Heart health is about taking simple steps to live healthy. And living healthier doesn’t have to be complicated. Besides, being in good health is the best form of prevention. The dividends it pays forward can keep you living a meaningful life even beyond 100 years.
And, speaking of the heart, it’s truly one of the most important organs in the body. Each day your heart beats around 100,000 times. So, it works around the clock, pumping blood through your cardiovascular system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to tissues while carrying away unwanted carbon dioxide and waste. It just keeps everything flowing.
What you eat can have a big impact on heart health. Tweaking your diet to be more heart healthy doesn’t mean you have to lose out on flavor. You can still enjoy delicious meals. Changing your diet isn’t the only thing you can do to support your heart health, but it sure is a good place to start. Here are three simple steps you can take.
Smoking is tough on your heart. It chokes your entire body of life-sustaining oxygen. More than 7,000 chemicals are inhaled with each puff, damaging your heart and blood vessels and increasing the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and more.
If you are a smoker, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to become a non-smoker. You may need a few attempts to finally quit, but the reward is huge.
You don’t need to go it alone: join a group or team up with a friend and figure out a good plan to get it done. You’ll make your heart (and your loved ones) happy.
Just like any other muscle, the heart will weaken and atrophy with little use. “Use it or lose it,” as the saying goes. It’s a big reason why exercise is so important for heart health. Plus, exercise helps lower blood pressure, decreases artery-clogging “bad” LDL-cholesterol and raises “good” HDL-cholesterol.
Regular exercise also helps you stay independent as you age so you can enjoy an active, vigorous lifestyle well into your senior years. I know it works for me!
And, let’s not overlook the simple joy of movement, and how effects of a good workout carry over into the rest of your day.
How much? Health experts suggest that getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week is an appropriate long-term fitness goal for just about anyone interested in a healthier heart. Choose something that you enjoy and can do regularly. Perhaps have a friend or spouse join you?
Pay closer attention to your diet.
Enjoying healthy, delicious foods doesn’t have to be a burden. Instead, it’s an opportunity to experience new worlds of flavor and texture that you may not have tasted before.
When it comes to heart health, there are a few foods that I especially like. You may want to add one or more to your menu. Here’s the breakdown:
Nuts and seeds contain heart healthy fats such as mono, poly and omega-3 fatty acids that can help support cholesterol already in the normal range.
Salmon and other fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and lake trout are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help support the health and structure of arteries and other blood vessels. If you’re not a fish eater, you could consider supplementing with Nutrilite™ Heart Health Omega to fill the gaps in your diet.*
Dried beans are a rich source of fiber, particularly water-soluble fiber. This type of fiber not only helps support healthy cholesterol but helps balance blood sugar as well.
Berries (particularly blueberries and strawberries) are rich in anthocyanins, a type of phytonutrient that provides antioxidant protection.
Garlic has been shown to have heart-health benefits. Nutrilite™ Garlic Heart Care is an excellent option if you are concerned about garlic breath.*
Dark leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, and broccoli are rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, especially folate. This B vitamin has been shown to help support a healthy heart.
Don’t forget: To really enjoy your meals, be sure to include lively conversation, good cheer, and perhaps a little indulgence now and again. After all, a little red wine, and dark chocolate—in moderation—have been shown to have benefits, too!
In the end, having a healthy heart, and a healthier life, shouldn’t be difficult. The simple steps you take each day will get you there. Stick with it!
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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