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Young at Heart: Superfoods to Maintain Heart Health

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Did you know that 17 individuals are estimated to die daily due to cardiovascular diseases? With heart diseases and strokes being the cause behind one in every three deaths in Singapore, it is known as the epidemic of the 20th century. Of the many possible factors that led to the increase in the prevalence of heart-related diseases, one worth considering is the increase in the number of individuals choosing convenience over health.

So, if you are looking to make a change and kickstart your journey to optimal heart health, what are some of the things you can do? One of them is to incorporate more superfoods into your diet!

Keeping Health at the Heart of Your Diet & Lifestyle

There are two common saying that is widely known in the fitness community: “abs are made in the kitchen” and “you are what you eat.” It is a given that a healthy diet and exercise are what ensure optimal health. According to the Health Promotion Board in Singapore, 150 minutes of exercise every week is necessary to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, maintain heart health, and enhance your quality of life. Exercise for heart health is one thing, and as mentioned, your diet is another. Known for its saturation of nutrients, superfoods are worth considering. Here are some superfoods that you can incorporate into your daily eating habits to improve heart health:

1. Ginger

 Loaded with the bioactive compound, gingerol, ginger is capable of reducing blood sugar levels and risk of heart disease. How? It alters the ratio of Apolipoprotein that binds to fats and cholesterol and how it is transported throughout the body. By reducing the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio and MDA, which are risk factors for heart disease, heart health is improved, when forms of ginger, like raw organic ginger powders easily found in Singapore, are incorporated into your diet.

2. Organic Quinoa Seeds

 Just like black chia seeds, organic quinoa seeds are a nutrition powerhouse. A good alternative to simple carbohydrates like white rice, this plant-based food has a high protein value, rich in minerals and essential amino acids, fibre, and vitamins.

3. Organic Cacao Powder

 Research has shown that dark chocolate can improve health and even lower risks of heart disease. However, compared to processed cocoa, raw organic cacao powder is a superior product with its high concentrations of bioactive compounds. Being a rich source of flavanols that stimulates the lining of your arteries, consuming it may reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation. So, skip the chocolate bars, and mix some organic cacao powder into your breakfast smoothie.

4. Organic Chia Seeds

What could these tiny black seeds possibly do for your body? A lot! Black chia seeds contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower low levels of triglyceride and raise High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – the good fat – in your blood, lowering the risk of heart disease. Organic chia seeds are also loaded with heart-healthy antioxidants, proteins, and minerals, which indirectly lowers blood pressure, especially in people with hypertension.

5. Acai

Packed with antioxidants, Acai prevents cellular damage. They are also hypothesised to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Since fresh Acai berries are hard to come by in Singapore, freeze-dried Acai powder is the next best option. Add a teaspoon or more into your smoothie bowl, and reap all its health benefits.

Moderation is Key

Above all else, leading a healthy lifestyle daily is the key to optimal heart health. Superfoods are a supplement and never the solution. Therefore, shop for organic foods and eat clean instead of heading down to the popular food centres in Singapore for a quick meal and be sure to exercise to keep your heart healthy and happy.

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