Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death across the world. It can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, and weight even. There are several factors that can contribute to poor heart health such as unhealthy diet, stress, smoking, and even a sedentary lifestyle. Genetics can also increase a person’s risk of developing heart problems, but the good news is that there are ways to keep our heart functioning well.
Best Foods for Heart Health
For those who are looking for tips for good heart health, it all begins with the kinds of food that we eat. A diet that is low in vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts, but high in salty and processed foods can affect the heart as they can cause fats to build up in the arteries, causing a blockage. Fortunately, people are starting to become aware of the food that they are eating nowadays that they are looking for healthy options to protect their cardiovascular health. That said, if you are one of those who want to have good heart health, these foods should be added to your diet.
Green VegetablesGreen-colored vegetables such as collard greens, kale, as well as spinach are known to contain high amounts of antioxidants and essential nutrients. They do have vitamin K which can help with blood clotting as well as keeping the arteries clear from any blockage.
AvocadosAnother food that can aid with the heart’s health is avocado. It contains monounsaturated fats that have been found to lower one’s cholesterol levels thus reducing a person’s risk of having heart problems. Consuming avocado can bring down LDL or bad cholesterol down thus promoting a healthy heart.
Fatty FishHeart experts recommend that fatty fish should be eaten at least two times a week. Fish such as tuna, sardines, and salmon, contain fatty acids that can help reduce triglycerides, total cholesterol level, as well as blood pressure. Those who are not fans of eating fish can still get their benefits by taking fish oil supplements.
Dark ChocolateAnother example of a food that is good for the heart is dark chocolate. Just like eating vegetables, dark chocolate contains antioxidants that aid in promoting a healthy heart. Of course, not all chocolates are the same. If you want to reap the health benefits, look for dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa in it. It is also recommended that you limit your intake to a single piece of every meal.
SeedsWhat other foods can you add to your diet to help with your heart? Hemp, chia, and even flax are among those that come highly recommended for promoting better cardiovascular health since they can minimize inflammation, lower triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.
Olive OilWhen it comes to healthy eating for the heart, the Mediterranean Diet is a good option to consider. One part of this diet is the use of olive oil. This oil has high amounts of antioxidants that can alleviate inflammation in the body while minimizing the occurrence of chronic issues. It’s easy to incorporate olive oil in your meals such as using it as a vinaigrette, drizzling it on salads, and use it for baking too.
AlmondsLike it was mentioned before, consuming nuts is also good for the heart. One example is almond which is nutrient-dense. It also contains high amounts of fiber as well as healthy fats that protect the heart from various health issues. Consuming 43 grams of almonds can help bring down bad cholesterol.
Exercise for Heart Health
Aside from the foods mentioned above, for those who want to have better heart health, exercise should be made part of one’s daily routine. To improve your cardiovascular health, adding these types of workouts can help.
Those who are carrying extra body fats can be dangerous since it poses a threat to their health, particularly their heart. Resistance exercises like with the use of bands, free weights, and bodyweight exercises like chin-ups, and even different kinds of squats are recommended. Fitness experts suggest that resistance training should be done at least two times a week but not consecutively.
Another type of workout that can improve one’s heart health is aerobics. This helps with boosting blood circulation, reduce heart rate, and keep blood pressure at the right levels too. Through aerobics, such as doing walks or running on a treadmill, how well the heart pumps can be improved significantly too. There are benefits to adding this workout to your day such as lowering one’s risk of having diabetes while those who have diabetes, will find it easier for them to manage their blood sugar levels. Doing at least 30 minutes of aerobic workouts per day is recommended.
Although exercises for stretching and flexibility do not have a direct impact on our heart, they can still contribute to our musculoskeletal system. Through flexibility workouts, it can help provide relief from joint pain, muscle problems, and even cramps too. Stretching and flexibility workouts can be done before and after the main workout for the day. A good example here is doing yoga which combines stretching as well as flexibility training for the entire body.
Boost Your Heart Health the Right Way
It is easy to assume that only the elderly are at high risk of suffering from heart issues. Unfortunately, anyone can be susceptible to this health problem because of the diet and lifestyle that we are following. That said, it is not too late to start protecting your heart. You can start by revamping your current diet by introducing more vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruits too while ditching unhealthy snacks like chips and sweets. Also, instead of sitting all day long, adding exercise to your list of daily activities comes recommended as well. Combining different exercises such as stretching, resistance training, and aerobic workouts can help improve our overall physique and our heart’s health too.
It would help if you consult your doctor regarding your heart’s current status so you will know how to approach your fitness and diet. It is never too late to start paying attention to your heart.