is heart healthy. But because it has higher cocoa content and less milk content than milk chocolate, it contains resveratrol and phenols that can lower high blood pressure.
8. Whole grains
Whole grains are great for lowering your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and in conjunction, heart disease. Why? Whole grains contain vitamin B, fiber and magnesium, essential nutrients for maintaining heart health.
9. Olive oil
Olive oil is a major component of the Mediterranean diet, which is highly regarded in the health world as one of the best diets that reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. Olive oil is rich in saturated fats and packed with nutrients that help fight cardiac illness. Use it as a cooking oil, part of a salad dressing, or healthy dip for veggies.
10. Green tea
Need your caffeine, but not the jitters that come with coffee? Try green tea instead. It contains caffeine as well as a ton of antioxidants that help maintain healthy arteries, and therefore, less plaque buildup in the heart.
11. Non-dairy milks
If you absolutely do want to stick to drinking coffee, try supplementing it with a non-dairy milk like almond, oat, cashew or soy. These non-dairy milks are rich in vitamins and the perfect way to incorporate organic ingredients into your diet.
Now it’s time to put these heart-healthy ingredients to the test. Try one of these recipes from the American Heart Association to get started on your journey to living heart healthy!
Get a taste of Wyndemere’s wellness-focused lifestyle.
Find senior living in Wheaton, IL, that prioritizes residents’ dietary dining preferences and restrictions, and promotes all-around healthy living. Call to schedule a tour – and lunch on us – today!