You may have heard of the effects of too much alcohol on your heart health. Studies show excessive alcohol intake can increase the heart rate, raise blood pressure, and cause an irregular heartbeat. Prolonged alcohol drinking can also cause cardiomyopathy, weakening your heart’s pumping ability.
If you are an occasional drinker, you need not worry about your heart health. Also, you should never intentionally use alcohol to address your heart’s health issues. Some studies have associated alcohol and heart health, saying that moderate alcohol intake lowers the risk of dying from heart disease. However, medical professionals say it is hard to establish an association between the two as other factors should be considered.
Experts also say that excessive intake of alcohol impacts aging as it directly affects some parts of your body. Aging can also be a factor in how alcohol affects your heart. This is because your age affects how well your body tolerates alcohol.
The good news is you can drink moderately while consuming foods that protect your heart.
Healthy Foods for Your Heart
Your diet significantly impacts your heart’s health, specifically your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Here are some foods you can eat for better heart health.
Omega-3s are plentiful in salmon, which makes it a super food for the heart. Healthy fats like omega-3 may protect your heart from diseases. Among other benefits, it can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart rhythm disorders. According to the American Heart Association, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna should be consumed in two servings a week.
Studies have linked fish consumption to a lower risk of depression and mortality and lower cardiovascular disease risk.
Long-term fish consumption was also associated with lower bad cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and fasting blood sugar.
If you don’t like seafood, fish oil supplements are a great way to get your omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to improving arterial function, this supplement also lowers blood pressure. It is always better, of course, to get your vitamins from natural sources.
A handful of walnuts per day may help you lower your cholesterol level. According to a study, walnuts contribute to a significant decrease in bad cholesterol when used in diets.
In addition, it may help prevent inflammation in the heart’s arteries. Among their many nutrients, walnuts offer fiber and micronutrients, including magnesium, copper, and manganese. It is also packed with omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, and plant sterols.
According to research, a few servings of walnuts daily may increase your chance of preventing heart disease.
It is well known that almonds are nutrient-dense and contain several vitamins and minerals essential for heart health. Moreover, they provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber, which can help prevent heart disease. It has been found that almonds can significantly reduce cholesterol levels. In a study involving people with high cholesterol, almonds reduced belly fat and bad cholesterol levels, two risk factors for heart disease. Furthermore, eating almonds can reduce plaque buildup and clear your arteries by raising good cholesterol levels.
You can enjoy slivered almonds with vegetables, fish, chicken, and desserts. These foods are rich in plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. You may be able to lower your bad cholesterol by eating almonds. Remember to grab a handful every day.
In spite of the fact that almonds are a very high-nutrient food, they are also extremely high in calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, measure your portions and moderate your intake.
A vegetarian soy protein, tofu has heart-healthy minerals, fiber, and polyunsaturated fats. You can cook it with spices or sauces to change its taste.
Pectin, a fiber that fights cholesterol, is found in oranges. They also contain potassium, which lowers blood pressure.
Substitute this nutty whole grain for rice. Barley is also a great ingredient to add to soups and stews. Barley contains fiber that can lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, it may help lower blood sugar levels.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re sweet, sour, dried, or cherry juice. They are all packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins. They are thought to protect blood vessels.
The nutrients in strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries play a crucial role in heart health.
Furthermore, berries contain antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, that prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, which contribute to heart disease.
Berry consumption is associated with a reduction in several heart disease risk factors.
In certain amounts, strawberries can significantly improve insulin resistance and lower bad cholesterol, according to studies.
Researchers found that eating blueberries daily improved blood vessel function and blood clotting, two important functions that affect blood pressure.
In addition to being a delicious snack, berries can also be made into a low-calorie dessert. Adding a few different types to your diet can provide you with health benefits that are unique to them.
9. Dark Leafy Greens
It was a good idea for your parents to tell you to eat your greens. In addition to being packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, leafy green vegetables are also excellent sources of fiber. Also, they contain nitrates, which help your heart receive oxygen-rich blood by opening blood vessels. Plenty of them is in veggies such as lettuce, spinach, bok choy, mustard greens, and arugula. These foods are especially rich in vitamin K, which protects your arteries and promotes blood clotting.
Additionally, they are high in dietary nitrates, a nutrient that reduces blood pressure, reduces arterial stiffness, and enhances the function of blood vessel walls.
According to some studies, leafy green vegetables may also lower your risk of heart disease.
As you include the food listed above in your diet, keeping your alcohol intake in check should come with it.
With Sunnyside, tracking your alcohol consumption is easier. The drink-tracking app reminds you to monitor your drinks daily. It also enables you to monitor the number of calories you cut.
Cheers to your journey to a healthier heart, body, and mind!