FOODS TO HELP PROTECT YOUR HEART HEALTH

Menopause and perimenopause is an ideal time to re-evaluate your overall health. If you have symptoms or concerns, you may want to book an appointment with a doctor. However, you don’t need a diagnosis to think about healthy ageing.

Heart health is one area that ALL women should give attention to – heart disease kills 35% of women – more than all cancers combined.

Most of us will have some awareness that what we eat affects our heart health. However, Dr Clark, also from the Lifestyle Health Clinic is keen to stress, “healthy eating isn’t about cutting out or focusing on individual foods or nutrients, it’s thinking about your whole diet and choosing what you can add to your plate to improve your health.”

She also says, “strict diets are hard to sustain long term and may not provide the balance of nutrients you need.”

 

Here are my top three heart healthy foods:

1. Green Beans

Green beans are rich in fibre, particularly soluble fibre, which helps to lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and reduce total cholesterol levels. They are also loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – especially iron and folate. They are also kind on the tummy, carrying less risk of bloating than other high fibre vegetables.

green beans

2. Flaxseed

The benefits of Flaxseed come from the fact that they are high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of heart disease. Like other sources of fibre, flaxseed should be taken with plenty of water. The ground form is better as the whole seeds will travel straight through the gut undigested.

Flaxseed

3. Blueberries

Blueberries help your heart by reducing inflammation, as well as relaxing blood vessel walls to improve blood flow. Blueberries may be small, but they are loaded with nutrients – folate, iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and also a great source of fibre. They are often termed as ‘superfoods’ as they have so many health benefits.

blueberries

 

There are also many other ways to reduce the risk of heart disease too:

  • Being as physically active as you can, including resistance exercise
  • Not smoking
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Managing stress
  • Know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels

Women should be encouraged to view menopause as an opportunity to ‘pause’ and reflect on their health and lifestyle. It is time for positive change for the future, so they can live as healthy, happy and vibrant as possible. Younger women can adopt the same advice so their health is optimum before they reach menopause.