Professor Chen Keji, a medical doctor who is currently a lecturer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recommends these 10 dietary principles that can help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
1. Choose soy milk over dairy milk
Being a vegetable-based drink, soy milk contains dietary fiber, while cow milk has none. Cow’s milk contains cholesterol that can lead to hypertension.
Soy milk can prevent multiple chronic illnesses, and is a healthier choice. Note: patients with breast cancer and renal dysfunction should avoid consuming large amounts of soy milk.
2. Don’t eat till you’re full
If you always eat until you are full, eventually your digestive system will be weakened. This will lead to indigestion and gastrointestinal diseases.
A research group from Tokai University School of Medicine in Japan found that 30 to 40 percent of Alzheimer’s patients have the habit of overeating. A proper eating habit for the elderly is to stop eating when you are 80 percent full.
3. You only need four cups of water if you are not thirsty
Drinking seven cups of water will create too much work for your kidneys. Normally, a person will only need four cups of water.
- Early in the morning: a cup of warm water to wake up your stomach
- Mid-morning: a cup of water before lunch to help digestion
- Afternoon: a cup of flower tea to refresh yourself
- Evening: a cup of water before dinner to increase gastrointestinal motility. It also thins the blood to protect the cardiovascular system.
4. No matter what your reason is, don’t smoke
For the eldery, smoking will cause back pain, mental decline, and stroke. The nicotine in cigarettes will thicken your blood and highly increase the chance of getting a stroke
5. Drinking coffee may cause osteoporosis in women
Caffeine is diuretic and increases calcium removal in the body. Women have lower bone density than men. After the age of 30, women will experience severe bone loss because of the lowered estrogen secretion.
6. Add grains and vegetables to your diet
Our ancestors knew what a healthy diet was long ago. It says in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) that grains provide nutrients to the internal organs and vegetables are necessary supplements. Eating them together can nurture the energy in your body.
Multiple grains and vegetables provide trace elements that are essential to your body. The large amount of crude fiber can greatly decrease the risk of colorectal cancers.
7. Control the use of salt
It’s recommended in The Chinese Dietary Guidelines that a person’s daily intake of salt be six grams. This is the amount that a beer cap holds. Sodium chloride stimulates vessel contraction and increases the blood pressure.
8. Brush your teeth before drinking water in the morning
A cup of warm water after you clean your mouth can wake up the stomach and stimulate intestinal movement.
9. Two apples a day can significantly relieve constipation
The rich dietary fiber in the apple peel can cleanse the intestinal track. There are 2.1 grams of dietary fiber in 100 grams of red Fuji apples, which is far more than a banana. Eating one apple in the morning and one in the evening can improve the functions of the gastrointestinal system.
10. Eat fish once a week
Eating fish is more efficient in lowering blood lipids than eating vegetables. The fatty acids in fish can be easily digested and absorbed by the body. They lower the cholesterol levels in blood and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Translated research by Hsin-Yi Lin and Alan Cheung