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9 Heart Healthy Foods for Older Adults

While opportunities abound during senior years, so do health concerns. Chief among those for many people are concerns related to cardiac health. Read on to learn about some nutrients and foods that will help keep your ticker in tip-top shape. If it seems daunting to keep up with dietary guidelines for heart health, remember that one of the many benefits provided in a senior living community is the preparation of meals crafted with residents’ health in mind.

Foods Rich in Potassium
Foods to Eat: Bananas, Prunes, Potatoes with Skin

If you look at what’s included in just about any multivitamin, you’ll see potassium. Why? Because potassium does a whole lot of good inside your body. It helps keep bones strong, tag-teaming with calcium and Vitamin D to make breaks and fractures less likely. Potassium also plays a vital role in cell function, and even helps to reduce the risk of kidney stones. What’s more, potassium also helps to reduce high blood pressure, which alleviates stress on your heart. To make sure you’re getting the potassium you need, stock up on fruits and vegetables like bananas, prunes, and potatoes with the skin on.

Food Rich in Magnesium
Foods to Eat: Unprocessed foods, such as nuts, whole grains, beans, seeds, fruits, and vegetables

Magnesium is another multivitamin staple thanks to the vital role it plays in hundreds of different physiological processes. Consuming the right amount of magnesium will help to keep your immune system working as it should, your bones strong, and your heart healthy. Unfortunately, magnesium absorption decreases as you age. You can balance that out by making sure to consume unprocessed foods. Nuts, whole grains, beans, seeds, fruits, and vegetables all hit the mark.

Foods Rich in Fiber
Foods to Eat: Whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables

It’s common knowledge that fiber helps with digestion, keeping everything moving through your body as it should. But that’s not all it does. Among the many benefits of eating a healthy helping of fiber is that it protects against heart disease. Whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits, and vegetables will all help to up fiber levels.

Foods Rich in Omega-3
Foods to Eat: Salmon, tuna, soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed

Omega-3s are a group of unsaturated fats that play a key role in health and well-being. They’ve been shown to help everything from arthritis to vision, and have gained significant renown for the part they play in heart health. Consuming Omega-3s helps lower blood pressure, prevent against blood clots, and even build “good” cholesterol levels. Fish are the best source of Omega-3s, so try to incorporate dishes like salmon and tuna into your weekly meals. Soybeans, walnuts, and flaxseeds can also boost Omega-3 levels.

Oatmeal
Foods to Eat: Steel-cut oats, rolled oats

Eating oatmeal is a great way to start your day. A bowl of oatmeal packs a healthy helping of protein and fiber, keeping you fuller longer. That fiber can also help keep your cholesterol levels in check. If you can, try to favor steel-cut oats and rolled oats over instant oatmeal packets. This will help you steer clear of added sugars and boost fiber intake even more.

Avocado
Foods to Eat: Avocado toast, smoothie with avocado

Chances are, you went through most of your life without eating avocados, before they became a staple of your children’s grocery lists at their own homes. You’d do well to follow their lead, as avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which helps to reduce “bad” cholesterol.” Look up recipes for avocado toast, or smoothies that include avocado, to help work them into your diet.

Walnuts
Foods to Eat: Cereal, salad

A few walnuts go a long way. Not only are they rich in Omega-3s, they’re also high in protein. Adding walnuts to cereal, oatmeal, and salads is a great way to boost the cholesterol-fighting power of your meals.

Almond Milk
Foods to Eat: Oatmeal, cereal

Keeping almond milk in the fridge is another great way to make everyday meals just a little healthier. Use it in cereal and oatmeal to add extra vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. Or just pour yourself a glass and enjoy.

Green Tea
Foods to Eat: Hot green tea, iced green tea

Green tea is great for all-around health. It’s been shown to help everything from brain function to weight maintenance to heart health. Heat yourself up a glass with breakfast or keep a jug on ice in the fridge. Caffeine-free varieties are available to help you drink it all day long.

As always, check with your doctor regarding your personal dietary needs and restrictions.

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