Starting your day off right can include things like making your bed, writing a to-do list, and eating breakfast. But have you ever considered adding a heart-healthy habit to your morning? Well, it could be as easy as choosing the right AM beverage. For the coffee lovers that are holding their breath right now: Don’t worry. Coffee can be a part of a heart-healthy routine, as long as you practice moderation, according to Mariell Jessup, MD, cardiologist, American Heart Association chief medical officer. So, if you’re looking for a few liquids that can help make your heart happy, the following drinks are fantastic for your heart health.
Hydration is essential for your heart because, according to Dr. Jessup, your blood benefits from proper hydration, which helps it function better. Adequate hydration ensures your body is efficiently transporting oxygen via your arteries, and it supports your body’s ability to flush waste. Water also helps you maintain your body temperature and is essential for digestion and nutrient absorption. In short, starting your day with a few ounces of water is a solid idea.
One to two cups of coffee can be part of a healthy diet, Dr. Jessup says. In fact, coffee consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of heart failure. Consuming so much that you’re anxious, though, is where you need to be careful, she adds. Everyone’s body is different; however, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (about four or five eight-ounce cups of coffee) is considered safe for most adults.
You should also consider drinking a little water while waiting for your coffee to brew. Coffee is a diuretic, which means it encourages your kidneys to expel more water at a quicker rate than average, according to the Mayo Clinic. So having a glass of water can replenish the fluids you’re losing when you consume diuretics like coffee.
3. Select fruit juices
Fresh juice from heart-friendly fruits and veggies, like raspberries, blueberries, kale, carrots, and blackberries, are a great addition to your morning routine. Juice from antioxidant-rich berries, grapes, cranberries, cherries, carrots, celery, and oranges can support your cardiovascular because there’s evidence that chemicals like flavonoids or polyphenols reduce inflammation, stroke, and cardiovascular disease risk.
There are major heart-health benefits but, be aware that high-sugar content in juice can disrupt your blood glucose levels in a way that could harm your cardiovascular health over time, says Sunny Vikrum Malhotra, MD, NY state board-certified cardiologist with Premier Cardiology and president of Cardiac Registry Support. He recommends pairing high-sugar juice with a balanced high-protein, high-fiber meal. When consumed on an empty stomach, the sugar can quickly spike your blood sugar. However, as part of a balanced breakfast, your blood sugar can rise and fall slowly. This slow rise in blood glucose is beneficial for your long-term heart health.
4. Heart-healthy smoothies
If you’re looking for a great drink in the morning, you could consider having an antioxidant, protein, omega 3, and a fiber-packed smoothie for breakfast, Dr. Jessup says. Omega 3 fats like nuts and seeds are linked to lower blood pressure and stroke risk, and antioxidants like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries help rid the body of “free radicals” or cells that could potentially cause cancer. Fiber like that in oats or whole grains has a low glycemic index, which can support a slow increase in blood sugar instead of fast spikes and crashes. (We have a delicious blueberry smoothie you might enjoy.)
5. Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent option for your brain and heart if you’re looking for a caffeine fix. An article published in Nutrition Review says that, in southeastern Asian countries, there’s a connection between green tea consumption and a decreased number of cardiovascular health problems, including decreased LDL cholesterol levels.
6. Golden milk/turmeric latte
Turmeric has very well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. Related to ginger, turmeric also helps with anxiety management and upset stomach. However, according to the Cleveland Clinic, curcumin makes turmeric a cardiovascular superstar. There’s evidence that the compound protects the body against cardiovascular diseases in the long run. So, to get turmeric benefits in the morning, you can use your favorite kind of milk, turmeric, ginger for added flavor, and a spritz of black pepper. Black pepper is important because it contains an ingredient called piperine, making it up to 2000 percent easier for your body to absorb turmeric’s benefits.
Article by Hannah Schneider