Whole grains for a healthy heart

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Whole grains are good for your heart. Always ensure the grains you eat are whole. But how do you know they are whole? You can spot a heart-healthy wholegrain by reading the food label.

The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that any product containing 1g of dietary fibre per 10g of carbohydrate can call itself wholegrain.

To do the math, simply divide the carbohydrate quantity by 10; if the answer you get is equal to or less than the amount of dietary fibre the food contains, then it’s a wholegrain.

For example, a slice of bread that contains 20g of carbohydrate and 4g of fibre is definitely a wholegrain product.

Having digestive problems?

Not sure what kicks off your digestive problems? According to a study by French researchers, too much fructose could be to blame. Over a quarter of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers tested in this research reacted to a 25g load of the sugar – the amount found in a couple of handfuls of raisins, plus an apple and a slice of toast with honey. Foods high in fructose include honey, smoothies, juices and energy drinks, dried fruits, apples, pears and some processed sweetened foods. A high intake of fructose can cause abdominal symptoms in anyone according to doctors, but people with IBS are especially prone to developing symptoms such as pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

The best energy booster

Your morning cup of coffee can give you a good jolt, but it may not be the best way to truly wake yourself up. A study by the University of Georgia in the US found that engaging in just 20 minutes of low-intensity activity a day can increase energy levels in tired people by 20 per cent. So no matter how tight your schedule is, add pep to your step by squeezing activity into your regular routine. Take a walk on your lunch breaks, start or end your day in the gym, and on weekends squeeze in a longer walk in your neighbourhood or the park, or go for a swim. Any activity that raises your heart rate is good for you.

Boost your libido

For a spicier sex life, skip the champagne and oysters and pile your plate with shrimp, walnuts and leafy green vegetables. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids increase the production of dopamine, a brain chemical that enhances pleasure. To heat things up in your bedroom, ensure to get at least 640 milligrams of omega-3s a day through a supplement and foods such as salmon, sardines, and flaxseeds.

Published April 2017…

 

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