10 Lifestyle Changes that Promote Heart Health.Here are our top 10 tips for a healthy person:
1.Get enough fiber. Not only does fiber help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, but it can also aid in weight management. Being overweight increases the risk of heart failure by a third, while obesity doubles it. While two-thirds of Americans are overweight, only half are getting enough fiber. Main sources include oats, beans, raspberries, blackberries, oranges, and chickpeas.
2.Get crazy. I did this knowing that 99% of women and 90% of men are not getting enough potassium in their diets. Responsible for regulating the water balance of our cells, potassium also reduces the effects of excess sodium. Too much sodium and too little potassium are responsible for high blood pressure. Create a healthier balance by reducing salt and increasing potassium intake with bananas, potatoes, broccoli and kiwi.
3.Say “no” to that extra cup of coffee. Four or more beers a day can increase blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Drinking more than two cups of coffee a day can harden the arteries and contribute to hardening of the arteries. Switch to tea; Its heart health benefits include lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
4.”Beetroot” heart disease. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, beets contain the antioxidant betanin, which may help prevent LDL cholesterol from clogging your arteries. Plus, this root vegetable is a good source of folic acid, which helps break down heart disease-causing homocysteine. The main sources of folic acid are spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce and papaya.
5.Become a better listener. Researchers from the University of Baltimore found that people with a “dominant personality” had a
7 percent higher risk of heart disease than their more patient and passive peers. So how do you know if you are “overplaying” or not? Another study identified several signs – including a tendency to discontinuity!
6.The L word your heart really craves: lycopene. This heart-healthy phytonutrient -; found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit – can lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Harvard researchers have found that eating seven or more servings of tomatoes per week can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%.
7.Choose healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts) – when used in place of saturated fats (think butter, bacon, beef) – help lower cholesterol. Another healthy fat – omega-3 – helps reduce inflammation. 10 Lifestyle Changes that Promote Heart Health. Good sources of omega-3s include wild salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
8.Don’t turn breakfast into breakfast. Although skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism, overdoing it is no better. A new study from the University of Buffalo has found that a high-fat breakfast triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals associated with clogged arteries. So skip the pancakes and opt for a strawberry-banana smoothie.
9.Ode to soybeans. According to the American Heart Association, 25 grams of soy protein per day can help lower cholesterol. Other healthy nutrients in soybeans include folic acid and magnesium (which help maintain normal blood pressure). Soy milk, soy, tofu, and soybeans are just a few of the many ways to enjoy soy.
10.In HDL cholesterol, that is. This higher level of “good” cholesterol may be as important as a low level of LDL cholesterol in preventing cardiovascular disease. In addition to exercising, quitting smoking, and limiting trans fats, a University of Scranton study found that consuming cranberry juice can help increase HDL levels.