Healthy Heart Diet Recipes

The intake of a properly balanced diet reduces the chances of being afflicted by cardiac problems. The following article aims at providing some healthy heart diet recipes that are both delicious and easy to make.

Cardiovascular diseases (a class of diseases that involves the heart and the blood vessels) are the biggest killer in most parts of the world today. Evidence suggests that a low-fat diet is effective in lowering the cholesterol levels and the blood pressure.

Recipes

Parmesan Chicken Bake

Ingredients
Chicken breast, boneless, without the skin, and fat removed: 6 fillets
Bread, whole-wheat: 4 slices
Buttermilk, low-fat: ½ cup
Parmesan cheese, grated: 6 tablespoons
Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
Parsley, chopped finely: 1½ tablespoons
Paprika: 1½ teaspoons
Garlic powder: ¾ teaspoon
Thyme: ½ teaspoon
Vegetable oil spray

Method
Begin by preheating the oven to 450°F. Then take a rectangular-shaped baking sheet and a slightly smaller rectangular-shaped cake tin. Spray some vegetable oil and place the rack on the baking sheet and it keep aside.
Next, rinse the chicken fillets and pat them dry followed by keeping them aside. Now, put the bread pieces into a food processor or blender and process until it turns into fine crumbs.
Put these crumbs in a shallow dish. Add thyme, parsley, cheese, paprika, and garlic powder into it and blend well. Then pour the buttermilk into another shallow dish. Then immerse the fillets in the buttermilk first, then in the breadcrumbs, and lastly place them on the baking rack.
Then, drizzle some olive oil onto each of the fillets and bake for about 15 minutes. After that, turn over the fillets, bake for 10 more minutes, and serve.

Spicy Beans and Tofu Curry

Ingredients
Mushrooms, sliced: 6 – 8
Red chilies, diced: 3
Green onions, diced: 2
Tofu, firm: 7 ounces
Green beans: 4 ounces
Coconut milk, or skimmed milk: 1½ cups
Curry paste: 1 tablespoon
Soy sauce, light: 1 tablespoon
Sugar: 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

Method
Heat a pot, put coconut milk in it, and cook until it begins to separate.
Next, add the red chilies, soy sauce, curry paste, salt, sugar and blend them well.
Next, add the tofu and mushrooms and let it come to a boil.
Then, put in the green beans and cook until they become soft and tender.
Lastly, put the green onions and cook for about a minute before you begin to bite into it.

Fish and Vegetable Bake

Ingredients
Carrot, medium-sized, cut into thin strips: 1
Dressed rainbow trout, sea trout, or pike: 2 pounds
Broccoli, broken into small florets: 1 cup
Yellow summer squash, sliced thinly: ½ cup
Oregano, dried, and crumbled: ½ teaspoon
Basil, dried, and crumbled: ½ teaspoon
Salt: ¼ teaspoon
Black pepper: ⅛ teaspoon

Method
Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Then, heat some water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Next, cook the squash, carrots, and broccoli in it for about a minute. Follow this by draining the water and keeping it aside.
Then, rinse the fish and pat it dry. Next, tear one or two pieces of foil, large enough, to hold the fish. Place the fish in the middle of the foil.
Then, take a small bowl and put oregano, basil, pepper, and salt in it. Mix it thoroughly and place half of this mixture inside the fish’s cavity.
Then, arrange the vegetables around the fish and pour the remaining herb mixture on the surface.
Lastly, wrap the fish and vegetables with the foil, seal it well, and then place it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or so, and your delectable bake is ready to be devoured on.

Suggested Lifestyle Changes

Choose the Right fats
Trans and saturated fats are known to increase the chances of a cardiac arrest. These are generally found in animal-derived processed foods like butter, cheese, milk, and meat. These foods are generally high in cholesterol. Include foods that contain healthy fats, like mono-unsaturated fats (contained in seafood, canola oil, and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (contained in corn oil and safflower).

Reduce the Intake of Calories
Consuming too many calories results in weight gain which can lead to heart diseases.

Reduce the Consumption of Sodium
Although sodium is necessary in the diet, we generally have a tendency of consuming it in excess. Reducing the intake of sodium helps in lowering the blood pressure, which in turn can minimize the chances of a cardiac arrest.

Consuming fiber-rich sources of food like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is extremely beneficial for the blood pumping organ. These foods are also high in minerals and vitamins. By just bringing in certain changes in the lifestyle, we can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular diseases to a very large extent.

