Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States? Heart disease is a term used to describe several conditions that affect the heart, including coronary artery disease, angina, heart attack, and congestive heart failure. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
A heart-healthy diet is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The American Heart Association recommends the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).
1. Recommended whole grains
Whole grains are grains that have not been processed, refined, or milled. Examples include brown rice, oats, quinoa, and barley. They are a good source of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants.
Whole grains can help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure and improving blood sugar control. In addition, they are filling and low in calories, making them a good choice for people trying to lose or manage weight.
2. Recommended vegetables
Some vegetables are better than others at reducing the risk of heart diseases. Here are some veggies at the top of the list:
- Broccoli: a cruciferous vegetable high in fiber and antioxidants.
- Carrots: a root vegetable high in fiber and antioxidants.
- Spinach: a leafy green vegetable that is high in antioxidants, magnesium, and potassium.
3. Recommended fruits
Eating certain fruits may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Fruits such as apples and pears are good choices as they contain high antioxidants which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Next to a healthy diet, the most important thing you can do to keep your heart healthy is exercise. You can reduce the risk of heart disease by exercising aerobically and strengthening your muscles. When choosing an aerobic activity, ensure it is something you enjoy so you will be more likely to stick with it. One type of aerobic activity particularly beneficial is high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT involves alternating between short bursts of high-intensity exercise and brief periods of rest or low-intensity activity. This type of training is more effective than traditional aerobic exercise at improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
When it comes to strength training, start slowly and gradually increase the weight and intensity as you become stronger.
Get Your Cholesterol Checked
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is found in the blood. It is important for the body because it helps make hormones and Vitamin D. Cholesterol can also harm the body if there is too much of it and high levels can lead to heart disease.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is bad cholesterol, and HDL is good cholesterol. You want your LDL levels to be low and your HDL levels to be high. You can do many things to help keep your cholesterol levels in check, such as eating healthy foods, exercising, and not smoking.
Keep Your Stress Levels Down!
Everyone experiences stress in their life. For some, it’s a minor inconvenience that is efficiently dealt with and goes away within a short time. For others, stress can be debilitating and impact daily life activities. There are many different ways to deal with stress, but one of the most important is to keep stress levels down. It can be done by eating healthy, getting good sleep and exercising. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your heart healthy and strong for years to come!