The heart is the strongest muscle in the human body, beating as many as 100,000 times each day. It’s also one of the most sensitive organs; anyone who has experienced a broken heart can attest to that. Thankfully, there are many natural ways to help improve the health of your heart and keep it strong and healthy for years to come. Reducing stress, eating plenty of fruits and veggies, getting enough exercise, and managing blood pressure are all key steps toward improving your heart health. Here are some great tips on how you can manage your heart health by improving your diet, reducing stress, exercising more often, and addressing other lifestyle factors that positively impact your ticker.
Go on a healthy diet
A healthy diet doesn’t just include healthy foods. It also means reducing sugar intake, cutting back on sodium and eating plenty of fibre. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for good heart health. Eating plenty of colourful fruits and veggies is the best way to get your daily dose of antioxidants and vitamins that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation – two factors that can cause cardiovascular disease. Foods rich in potassium are also excellent for heart health, as they help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. Studies show that eating five to six servings daily can reduce blood pressure by over 10 per cent, and as much as 20 per cent in those at risk of hypertension. Other heart-healthy foods include oats, kidney beans, fish, almonds, and walnuts.
Adding supplements into your daily routine is another highly effective way of supporting your heart health. Supplements can provide the nutrients and minerals that you otherwise might miss by your food intake alone. Supplements like NAC and Quercetin are fantastic options for strengthening the immune system and aiding in heart health support.
Start exercising regularly
Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to improve your heart health. Walking is one of the best exercises for your heart, as it does not put stress on your joints, and it is easily done anywhere, anytime. Other great exercises for your heart include cycling, running, weight lifting, swimming, aerobic classes and gardening. As with any new activity, it’s important to start slowly and build up to a regular routine. If you’re not currently exercising regularly, your doctor can help you create an exercise plan that’s right for you. If you’ve been exercising regularly but have stopped in recent years, now is the time to get back into it. Building a heart-healthy routine will help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Reduce stress and manage blood pressure
There is undeniable evidence that stress reduction can reduce blood pressure, and this is seen as a key factor in reducing the risk of heart disease. Stress reduction can be as simple as a daily meditation practice using meditation apps, or even a short walk in nature. Learning to become more mindful and aware of your reactions to stressful situations is another great way to help reduce stress and improve your heart health. As well as reducing stress, certain nutrients have been shown to help lower blood pressure. Magnesium is a mineral that helps the body to produce hormones that relax blood vessels, which can reduce blood pressure. Potassium, found in bananas and avocados, has also been shown to help lower blood pressure.
Get adequate sleep
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America, so, particularly as you get older, you want to reduce your risk as much as possible. Leading a healthy lifestyle is one way to do that, and one piece of advice experts offer is to get adequate sleep. You don’t need to get 10 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night to benefit from sleep. Even six hours per night can lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Getting adequate sleep is particularly important as you age.
Take care of your teeth and mouth
A healthy mouth is essential for good heart health. Gum disease (periodontal disease) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. Taking good care of your teeth and gums is essential to improve your heart health. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups. Bacteria and plaque that build up on your teeth can lead to gum disease, and this can cause inflammation in your blood vessels, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in America, so, particularly as you get older, you want to reduce your risk as much as possible. Leading a healthy lifestyle is one way to do that, and one piece of advice experts offer is to get adequate sleep. Getting adequate sleep is particularly important for heart health, as it reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Taking good care of your teeth and mouth is also essential to improve your heart health.