Nearly one-third of all deaths worldwide are attributed to heart disease. Surprisingly enough, it can easily be prevented by making some smart yet easy lifestyle changes. Inadequate exercise, poor diet, consumption of tobacco and stress are some of the leading factors that increase the risk of heart disease among individuals of all age groups. One the other hand, certain food groups can improve heart health and incorporating them in your regular diet can keep heart problems at bay. Here is a list of things you can do to keep your heart young, fit and healthy.
- Eat green leafy vegetables and whole grains: Studies have revealed that a high intake of green leafy vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease by protecting the arteries and facilitating the process of blood clotting. Whole grains, being a rich source of fiber, help in lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Thereby, reducing the risk of stroke by about 25%.
- 2. Include nuts and berries in your diet: Strawberries, blackberries, and gooseberries, etc. are packed with vital nutrients and are also a rich source of antioxidants. Eating them regularly aids in improving the functioning of cells lining the blood vessels which in turn helps in regulating blood pressure and decrease LDL cholesterol. Healthy nuts such as walnuts and almonds supply the body with essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that protect the heart from diseases.
- Limit saturated and trans-fats: Deep-fried, fast & junk foods, full-fat dairy products and bakery items are major sources of unhealthy fats that make the heart weak and increase the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Healthy fats that are obtained from plant-based sources such as avocado, olives, and nuts, etc. are the best substitutes to improve your heart’s health.
- Get your daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids: Fishes such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that are well known for their diverse heart-health benefits. A study revealed that eating fish regularly can lower levels of total cholesterol, blood triglycerides, fasting blood sugar and systolic blood pressure. Vegetarians can opt for fish oil supplements that provide the same health benefits.
- Exercise for 30 minutes every day: A well-balanced diet accompanied with regular physical activity can help in attaining optimum health. Thereby, reducing your chances of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes that put a strain on the heart. Activities such as brisk walking, running, gardening, climbing the stairs, and weightlifting among others contribute towards keeping your body in better shape and your organs in good condition.
Although diet is pivotal in determining heart’s health, other factors such as family history, gender, and genetics, etc. may also have an impact. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, avoiding stress and going for regular health screenings and check-ups are some precautions that must be taken by all. Minimize the risk of cardiac problems by following these simple tips for a healthy lifestyle and keep your heart happy!