7 Ways Older Adults can Manage Their Atrial Fibrillation Through Food
February 8, 2017
Caregiver in San Jose CAAtrial fibrillation is a heart condition that could become extremely dangerous and possibly fatal if the elder does not properly manage their condition. Along with medication and a plan from the elder’s doctor, atrial fibrillation can also be managed through the foods they eat.With the help of their caregivers during grocery shopping trips and meal preparations, here are 7 foods that should be included in your loved one’s diet to improve their heart health.
- Eat more spinach. Dark green, leafy veggies are loaded with vitamin K, which can help with clotting for those seniors who also take blood thinners. Spinach is an excellent source of this vitamin, but it can also be found in a variety of dark vegetables, like broccoli. Make sure the elder does not suddenly increase or decrease their intake of vitamin K without their doctor’s approval.
- Reduce caffeine intake. Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause the elder’s atrial fibrillation to flare up. One way to make sure this does not happen is by cutting the amount of caffeine the elder has each day. Green tea offers a small amount of caffeine, but will not cause the elder’s heart to go into overdrive like espresso or other high-caffeine beverages would.
- Cook with extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil contains healthy fats that the heart needs to work properly. It also contains monounsaturated fats, which has been shown to protect the heart. This oil can be used in salad dressings or when cooking in order to replace butter or vegetable oil.
- Eat nuts. Nuts, like walnuts, can also protect the heart because they contain healthy fats, vegetable fatty acids, and alpha-linoleic acid. These nutrients can help prevent inflammation by lowering the amount of plaque that builds up on the artery walls. Encourage your loved one to eat nuts instead of chips for a crunchy, salty snack.
- Use avocado instead of mayonnaise. Mashed avocado can be used as a substitute for fatty mayonnaise, which can also protect the heart. Avocado contains monounsaturated fats that keeps the heart protected and prevents inflammation. It is also packed with fiber.
- Watch your meat intake. Meat, especially red meat, can be dangerous for the elder’s heart. However, black beans or veggie burgers are a healthy alternative to red meats. These healthy alternatives contain fiber and nutrients that can’t be found in steaks or burgers.
- Opt for fresh herbs instead of salt. Cutting back on sodium is one of the best things your loved one can do for their heart. Yet, this does not mean they should only eat bland foods. Fresh herbs can be used to replace salt for tasty meals without the unhealthy side effects.