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  • Writer's pictureLisa Smith

What is a Heart Healthy Diet?

Updated: Jun 4


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Women’s Heart Health During Menopause


Menopause brings about so many changes for women in midlife, one of the more concerning is an increased risk of heart disease. 


What Diet is Heart Healthy?


In this blog post, we’ll explore why maintaining a healthy heart during menopause is so crucial, with a focus on the role our metabolic health and weight management plays, with 5 simple diet and lifestyle tips for a healthy heart and overall well-being.



Understanding the Menopausal Shift


Menopause, a natural phase in a woman’s life, is marked by hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decline in oestrogen levels. This hormonal shift is not only responsible for the various symptoms associated with menopause but also plays a significant role in altering cardiovascular dynamics. 


Research suggests that the decrease in oestrogen levels can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. As an experienced nutritional therapist specialising in women’s health in midlife. My science-based approach acknowledges these changes and aims to support women in midlife, through holistic practices built into their everyday lives. These 5 simple diet and lifestyle tips will help you look after your heart health.



The Significance of Metabolic Health


Metabolism, the process by which our bodies convert food into energy, undergoes changes during menopause. As oestrogen levels decline, there’s a tendency for weight gain, particularly around the middle. 


This change not only impacts your physical appearance but is also a key factor in cardiovascular health. Addressing these metabolic shifts becomes greatly important in safeguarding against heart-related concerns such as heart disease.




Follow Your Heart With Nutrition Tips


heart art


Nutrition Tips for Midlife Women


Here are 5 simple tips to support your heart health:


1. Heart-Healthy Fats:

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, play a crucial role in cardiovascular health. These healthy fats contribute to reducing inflammation, managing cholesterol levels, and supporting overall heart function.


2. Plant-Based Nutrients:

The power of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables cannot be overstated. Encouraging midlife women to include a diverse array of plant-based foods in their diet aids in reducing inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet provides essential nutrients for heart health. Research suggests a Mediterranean or vegetarian diet supports cardiovascular health.


3. Mindful Eating Practices:

Beyond the food choices, mindful eating practices support a positive relationship with food. This approach enhances digestion and absorption of nutrients, contributing to weight loss and overall metabolic well-being.


4. Balancing Macronutrients:

A balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats is crucial for managing blood sugar levels and supporting a healthy metabolism.


5. Stay Hydrated with Herbal Teas:

Herbal teas, such as hibiscus or green tea, not only provide hydration but also offer cardiovascular benefits.




3 Lifestyle Tips for Heart Health


human heart light

Lifestyle is Key for Heart Health


Here are 3 lifestyle tips to support your heart health:


1. Regular Physical Activity:

Engaging in regular exercise is a cornerstone of heart health. Try brisk walks, yoga or swimming. Finding enjoyable activities supports overall well-being and helps manage weight, a crucial aspect for women in midlife.


2. Stress Management Techniques:

Chronic stress can adversely affect heart health. Implementing stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness practices is essential for a holistic approach to heart health.


3. Adequate Sleep:

Quality sleep is often underestimated in its impact on metabolic health. Improving sleep contributes, not only to overall well-being, but also to a healthier heart.




Online Nutrition Advice in Manchester & Across the UK


Lisa Smith nutritional therapist


Discover the Power of Nutrition!


For those seeking a more personalised health journey, book a FREE 30-minute online consultation. I am a BANT registered Nutritional Therapist and health coach offering online nutrition advice, specialising in women's health and midlife weight loss. My WOW! transformative health and weight loss programme is tailored to meet your individual needs, from perimenopause to menopause and beyond. Cheshire Nutrition is based in Altrincham, Manchester. I work online with clients from Altrincham, Manchester and across the UK. 





DISCLAIMER: The content on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on my website.



References:


Pallazola VA, Davis DM, Whelton SP, Cardoso R, Latina JM, Michos ED, Sarkar S, Blumenthal RS, Arnett DK, Stone NJ, Welty FK. A Clinician's Guide to Healthy Eating for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2019 Aug 1;3(3):251-267. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2019.05.001. PMID: 31485563; PMCID: PMC6713921.


Pallazola VA, Davis DM, Whelton SP, Cardoso R, Latina JM, Michos ED, Sarkar S, Blumenthal RS, Arnett DK, Stone NJ, Welty FK. A Clinician's Guide to Healthy Eating for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. Mayo Clin Proc Innov Qual Outcomes. 2019 Aug 1;3(3):251-267. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocpiqo.2019.05.001. PMID: 31485563; PMCID: PMC6713921.


Tappia PS, Blewett H. Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Mar 26;21(7):2284. doi: 10.3390/ijms21072284. PMID: 32225035; PMCID: PMC7178170.


Casas R, Castro-Barquero S, Estruch R, Sacanella E. Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Dec 11;19(12):3988. doi: 10.3390/ijms19123988. PMID: 30544955; PMCID: PMC6320919.





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