Activities of Daily Living for Senior

Activities of daily living or ADLs is a term that is commonly used in healthcare, especially when the nursing of an elderly or a disabled person is involved. Any activity or task that an individual undertakes throughout the course of the day constitutes as instrumental ADLs. Eating, walking, personal grooming, and hygiene, all come under it.

Many medical institutions and insurance companies conduct a study of these activities on individuals that may require additional attention. Mostly, elderly people, people with mental illnesses, and physically-challenged people are usually put through this study. The reason for carrying out this study is to assess the functionality of a person. Once this has been ascertained, the health professionals can determine what type of treatment or special care should be provided.

Importance of Activities Checklist

There are 6 basic activities that a person is expected to perform. So, if an individual cannot perform at least 2 of these activities independently, the nursing home will mostly likely admit him/her. All the tasks are monitored to ascertain if a person should be admitted or not. The cost of admitting someone into nursing homes is quite high, and as a result they need to be absolutely certain with their decision.

Basic ADLs

As mentioned earlier, there are basically 6 ADLs that any health professional will consider a part of this list.

Taking a bath/shower, Getting dressed, Eating, Toilet hygiene, Personal hygiene/grooming, Moving from one place to another

These activities need to be performed independently in order for an individual to take care of himself/herself. The most common cases where people are unable to independently perform their ADLs, is in the case of elderly people. Therefore, the analysis of these activities for elderly people is of utmost importance. Based on the results of the analysis, it can be decided what sort of nursing conditions a particular individual will require.

Instrumental ADLs

Apart from the fundamental ADLs mentioned above, there is a list of instrumental ADLs that determine if a person is capable of living in a community independently, or if they require additional assistance.

Cooking, Taking medication, ShoppingUsing the telephone, Managing money, Care of others, Care of pets, Doing housework, Emergency responses, Safety procedures

If it is found that a person can perform their basic ADLs but are unable to perform their instrumental ADLs, it is probably best to assign someone to look after them. Mostly, insurance companies tend to require this information as most of the treatments will be covered by their organizations. There is a possibility that some people may try to con these companies in order to get the insurance money. So, these companies carry out the tests very carefully to ascertain the true functionality and mobility of an individual.

Before a person is actually admitted into a nursing home for treatment, everyone must be made well aware of the specific activities they can and cannot perform. Elderly people and those with chronic illnesses are likely to be more susceptible to these tests. Monitoring their functionality can only benefit the family members and friends in the long run.

Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy

With so many heart diseases on the rise, most health-conscious people strive to find ways to keep their heart healthy.

Misconception
It is a serious misconception that being in excellent physical condition makes you less vulnerable to heart diseases. It is true that good levels of physical conditioning are a contributing factor in keeping your heart healthy, but it is not the only one. In short, fitness and health may be two different subjects if we look at it with intricacy. It is not an absolute necessity that a bodybuilder is less prone to developing a heart disease than an average man.

Go Green
When we speak of the heart, we cannot ignore the importance and benefits of plant-based foods. Vegetables are an excellent source of Glutamic acid. It is a class of amino acids which helps to keep blood pressure at lower levels; safe levels, so to say. What’s more? Veggies lack cholesterol, fat and even calories, which otherwise tend to be the common culprits for causing heart diseases. Not to mention, the amount of vitamins and minerals that vegetables provide.

Be Active
Without the aid of daily exercise, maintaining your health is a daunting task. Exercises not only improves heart function, but also helps in lowering blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in the body. A mere 30 minutes stroll daily does good for the heart. It is said that sprinting is more beneficial for the heart, than jogging.

Reduce Oil
Although, you cannot avoid oil completely, you can keep its consumption to a minimum. As oils are a storehouse of calories mostly consisting of fat, they have high chances of leading to the development of plaque in the arteries. This gives rise to some nasty heart problems. However, not all types of oil are unhealthy. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help in preventing cardiovascular diseases and reduce instances of heart attack.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people with cardiovascular disease had 30% less likelihood of heart attacks because of omega-3 fatty acids. Best sources include salmon, mackerel and herring. Flax seed, walnuts, and soybeans are also good sources.

Cut the Smoke
If you think you cannot shun the habit of smoking, then you might as well know that you cannot do anything good for your heart. One of the most severe risks of smoking relates to heart diseases in almost every smoker. Quit smoking, and you have done half the job in keeping your heart healthy!

