How do you treat congestive heart failure? Once physicians have done their job, much of the work is up to you. That means eating a heart healthy diet that will reduce the strain on your heart and help prevent a dangerous situation. If you’re wondering where to start, here are five heart healthy and delicious foods to use as a cornerstone:
1. Fresh fruits and vegetables. This item is easily the most important one on the list. Fresh fruits and veggies—especially the veggies—are crucial to a healthy diet for a number of reasons, but when you’re facing congestive heart failure they become even more important. A diet heavy in plants helps the heart in many ways: they’re rich in good cholesterol. They are not only low in bad cholesterol, but help lower the level of bad cholesterol in your system. They can help reduce blood pressure. Vegetables are low in calories and can help overcome obesity. And they are rich in antioxidants that help purge the system of free radicals. Green veggies are best, but fruits and vegetables of all kinds are heart healthy.
2. Oatmeal. Want something more filling than greens? Oatmeal is a great way to go. Oatmeal is among one of the few grain products that is considered heart healthy. It’s high in fiber, which again helps improve your cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. And it’s packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and other heart healthy nutrients.
3. Salmon. Salmon and other deep sea fatty fish are very hearth healthy. They make a great alternative to red and white meat because they are packed with more Omega-3 fatty acids than just about any food. And bought frozen, salmon steaks are surprisingly affordable. Consider a nice grilled salmon fillet the next time you want a big dinner.
4. Almonds and walnuts. This one’s a two-fer. Both almonds and walnuts are terrific additions to a heart healthy meal (such as a big green salad or a bowl of oatmeal, right?) and both for similar reasons; they’re high in fiber, a great source of protein without red meat, and deliver healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Plus they’re tasty!
5. Red wine—in moderation. When doctors started to recommend red wine for heart health, it was big news. This one is often misunderstood however. While red wine is loaded with reservatrol, which in turn is rich in antioxidants, excessive drinking has serious risks for heart health. One glass is plenty for improving your cholesterol.
Of course, diet alone won’t treat congestive heart failure. But working closely with your physician and following all doctor instructions, a heart healthy diet can make a huge difference.
Source: WedMD (http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/25-top-heart-healthy-foods)