Food For Thought For Men’s Healthy Heart
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
What will make you feel great today and tomorrow? Your nutrition. Nutrition has an immediate impact on your overall health, not just in the years ahead. Many nutrients of concern for men are involved with heart health, so incorporating more heart-healthy foods is a great way to help you feel your best!
You may love the crunchiness of hearty whole-grain bread or the al dente texture of whole grain pasta, but did you know these foods play a role in keeping you healthy? Incorporating fiber-rich foods into your day is a great way to help lower your cholesterol and regulate digestion. Weave in additional sources of fiber like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds into dishes and your heart and gut will thank you.
With its rich flavor and tender texture, it’s no surprise salmon is one of the most consumed sources of seafood in the country. Whether you like your salmon grilled, oven-roasted or pan-fried, it serves as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help lower triglyceride levels, slow the buildup of plaque in the arteries and may lower blood pressure slightly. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish per week. Need more fish and seafood in your weekly meals? Enjoy herring, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, tuna, swordfish and mussels.
Yogurt’s smooth, creamy texture and versatile taste ranging from sweet, sour or rich makes it a perfect way to get your vitamin D. Whether you enjoy yogurt on its own, in smoothies or with toppings, reach for one that is fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial for men to maintain strong bones while aging and prevent osteoporosis. Other sources of vitamin D include salmon, fortified cow’s milk and soy milk.
With summer cookouts on the horizon, there’s nothing like enjoying smooth, refreshing guacamole. Enjoy it as a dip, topping or even on whole-wheat toast and benefit from the blood pressure lowering effects of potassium and magnesium. Enjoy other foods offering potassium and magnesium such as spinach, beans, potatoes (keep the skin on!), broccoli, oranges, tomatoes, whole grains, dark leafy vegetables and nuts for their impact on reducing blood pressure.
As you can see, there are plenty of foods you can incorporate into your daily meals to maximize your consumption of these nutrients of concern! Get started with these recipes for meal, snack or side dish inspiration: