Unbreak Your Heart: The Power of Plant Forward Eating
We think it's pretty awesome that American Heart Month coincides with the month of love!
- What better month to learn how to take care of #ourhearts?!
- When we take care of our hearts, we're exhibiting self love and loving others by being the example. By advocating for better life choices, eating choices.
- Did you know that heart disease is still the number 1 killer of adults in America today? It's almost hard to believe that something so preventable kills more people than cancer and car accidents.
- Which is why we've decided to have a little chat about the many ways a plant-based lifestyle improves your heart health and your whole life!
High cholesterol and weight management
We're not just saying this because we want you to eat more plants. Even though we are a little biased.
- We're saying it because it's true. Scientifically proven. Research backed.
- It's a well-known fact that all forms of meat contain cholesterol. Red meat, particularly, contains bad cholesterol. The consumption of animal proteins is pretty terrible for you and even worse for the planet.
- Proteins such as meat, dairy, and eggs can increase your risk of heart disease and heart attack due to the high levels of cholesterol.
- But you can literally improve your heart health by consuming more plant-based foods. So it might be time to start viewing the produce section of your local grocery store as heart medicine.
- For decades doctors and nutritionists have preached low-fat diets for weight loss. New research suggests that the best way to reduce your bad cholesterol and maintain your good cholesterol is by eating a well-rounded plant-based diet full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
- Plants high in soluble fiber help reduce the absorption of bad cholesterol, and plants with Omega-3 fatty acids reduce your triglycerides, a type of fat found in blood. Here are some cholesterol lowering plant foods you can incorporate into your diet:
- Oats, beans, barley
- Soy protein
- Nuts (also provide "good" fat)
- Wheat bran, wheat germ
- Brussels sprouts
- Olive Oil
- Just one hearty reason to eat more plants (see what we did there?). Eat plants. Live longer. Die peacefully in your sleep at a ripe old age. Not from a heart attack!
Plant-based diets lower blood pressure
Did you know that approximately one-third of Americans suffer from high blood pressure? That's almost 70 million Americans.
In 2018, almost half a million Americans died from complications due to hypertension. A perfectly preventable – and naturally treatable – condition. High blood pressure puts you at risk of having a heart attack or stroke, both leading causes of death in our country.
- Mother Nature created a scientifically proven and well-researched medicine to combat high blood pressure and the effects of it. Plants.
- Plant foods are high in potassium (which lowers blood pressure), low in salt, and high in fiber.
- Getting your daily dose of fruits and vegetables and limiting your animal protein consumption are easy ways to reduce your blood pressure or maintain a healthy one.
- Herbs and spices are also commonly used and proven to help lower blood pressure. Here are some common ones you can add to your meals or take as a daily supplement instead of prescribed medications. Always consult your doctor before stopping a prescribed medication.
Basil.Basil contains compounds that help your blood vessels relax, reducing their pressure.
Parsley. Parsley is acts as a channel blocker to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Garlic. A particularly heart-healthy spice, garlic acts similarly to many blood pressure medications in lowering blood pressure.
Thyme. Thyme acts as an ACE inhibitor. ACE molecules are responsible for constricting blood vessels. This spice blocks those molecules to keep vessels dilated.
Ginger. Long used as an alternative "medicine", ginger is used to improve many aspects of heart health, including circulation, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Plants for the win. While chicken and fish proteins can provide healthy fat and Omega-3 fatty acids, they aren't proven to lower blood pressure. And you can still get your good fats and heart healthy nutrients from plants!
Can a plant-based diet reverse heart disease?
The short answer is...it's complicated.
Yes. Eating a diet of predominately whole plant-based foods (not hyper processed foods high in sodium, preservatives, and fillers) can reverse the effects of heart disease in some patients.
- But the extent to which your heart heals, or doesn't, depends largely on what type of heart disease you have, how long you've had it, how much damage has already been done, and genetics.
- The fact is, it honestly doesn't matter that much whether a plant-based diet reverses heart disease or not. What matters is that no matter what your health may be, a plant-based lifestyle will improve it.
- So in the month where you're lovestruck, love-focused, self-loving, or heart-hurt, there is no reason to not love on your heart health. If you need more resources on how to do that, check out the American Heart Association for help.
- If you're looking for more plant-based eating resources, though, we've got a community for that! It's free to join and comes with perks! Check out the Prime Roots Community page for more info on how you benefit from being a part of our foodie community. Or you can drop your email and zip deets in the form below!
- Don't forget to scoop up recipes and meet plant-based eating guru buddies in our free Facebook group, I Can't Believe It's Not Meat! All are welcome there!
Check out our FAQs for more info.
More questions? Contact us at Hello@PrimeRoots.com
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