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Mar 07

Are You Taking Care of Your Heart?

Are you taking care of your heart?

Heart disease affects more than 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. Most people only take action to help their heart once there is a problem, but there are many simple ways to take care of your heart now. A great way to help out your heart is to add exercise into your routine. Moderate physical activity has been shown to lower chances of having a heart attack by 30%-50%. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise that gets your heart pumping at least 5 days a week. Changing the diet is also a great way to keep your heart healthy.  It is important to limit the intake of salt and high fat foods. That means eliminating processed foods, fried foods, high sugar foods, and junk food. There are certain foods that help keep your heart healthy that are also easy to add into your diet. Some of those are:

heart-healthy-foods

  • Salmon and other fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel: They contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to lower the risk of arrhythmia and atherosclerosis as well as decreasing the triglycerides.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber so it can help lower your cholesterol and your blood sugar. The desired amount of oatmeal you want to eat a day is 25 grams for women and 35-40 grams for men. Also try to avoid instant oatmeal because it typically contains sugar.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries are a great source for antioxidants and soluble fiber. T
    hey have been shown to decrease blood pressure and dilate blood vessels.
  • Citrus fruits: Studies have shown that consuming a high amount of the flavonoids found in oranges and grapefruit have decreased the risk of stroke caused by blood clots. Citrus fruits are also high in vitamin C, which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. While citrus fruits are beneficial, be careful with citrus juices because many contain added sugar. Also be cautious with grapefruit because it may interfere with cholesterol lowering medications.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are high in potassium and are a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol, keeps blood vessels open, and lowers heart attack risk.
  • Almonds and walnuts: These nuts are a good source of fiber and vitamin E. Vitamin E is important because it helps lower bad cholesterol. Walnuts are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure that you are getting unsalted nuts.
  • Broccoli, spinach, and kale: Dark green vegetables are great for the heart because they are high in carotenoids which act as antioxidants and remove potentially harmful compounds from your body. They are also high in fiber, vitamin C and E, potassium, folate, and calcium.
  • Pomegranate: Pomegranates are a great source for antioxidants that help prevent the hardening of the arteries.heart image 2

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