Lose Weight
If your figure is slim, and belly flat, then you may have less things to worry about heart diseases. I am talking about weight loss. Being overweight puts extra load on the heart, thus increasing the risk of heart conditions. So, consume less sugary foods and more fiber, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the basic necessities for a healthy heart today.

Add More Fiber
Fiber exists in two major groups; soluble and insoluble. Although both types are beneficial to health, it is the former type that does way better to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Due to its soluble nature, it binds with the cholesterol in the intestines and keeps it from being absorbed. A healthy person requires a serving of 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day to avail this benefit of low cholesterol. Foods rich in this fiber include apples, peas, prunes, etc.

Beware of Saturated Fats
It is important that you limit the amount of saturated and trans fats you consume. These spike cholesterol levels in the body, thus increasing the risk of coronary disease. So avoid or limit consumption of food such as red meat, dairy products, coconut oil, palm oil. These are rich in saturated fatty acids. To avoid trans fats, eat less fast food, bakery products, snacks, crackers, and margarine. Go for foods rich in healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Eat Less Salt
Sodium is good for the body, but in small amounts. High salt intake means high blood pressure, which eventually points out to heart conditions. When sodium starts accumulating in the blood, it attracts water which in turn, increases the blood volume. Now to keep this blood circulating through the blood vessels, the heart has to work harder thus, causing high blood pressure. The recommended amount of sodium in the food per day must be less than 2300 milligrams.

Take the Right Medication
In most cases, heart diseases are also related to the use of drugs. So, it is important that you take medicines as prescribed by the doctor, or get them altered if necessary.

Moderate Alcohol
Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts does not harm the body. In fact, some studies show that moderate consumption provides some benefits for the heart. However, the habit of drinking is analogous to walking on thin ice. It is not difficult for any one to step out of his limit, and become a heavy drinker. So, ensure that either you stick to moderate drinking or you don’t drink at all.

Manage Stress
Stress has also been known to be one of the common culprits of heart problems. Any stressful situation elevates blood pressure and this response takes its toll on the heart. So, keep yourself relaxed by practicing meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.

Smile More for a Healthy Heart

I totally believe that a true smile is the way to a healthy heart. Combined with a little bit of science and a little bit of personal experience, this post will tell you why smiling is good for health, for a smile indeed has many health benefits!

A smile is probably one of the simplest of cures for anything in this world – broken confidence, broken dreams, even a broken heart. I have almost lost count of how many times I have looked into the mirror and just smiled at myself, and how it has worked to get me out of a bad mood! At the end of it you become so infected by your own smile, you wish the reflection you are seeing in the mirror were an actual person and you could hug that person and thank that person for being so nice to you!

Smiling for a Healthy Heart

The heart is one of the most vital organs of the body. The size of your heart is roughly equal to the size of your fist – with the thumb closed in. Now just imagine; such a tiny little pump sees to it that every drop of blood – and there are countless in 5 liters of blood – circulates through the body almost twice a day, everyday. That is indeed a lot of work, and you can imagine the amount of pressure on the heart and even the blood vessels of the body. Now just think about the amount of things, and the number of times, and the countless moments in life that we spend being upset about something – does it still seem worth it?

I said in one of my previous articles that it is only a healthy body that can host a happy mind. Today I will go on to say – converse is also true. If you are happy, you are going to feel great, and your body is going to respond to all that positive energy within itself. If you stay happy, you will feel positive about your life, more confident to tackle all of life’s challenges, and grab the bull by its horns. And one of the best ways to stay happy is to keep smiling. More smiles correspond to less frowns, which mean less tension and stress. Ultimately less pressure on the mind and body pave the way to a healthy body and a healthy heart.

Laughter Therapy

Did you know that laughing actually improves your blood circulation? Take a look at yourself the next time you laugh over something – the extremities of your face – particularly your nose tip and your ears – will have probably gone red and hot! It has been proved now that laughter causes the endothelium of blood vessels to dilate. Laughing also causes the body to release nitrous oxide, or the laughing gas as it is commonly called. And what’s more – seeing someone laugh makes you smile, then grin ear to ear, and finally laugh yourself! And that is what forms the basis of Dr. Madan Kataria’s brainchild, Hasyayoga – or Laughter Yoga. The source of laughter in these groups, where laughter is an exercise rather than just an expression, is not humor. But anyone passing by one of the Hasyayoga groups would burst out laughing looking at them anyway. Increased laughter means better blood circulation, which in turn ensures the health of your body, and particularly that of your heart.

