6 Simple Ways To Nourish And Strengthen Your Heart

Most discussions on fitness and wellbeing are centered on heart health. This could be attributed to the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Hence it’s important to look after your heart, whether you suffer from a heart condition or are at risk of it. Here are 6 easy ways to nourish your heart.1

1. Have Plenty Of Fiber

Dietary fiber is often discussed in relation to healthy bowel movements and gut health. But, research indicates that people whose diets are high in dietary fiber are at a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases.2

High fiber intake is also believed to lower blood pressure. Studies further indicate that soluble fiber such as pectin, psyllium, beta-glucan, pectin, and guar gum lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. So, make salads a regular part of your diet and fill your cart with oats, berries, grapefruit, apple, nuts, and lentils.3

2.
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Meditate Regularly

Research indicates that meditation decreases the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing stress. And, stress is a common culprit in the worsening of most disorders.  And, the same holds true for heart disease.4

Research indicates that stress increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. This could be due to the fact that stress releases the hormone cortisol in the body which, in turn, increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

Additionally, stress could also lead to changes that promote the buildup of plaque deposits in the arteries. Even mild stress can trigger poor blood flow to the heart muscle. Meditating regularly can help aid heart health by reducing stress and reducing hypertension.5

3. Load Up On Nuts

Stock your kitchen shelves with a range of nuts if you’re at risk of heart disease. Research indicates that the sterols and stanols in nuts lower cholesterol and, in turn, the risk of stroke, coronary occlusion, and ischemic heart disease.6 7

Additionally, nuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce triglycerides (a type of fat in cells), slow down the buildup of plaque in arteries, lower your blood pressure, and manage your heartbeat. However, be sure to talk to a professional to understand just how much your nut consumption should be.8

If you are allergic to nuts you could always switch to other sources such as Brussel sprouts, orange juice, yogurt, salmon, and mackerel. If you’d like to try supplements instead, do consult a professional first.

4. Join A Dance Class

The road to heart health doesn’t have to be boring and by the book. Research indicates that regular dancing might lower the risk of heart disease. Additionally, this good cardiovascular exercise is a fun way to get (the recommended) 30 minutes of activity 5 times a week.9

Exercise lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and manages stress. And, studies show that dance is slightly better than walking when it comes to these benefits. It also manages your weight, improves the condition of your heart, and boosts your sense of well-being.10 So, make some time for dance in your weekly schedule.11

5. Sip On Green Tea

While the effects of green tea on weight are still up for debate, studies indicate that green tea might promote heart health. This is because it contains catechins, a type of antioxidants, which prevent hypertension, inflammation, and high cholesterol levels.12

Additionally, catechins reduce oxidative stress and lower blood pressure. Hence, it might be a good idea to switch your regular cup of tea with some unsweetened green tea.13

6. Add Tomatoes To Your Diet

Tomatoes aren’t often discussed as health foods. But, studies indicate that lycopene, a phytochemical in tomatoes, reduces cholesterol and the blockage of arteries. However, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest exactly how this happens.14

Other

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studies state that just tomato juice, and not necessarily the lycopene in it, aids in cardiovascular health.15 And, although the research around tomatoes and their properties are still preliminary, tomatoes are a good addition to a healthy diet.16

Besides these few tips, do ensure that you visit your doctor regularly and track your fitness and diet. By leading a more health-conscious lifestyle, you’re sure to beat heart disease.

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