Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body. It is the center of your cardiovascular system. In fact, the heart is directly involved in many daily functions that ensure your body has an appropriate supply of blood. Ensuring a healthy heart is crucial. And two of the simplest methods to improve heart health do not require medications or surgery. What are they? Diet and exercise, of course!
The foods you eat directly affect your weight, hormones, and organ health, including the heart. Eating a healthy diet will positively help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. But what should you eat?
- Healthy Fats – Despite common misconceptions, some fats are healthy. When you use fat to cook, choose a monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil, safflower, or sesame oil. Avocados are also a source of monounsaturated fats. Plus, consider polyunsaturated fats – found in nuts and seeds.
- Whole-Grain – Whole-grain bread and pastas tend to be higher in both fiber and complex carbohydrates. Swap out white bread and “regular” pasta for a healthier meal.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Containing fiber, vitamins and minerals, they do wonders for your body. Fruits and vegetables also provide flavor and variety in a heart-healthy diet.
There are key exercises designed to improve the overall health and strength of your heart. A stronger heart improves pumping capabilities, leading to necessary oxygen and blood throughout the body. In brief, more oxygen means a more efficient body.
Exercise also helps lower your blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, and lowers levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). At the same time, exercise helps increase HDL (good cholesterol), which protects against heart attack.