Support Your Heart Health with These Simple Lifestyle Changes
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the US, with the CDC reporting that one person dies every 34 seconds from cardiovascular disease. To keep your heart healthy and to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle is key. This means eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, managing your blood pressure, and quitting smoking, as well as getting enough sleep and staying active.
When it comes to diet, the American Heart Association recommends eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats or plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and non- or low-fat dairy. Adding in foods like papaya, wild salmon, and blueberries, which are high in fiber, antioxidants, and polyphenols, can also help support heart health. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that eating with heart health in mind does not mean never indulging—it just means that indulging should be the exception, not the rule.
Along with a nutritious diet, it’s important to stay active, maintain a healthy weight, and get enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night for optimal brain function and reduced risk of chronic disease.
If you’re looking to support your heart health, start by making small lifestyle changes. Eating a nutrient-dense diet, managing blood pressure, and getting adequate sleep are all important components of a healthy lifestyle. Lastly, it’s important to remember that indulging in unhealthy foods every once in a while is not going to completely derail your heart health journey, as long as you’re making healthy choices most of the time.
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