The unrefined way to a healthy heart

Life can often be very hectic and certain lifestyle factors like stress and our rushed food choices can lead to an unhappy gut, bloating and constipation.

What’s more, if you’re not looking after your gut then your heart might take a knock too. Gut Week is the perfect time to make some changes for an overall healthier you. Starchy foods such as bread, cereals, pasta and rice are an essential part of a healthy diet and your body’s main source of energy, which should make up a third of your intake. However, choosing unprocessed wholegrain foods is even better for a healthy heart. Refine your digestive system with a few unrefined tweaks:

Eat more fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholewheat pasta and cereals like muesli. The fibre intake from these foods also aids digestion and promotes bowel health. Drinking plenty of fluids will help too.

Soluble fibre found in oats, beans and lentils, helps lower blood cholesterol, so start your day with a bowl of porridge and throw in some fruit for an extra punch of heart-healthy goodness to do your heart and arteries a favour.

Wholegrains have a good range of vitamins and minerals that are important for a healthy gut, heart and body.

Fibre provides bulk giving a feeling of fullness which may prevent unhealthy snacking and help to control weight. What’s more, gram for gram, fibre is lower in calories than protein and fat. This is great news for our hearts as carrying too much weight, particularly around the middle, can increase the risk of heart disease.

Regular exercise is a great stress-buster and is essential for heart health. It will also help control your weight and aid digestion.

Give your heart the best and make that swap today - go for unrefined all the way.

For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK, email lifestyle@heartresearch.org.uk