Heart disease is the leading cause of death according to the CDC which means that if you take care of your heart, you‘ll have a greater chance at living a long and healthy life. Although it was previously widely believed that diseases of the heart and blood vessels were an inevitable part of aging, today we know this is simply not the case. Simple dietary and lifestyle changes are now recognized as playing a huge role in the maintenance of heart health. With that being said, here are 10 tips for a healthy heart you need to know.
1. Don’t Smoke
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), smoking causes about 1 in 5 deaths in The U.S. each year. This is because smoking is known to harm almost every organ in your body and that includes the heart as well. Smoking is believed to damage the heart and blood vessels because it increases* a person’s blood pressure and because it encourages the formation of blood clots – two major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
2. Exercise Regularly
Because your heart is essentially a muscle, the best way to keep it healthy and functioning is with regular exercising. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have a 50% reduced* risk of myocardial infarction and a reduced* risk of all-cause mortality. So, if you needed more convincing to start exercising then considers how important it is for your heart.
3. Drink a Glass of Wine Every Day
Moderate wine drinking can be good for your heart according to current research which is especially true for red wine. Both the alcohol and antioxidant content of red wine are believed to be the reason why regular wine drinkers seem to have a reduced* incidence of heart diseases and why they tend to live longer.
4. Eat More fish
Fish is the best source of essential omega-3 fatty acids that you could find. Because omega-3 fatty acids can’t be produced by the body, we need to obtain them from food sources such as fish. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids reduce* inflammation, correct arrhythmia, and reduce* the risk of arterial plaque from forming – all things that are good for your heart.
5. Keep Your Weight in Check
Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for a wide host of diseases and a reduced* life expectancy in general. Studies show that overweight and obese people are at a greater risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure, and sudden death when compared to normal-weight individuals so keeping your weight in check is important if you want to protect your heart.
6. Eat More Fiber and Less Fat
A low-fat and high-fiber diet is the best kind of diet you could be eating for your health. Studies have observed long ago that this type of diet had a favorable effect on blood lipid levels and blood clotting, thus reducing* a person’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
7. Take Control of your Stress Levels
Chronic stress is bad for your health on so many levels. According to a study published in Nature Reviews, epidemiological data shows that chronic stress was associated with an increased incidence of coronary heart disease. Chronic stress is also known to cause heart attack and other life-threatening events in some.
8. Reduce* your Salt Intake
Too much salt in your food could lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). Since high blood pressure is dangerous for your heart and blood vessels, it would be a good idea to keep your salt intake at less than 5-6 grams a day.
9. Eat more plant-based food
According to a study on 9608 adults between 25 and 74 years of age, higher intake of fruits and vegetables was associated with a 27% lower stroke incidence and 42% lower stroke mortality. This is because fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber while being low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol – all of which make it a perfect food choice for a healthy heart.
10. Spend more time in the Fresh Air
Air pollution is now widely recognized as a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. If you are living in a polluted area, it would be a good idea to spend as much free time possible in the fresh air. You could also improve* indoor air quality with air filters which may reduce* your risk of cardiovascular disease and help improve* your overall health.
Your heart is probably the most important organ in your body. Unfortunately, most of us don’t take care of our heart as well as we should. If you’ve been wondering how you could improve* your heart health, make sure to follow these 10 simple tips and we’re sure you’ll reduce* your risk of heart disease by at least a double.