Love your Heart with a Vegan Diet
High cholesterol, heart disease and cardiovascular ailments are unfortunate side effects of Americans’ ongoing struggle with obesity – and all indications are that it’s mostly of our own doing. Although some genetic and other diseases (like diabetes) can lead to heart trouble, it’s primarily what we eat that contributes to our heart health, or lack thereof.
Why Plant Based?
A diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and have remarkable effects on improving heart health – one combined with a plant-based diet can do even more. Eliminating meat, eggs, dairy, and unnecessary oils from your diet virtually eliminates the harmful fats and bad cholesterol that can lead to heart disease.
How the Heart is Affected
Your heart’s endothelial cells pump out nitric oxide, which keeps blood vessels smooth so everything can flow without hindrance. Additionally, nitric oxide prevents inflammation of the arteries and reduces the chances of developing plaque on the arterial walls or blockages. Certain foods can help increase the production of nitric oxide, while others can have detrimental affects. Studies have shown that the foods which most reduce nitric oxide production include processed foods, meat, dairy, sugar, and coffee. Meanwhile, foods including whole grains, beans, fruit and colorful or green, leafy vegetables can increase nitric oxide production and improve cardiovascular healthy. Some examples of heart-healthy foods include bok choy, Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, green herbs, spinach and asparagus.
Taking the First Steps
Not everyone can go “cold turkey” when it comes to a complete overhaul of their diet, so try with small steps. Once you start to feel the results taking further action will be easy as you will have additional motivation. Take the first step by adopting Meatless Monday and cut out dairy. Other meals should include less harmful foods and more greens and colorful veggies. Take a look at what you consume on a daily basis, particularly snacks as we tend to assign them less importance than meals, even though we depend on them to keep our bodies fueled throughout the day. Trade unhealthy snacks for fresh veggies, hummus, healthy nuts or seeds.
Take a look at some healthy, plant-based recipes for inspiration – you’ll be amazed at how delicious food can be without meat and dairy. Find new ways to introduce plant-based foods into your diet – salads, soups, smoothies, etc. In no time at all you’ll be embracing a plant-based diet and all the heart-healthy benefits it offers.
Vegan Meal Delivery
If you are in need of a diet overhaul, consider our new Vegan Meal Delivery. With 100% plant-based, organic, soy-free and gluten-free meals delivered to your doorstep, you’ll never have to wonder what to eat! You’ll always have perfectly portioned, healthy and delicious meals on hand.Learn more about the meal plans >