Everyone knows that exercise and diet play an essential role in your health, but they aren’t the only things that can keep your heart healthy. As one of the most critical organs in your body, it’s vital that you keep your heart healthy. Here are a few ways to help keep your heart healthy.
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What Can You Do for a Healthy Heart?
To ensure your heart remains healthy and lower your risk of heart disease, here are a few changes you can make to your lifestyle.
Even if you aren’t a diet fanatic, you’re probably under the impression that eating fats is not good. This is both true and false: healthy fats are essential to your body, whereas trans fats are a leading factor in health problems.
Saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats are healthy fats that you should incorporate into your diet. Trans fats, on the other hand, clog arteries and lower your good cholesterol. Unfortunately, they’re used in most industry-packed goods and appear on labels as partially hydrogenated oils.
When you’re ordering food or buying your groceries, look on the label for items that say 0 percent trans fat.
Protein-rich foods are healthy and have been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease. While plant-based proteins are the healthiest option, eggs and poultry are also good choices.
Although red meat is a popular meal, it’s best to limit your intake of red meat to 1-3 meals per week. Too much red meat can increase your risk of heart disease, so instead of reaching for another steak, go for chicken instead.
Use Herbs and Spices
Food is most delicious when it’s been flavored, but salt should be avoided where possible. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t eat any salt, just be sure to limit your salt intake and abide by health recommendations.
When you’re seasoning your food, reach for herbs and spices instead. This gives you more flavoring options, and it’s better for your health.
More Fruits and Veggies
It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but many people don’t eat nearly as much as they should. Fruits and veggies provide your body with necessary vitamins and minerals, which means getting enough of them every day is vital for your health.
Many fruits and veggies are full of antioxidants and fibers proven to reduce heart disease, yet another reason to swap out your cake for a mango or some strawberries.
Foods like brown rice, grainy bread, oats, and wholemeal pasta are full of fiber and can lower your bad cholesterol levels. So instead of white bread or white rice, reach for the whole grain version.
Whole grains provide your body with vitamin E, healthy fats, B vitamins, and fibers. As a less processed option, they’re much healthier, and you won’t need to make any significant dietary changes to incorporate them.
In a perfect world, you should avoid alcohol. However, drinking in moderation is still acceptable as long as you don’t drink excessively or often. Too much alcohol increases your risk of both heart and liver disease.
Limiting your alcohol intake to only 1 or 2 drinks a day will improve your heart health.
Sleep plays a crucial role in your health, so make sure you’re getting enough every night. Studies have shown that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night are twice as likely to suffer from strokes or heart attacks when compared to those who get 6-8 hours of sleep.
If you have a sleep condition that makes it hard for you to get enough sleep each night, talk to your doctor about getting it treated. Sleep apnea is much less fatal than heart attacks or heart disease, so contact your doctor and proactively seek help.
You don’t need to make significant lifestyle changes to keep your heart healthy. By incorporating just a few changes to your current diet and activity, you can make a difference to your own heart health.