When we hear of medical conditions like heart disease, we always think that they can be managed but not healed. The truth is, by cleaning up your diet with vegan food choices, you can make a huge positive impact on your heart.
- Lower Your Cholesterol
Lowering your cholesterol is a must for a healthier heart. The benefit of vegan diets is that by cutting out animal products, you decrease your cholesterol instantly - plant foods don’t contain this dietary baddie!
- Eat the Right Things
Dean Ornish, MD, is the president and founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute. He has written six bestsellers, and also has a program to heal heart conditions. 'The Ornish Spectrum' features groups of foods that range from healthy to unhealthy. Becoming vegetarian is imperative for reversing heart disease, and the author states that plates should be filled with foods such as:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Soy products
(He mentions other non-vegan foods, such as non-fat dairy, which we will give a skip!)
One of the important points is to focus on eating foods that are in their natural form as much as possible. You should then guard your heart by avoiding foods such as the following:
- Processed carbohydrates
- Refined sugar
Other Foods that Heal Your Heart. Apart from the above, there are some specific foods and ingredients that can make your heart stronger. These include:
- 1. Fresh Herbs
These can be used to replace sugar or salt in your meals, making them powerful ammunition against heart disease and high blood pressure. Mix them with nuts or berries for a taste sensation.
- 2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As a vegan, you’re not indulging in butter but you might need something fatty - remember we do need monounsaturated fats in our diets. Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants known as polyphenols that keep your blood vessels in excellent shape.
- 3. Walnuts
These nuts are great for getting your omega-3s, plus they lower your cholesterol. You just need a handful of them a day to reap their benefits!
- 4. Blueberries
These antioxidant-rich fruits are really good for your heart. They help to eradicate bad cholesterol, which can heal various heart diseases. Added to this, they also help to strengthen the cardiac muscles.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons.