For seniors especially, being mindful of heart health is very important. There’s a growing body of research that suggests your diet can protect against a variety of ailments – and that you can reduce your risk for heart disease by 70% if you make the right food choices!
One of the best things seniors can do to improve their diet is to eat a wide variety of whole foods and try new healthy ingredients. With that in mind, below we’ve listed 7 foods that promote heart health specifically for seniors.
Salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve the metabolic markers for heart disease. It also contains the powerful antioxidant selenium, which can boost cardiovascular health. There are lots of ways to enjoy salmon, including:
- Grilled teriyaki salmon
- Balsamic glazed salmon
- Salmon Florentine
It’s recommended that seniors eat at least 5 servings of nuts and seeds per week, and walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts out there. They’re chock-full of vitamin E, omega 3’s, and folate, all of which promote heart health. If you’re on a low sodium diet, look for unsalted walnuts at your local grocery store.
While it may seem like a simple food on the surface, old-fashioned oats pack a real nutrition punch for seniors’ heart health. For one, eating oatmeal daily can help reduce cholesterol. Plus, oatmeal is one of the best sources of whole grains. Look for plain oatmeal, not the flavored oats in packets, which are usually loaded with sugar.
Chinese herbalists have used great tea for its medicinal benefits for 1000’s of years. It contains catechin and flavonoids, which are antioxidants that can improve cardiovascular health. Plus, green tea can be a great alternative to coffee because it usually contains a small amount of caffeine to kick-start your day.
Raisins are packed with potassium, which increases immune-boosting antioxidants and can lower your blood pressure. Opt for plain raisins instead of chocolate or yogurt covered, which contain a lot of sugar.
Hate them or love them, there’s no denying that brussel sprouts are one of the healthiest foods for seniors’ heart health. These mini cabbage heads are rich in a plethora of vitamins and have been shown to help reduce inflammation. If you don’t care for the flavor of boiled brussel sprouts, try roasting them with honey and balsamic vinegar.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with apples it to peel them – that’s where all the nutrients are! Apple skins contain polyphenols, which help shield cholesterol from harmful free-radical attacks. They also contain pectin, which in addition to helping make great applesauce also blocks the absorption of cholesterol. Eating an apple a day really can keep the doctor away, as it has been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol by 40%.