Heart Healthy Dietary Tips to Incorporate this Christmas
The festive season is a time for celebrating with family, friends and loved ones. In the midst of the celebrations, it’s easy to overindulge in Christmas cuisines that can be high in refined sugars and saturated/trans fats. This can set many of us back from maintaining a healthy balanced diet, especially when it comes to our heart health.
Here are the top foods you can incorporate this Christmas to keep your heart and overall health on track over the festive season:
- Experiment with salads
Between the pavlovas and roasts, try incorporating green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli and avocado to ensure adequate intake of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, all of which are great for your heart health. Boost your protein consumption by adding legumes like black beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas. These plant proteins are key sources of iron and zinc and will help bulk up your salad to keep you feeling fuller for longer. And finally to up your intake of healthy fats, use tahini and oils like olive oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil as the base for salad dressings.
- Serve a seafood spread
Another great way to boost and stay on top of your heart health is by trying a range of seafood options for your Christmas feast – think wild-caught salmon, calamari, whiting, tuna, crab and classic prawns. Rich in omega-3 fats, these are great for maintaining good general health and reduce the risk of heart-related problems in the long-term.
- Add a fruit salad to the dessert table
The summer brings with it an abundance of seasonal fruits like berries, mangoes, cherries, melons, peaches, plums and more. Not only are these at their best over the summer and budget friendly, they are great alternatives to sugary desserts that are often served over Christmas. Between the cakes and pavlovas, try to incorporate fruit salads that are rich in vitamins and fibre for a heart conscious, sweet option.
- Supplement for optimum energy
When it comes to heart health, consuming antioxidants is a great way to reverse the damage caused by oxidation and free radicals, which causes inflammation and ageing in our bodies. Supplements can be useful when diet intake is inadequate or when life’s business prevents us from eating an ideal heart healthy diet.
Ubiquinol is a powerful, naturally occurring antioxidant in your body which is essential in energy production. Supplementing with Ubiquinol has been shown to assist in maintaining healthy levels of LDL cholesterol and may help with overall maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system[i]. In a study in an American Heart Association journals, patients with heart disease who took Ubiquinol showed an improvement in the plasma CoQ10 levels and improvement in heart function[ii].
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your doctor or healthcare professional.