You know that saying… you are what you eat? That could be holding more weight these days when it comes to your cardiovascular health. By eating the right things you can decrease your chances of heart attack and stroke.
By now most of us know that we shouldn't be eating fast food everyday and we should be eating more fruits and vegetables, but that doesn't always mean we do it. Earlier this month at the 27th Annual North Central Heart Fall Symposium in Sioux Falls, Dr. Russell Greenfield from Charlotte, North Carolina (UNC Chapel Hill Integrative Healthcare) spoke to the reason we should stick to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Dr. Greenfield says, "An anti-inflammatory diet speaks to the fact that inflammation is either the root cause or contributor to a great deal of illnesses. We want people to know they can take some control of it by simply eating foods that cause less inflammation in the body."
Foods like vibrant colored berries and vegetables, nuts, whole grains like brown rice and quinoa and cold water fish like salmon because they contain the Omega 3 fatty acid. Stay away from processed foods full of trans fat.
Dr. Greenfield says, "Trans fat increases inflammation in the body and increases the bad cholesterol or the LDL cholesterol. It really makes a sizable increase in heart disease and other inflammatory disorders and can worsen the symptoms in things like arthritis. It's important to stay away from trans fat."
Dr. Greenfield encourages us to eat chocolate, but there's a caveat. It needs to be dark chocolate because it contains significant antioxidants with the potential to make our blood less sticky and blood clots don't form as quickly. So he says go ahead and enjoy a piece of dark chocolate a day, just don't eat the whole bag or you aren't doing yourself any favors.
Dr. Greenfield says, "It's interesting to note, that if people have cholesterol build up in their blood vessels and there is not a lot of inflammation underneath, there is much less risk of cholesterol plaque breaking off blocking blood vessels causing heart attack or stroke."
Dr. Greenfield says if we all took more control of our own lives. If we eat better, exercise, sleep more and stress less we'd spend more of lives living and less of it recovering.