Heart disease begins with atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Blood doesn’t flow optimally through stiff arteries, so your heart must work harder.
Multiple factors contribute to heart disease, including: high levels of cholesterol, inflammation, triglycerides, and insulin, which can be measured with blood tests.
Other health conditions such as high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes can increase your risk for heart disease. So can a family history or heart disease. The good news: How you live and what you eat can help improve the health of your heart.
1. Eat a Heart Healthy Diet
A heart healthy diet is low in refined grains, added sugars, high sodium, trans fats, sugar sweetened beverages, as well as most red and processed meats. Instead, choose foods rich in heart health supporting nutrients like B vitamins as well as the minerals magnesium and potassium. They include:
Wild-caught seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve heart health. So are walnuts, flax, and chia seeds.
Research shows sufficient dietary fiber intake (about 29 grams daily) lowers heart disease risk by 40 percent. Berries, avocado, nuts, seeds, lentils, and leafy and cruciferous veggies are high-fiber foods.
Other Heart-Healthy Foods
The flavanols in dark chocolate can boost heart health. Look for an organic raw dark chocolate with at least 85 percent or high cacao and no more than five grams of sugar per serving. Drinking green tea regularly can also improve heart health.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity increases your risk for heart disease. Evidence shows even modest (5-10%) weight loss can reduce heart disease risk.
3. Incorporate Lifestyle Factors
Sleep deprivation can contribute to heart disease. Aim for 8 hours of quality sleep nightly.
Any type of exercise like walking or doing household chores can lower your risk for heart disease.
Stressors including long work hours can elevate your risk for heart disease. Find something that de-stresses you and prioritize it.
Help Others Learn More About the Cause and Prevention of Heart Disease
Join us for Friends and Family Week 2/14 – 2/18
Help correct the cause and prevent disease – save a life!!
$40 this week only for the complete health evaluation.