We all know how difficult it can be to eat right and exercise regularly. But for your heart health, these habits are worth sticking with. Your heart needs vitamins and nutrients to function properly, just like any other muscle in your body.
What are 10 ways to keep your heart healthy?
Keep these 10 tips in mind for a heart-healthy lifestyle:
- Choose a variety of healthy foods from the food pyramid every day
- Eat less fat because high levels of fat can increase cholesterol levels, which contribute to blocked arteries
- Avoid high-salt foods because they increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Consider limiting your alcohol intake or avoid it altogether because too much alcohol increases the risk of stroke or developing high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about whether alcohol is okay for you
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables because they contain vitamins and minerals that help keep your arteries clear. eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables per day, these foods are full of fiber, which can help lower blood levels of cholesterol
- Get regular physical activity three or more days a week because exercise can protect against many risks for heart disease—such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol—as well as help reduce the risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes a day, five days a week
- Get screened for high blood pressure early on, so you can get it treated if it’s too high. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Eat foods that are lower in sugar because too much sugar causes your body to release insulin, which can increase your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Choose fruits and vegetables as your main sources of sugars. Other healthy sources of sugars include whole grains, dairy products, and beans
- Consider adding fish to your diet because it’s a rich source of omega-3 fats, which may help protect against heart disease. Talk to your doctor about what kind of fish you should eat
- If you do smoke, quit because smoking is very harmful to your heart and blood vessels.
- Want to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy? Check here the steps toward a healthier lifestyle.