TOP 14: Ways to a Healthy Heart in 2018

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  1. Exercise regularly – When you exercise consistently, it helps to burn triglycerides for fuel and can also reduce bad cholesterol levels. Aim for 30–60 minutes, three to four times a week, of moderate aerobic activity.
  2. Moderate your alcohol consumption – Alcoholic beverages can help lower blood pressure. The risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) is 40-60 percent lower in moderate drinkers. Limit your consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
  3. Maintain a healthy bodyweight – Extra weight takes a toll on your body by increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems. Find your healthy weight by going to (insert DIWYD BMI web page).
  4. Replace saturated fats – Consume grilled, baked or broiled foods instead of fried foods and learn to cook with healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil and canola oil.
  5. Don’t smoke – Smoking can increase your risk for lung and other cancers and greatly increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Sprouts offers natural remedies to help you quit smoking.
  6. Slowly increase dietary fiber – Soluble fiber found oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol.
  7. Manage blood pressure – About one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, which is the single biggest risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Exercise can help reduce high blood pressure.
  8. Manage Stress – Another factor which can play a role in high blood pressure and increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attack is stress. Practice relaxation and mediation techniques.
  9. Limit excess sodium in your diet – Processed foods are the number one contributor to excess sodium in your diet. Eliminate processed foods and you’ll reduce your dietary sodium.
  10. Consume omega-3-rich oils – These oils help to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases and are found naturally in fish, nuts and seeds and are readily available in tasty liquid or capsule form. However, the average American consumes less than one gram of omerga-3 fatty acids per day. For heart health benefits, experts suggest consuming one to three grams per day.
  11. Reduce inflammation – Although it is not proven that inflammation causes cardiovascular disease, inflammation is a common marker used to detect heart disease and stroke. A simple way to help reduce inflammation is to include spices such as rosemary, ginger, cumin and coriander into your diet.
  12. Laugh more – Laughter has been shown to have beneficial effects on the heart because it causes the release of nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This dilation helps protects the heart by reducing inflammation and preventing the formation of cholesterol plaque.
  13. Get plenty of rest – According to a recent study, getting a good night’s rest was associated with a 57 percent lower risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD). Skip the night cap and wind down your day with a hot cup of relaxing tea.
  14. Recruit friends and family – To really ensure a successful heart health plan, it’s important to have the support of your friends and family. Engage them in heart healthy activities, as this will help you keep your heart healthy too.