Which foods and how to cook them: or how to prevent heart disease starting from the kitchen
Cabbages? Even as a snack! What about breakfast? For example, nuts, apples and wholemeal bread. Or Nordic style, with a nice fat and tasty fish… Um, maybe better for lunch? and pasta and lentils for dinner? Why not… The health of our heart is life. Food too. And if we choose the right one, food protects our heart.
"In the last century, the increase in tobacco use, profound changes in diet and insufficient physical activity have contributed to the epidemic development of cardiovascular disease , one of the most common causes of death globally" declared David Wood, President of the World Heart Federation, on the occasion of the last World Heart Day. An unhealthy lifestyle, in fact, is the main cause of heart attacks and strokes. And cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in our country .
In addition to physical activity, food is an ally of our heart . Just choose the right one. Here are some simple rules that experts agree on. Number - trivial and effective - 1: eat healthier. Which means: more fruit and vegetables than we currently eat, do not overdo it with sugar and salt, eat a little less fat but above all give a drastic cut to industrial and processed foods , from the supermarket or from fast-food restaurants - soft drinks and fruit juices included. Thus heart attacks and strokes are prevented .
Let's see the various foods. Vegetables are really important and it is good not to underestimate the raw . Among all, green leafy ones are particularly valuable: a meta-analysis published this year, which took into consideration the results of eight studies carried out in different countries on over half a million people, confirmed this. From spinach to lettuce, and then the Brassicaceae (or crucifers), that is cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower & c : it's the right season, and they really help us prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Try them also in salads, accompanied by other vegetables, seeds and condiments, they can be a real revelation!
Then there are the legumes whose consumption, as suggested by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in the pages dedicated to the Heart Project , must be increased, since they lower the levels of excess bad cholesterol in our blood, which is responsible for the occlusion of veins and arteries, covering the coronaries .
Fruit is a must: in such fruit and vegetables, four or five portions should be eaten every day. Everyday! In particular apples, pomegranates and bananas are for us. Nuts are also excellent, without exaggerating but above all without forgetting them and dried fruit, especially raisins.
Cereals should be eaten whole, but real whole , that is the whole grain ground with its skin, and not mixed with foreign bran. Among the fats , extra virgin olive oil (make the effort to buy it “cold pressed) is the king. Flaxseed oil is also great, with which we can try to dress salads and vegetables (raw).
Meat and fish: as far as fish is concerned , it is better to focus on fatty ones , particularly rich in Omega-3. Those who live in the open sea, especially in cold areas are the richest of all. But modern salmon has too many other disadvantages: better a homegrown, fat and cheap mackerel . If you eat meat, however, it is preferable to choose the lean one and in any case limit the consumption of sausages as much as possible.
Sweets: go ahead for chocolate , but only - really dark. And if that's not enough, the secret is: make your own desserts at home. As with all the food we eat - whether it's a snack or a sauce, a second or a first course, if you do it with your hands we have control over the quality - even before the quantity - of the ingredients and it will be simpler and healthier. of any prepackaged food.