Smile and Human Psychology
A common saying in any profession related to hospitality is ‘Serve with a Smile’. Nobody likes to be welcomed by a grumpy, sullen, grouchy receptionist, be it at the doctor’s or at a five-star hotel. Have you ever noticed that most wall-clocks on display in stores show the time ten minutes past ten? If yes, have you ever wondered why? It is because the way the hands of a clock are positioned at that time make it look like a smile. Watching someone smile is contagious, and you almost involuntarily tend to smile back at the person you saw smiling. In fact, so powerful is the emotion and emotional connect, that even reading the word ‘smile’ in this article must have made you smile at some point – and if not, then me mentioning it right now must definitely have! (See, there you go!) In part this could be to do with mirror neurons found in the body. Mirror neurons are those that send out the same signals when the body is subjected to a stimulus, and even when that organism sees another organism being subjected to the same stimulus. So when we say ‘I can feel your pain’, we really can feel someone’s pain. And that is probably why when you see someone yawn, you yawn too, and while you see someone smile or laugh, you smile or laugh too. Laughter indeed is contagious.

Heart Healthy Diet for Women

A healthy heart is an effort of a lifetime. It takes the right diet and strict exercise regime to keep that machine functioning at its best. Read on to know what is heart healthy diet for women.

Your heart is a machine, that is continuously pumping blood. Just as every machine requires servicing, your heart requires a little care and attention too. But obviously, you cannot send your heart to a service station, for a regular maintenance. Thus, maintaining a healthy diet is all that you can do, to keep it hale and hearty. Having a right diet, is the only way of preventing your heart from any kind of illnesses. Today, the risk of heart related problems is equal for both men and women. After the age of 40, it is imperative for a woman to take care of her heart’s health to lead a healthy life for a healthy family.

Harmful Fats
Experts say, that the daily consumption of foods high in nutrition can reduce the risk to your heart by 80%. Thus, it is important to understand how your food affects your heart. Restricting your intake of saturated fats and quitting any form of trans fat is the best way reducing the level of bad cholesterol or LDL. Avoid the butter, cheese, margarine or even white butter on your bread and food to keep away from these fats. Substitute the high fat food such as fried potato with baked potato and cook your meals in healthier oils such as olive oil, safflower, sunflower or canola. Start your day by eating only egg whites and plain toast. This is a better idea as compared to the tasteless oatmeal breakfast. You do not have to make drastic changes in your diet to have a healthy meal. Small changes like adding vegetables, fruits and low fat substitutes to your food will go a long way in making your heart healthy.

Low Cholesterol
Low cholesterol is the biggest culprit for heart related problems. Watching what you eat is the only way of controlling your cholesterol levels. The best way of avoiding HDL or bad cholesterol is by keeping away from fried packaged food. Replacing chips, cookies and fries with fruits, proteins and fibrous food stuffs is the best way of avoiding any form cholesterol intake. Nuts, fish oils, olive oil and food substances that contain sterols or stanols, block absorption of cholesterol. Simply avoid packaged food to bring down your cholesterol levels.

No Processed Food
Eating a lot of processed food can be a major risk to your heart. Easy food items such as packaged dinners, processed meats and dairy products are harmful to the heart and must be avoided as much as possible. Replace these by fresh food, fruits, salads, soups and unsalted meats. Eating excessive salt increases your blood pressure, which exposes you to the risk of heart attack. Thus reducing your intake of sodium and avoiding processed food items as much as possible is a great way of staying fit. Instead of salt, try adding spices and herbs to your food to make it tasty.

Besides eating healthy meals, it is also important that you exercise everyday. Cardiovascular exercises make your heart strong and improve the blood circulation. Regular exercise builds endurance, improves flexibility and reduces body fat, thereby minimizing the risk to your heart. While balancing your exercise and diet, maintain your focus on fibrous food as they are rich in nutrition and a great help in keep the heart fit as a fiddle. They not only mitigate the risk of heart diseases, but also assist weight loss. Go back to eating homemade meals as they are fresh and the ingredients can be monitored. Bake or boil your meals, instead of frying them. A healthy meal and a health conscious mind is the key to a healthy heart for a lifetime!