A healthy heart is the key to happy living. With the rising cases of heart attacks in youngsters and old people alike, it’s crucial to take steps forward in the right direction to prevent this issue. The factors leading up to the rise in heart diseases emerge from poor lifestyle choices, bad diets, and no exercise or activity. Therefore, we need to understand the significance of our diet and exercising on our body and ways to improve it to maintain heart health.
Although the root causes of heart disease in a person may vary, we must do everything in our control to keep these problems at bay. Therefore, the two simplest and most essential changes we can make are:
● Ditch poor diet choices and better our nutrition intake
● Be more active by exercising to keep your heart healthy.
Let’s consider the two aspects and tips to bring changes in detail.
Diet: Significance and tips for better heart health
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The food we eat affects our weight, hormones, and the healthy functioning of all the organs, including the heart. That is why when you eat more junk, you feel heavy. In the long run, junk food might cause blockage in the heart, leading to strokes and other heart diseases. Therefore, people need to understand and improve their dietary preferences to prevent the accumulation of ailments in the body.
If you’re wondering what a heart-healthy diet should be like, we’ve got you covered. Read the points below:
1. Manage your portion sizes
Instead of eating your heart out all the time, consider doing so after balancing your portions on the plate. When you overload your plate, you consume more calories than you should. This won’t be good in the long run, especially when you do not burn them to maintain a balance. Keep the following tips in mind when managing your portion sizes:
● Take a small plate or bowl to control the food portions.
● Have low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.
● In smaller quantities, consume high-calorie and sodium-rich foods like processed, refined, or fast foods.
2. Go for whole grains
Regulate your blood pressure and heart health by incorporating whole grains that are high in fibre and other nutrients. The list of whole grains you should choose includes:
● Whole-wheat flour
● Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
● Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread
● Whole-grain pasta
● High-fibre cereal with five grams or more fibre in one serving
● Whole grains like brown rice, barley, and buckwheat (kasha)
The ones you should limit your intake of or avoid completely are as follows:
● White, refined flour
● White bread
● Quick loaves of bread
● Frozen waffles
● Snack crackers high in fat
● Egg noodles
● Buttered popcorn
3. Consume an adequate quantity of fruits and vegetables
Get essential fibres, vitamins, and minerals needed by your body through a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These low-calorie, rich dietary fibre sources have nutrients that help keep cardiovascular problems away. Further, they help you reduce the intake of higher-calorie foods like meats, snacks, cheeses, etc.
You can easily add these to your routine by keeping washed and cut fruits in the refrigerator for a quick grab-and-go snack. Further, eat a bowl of fruits and veggies every day. Incorporate them in your meals, like making a vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruits mixed into salads. However, ensure to choose the following:
● Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
● Canned vegetables that are low in sodium
● Canned fruit that is packed in juice or water
Limit the intake of the following fruits and vegetables:
● Creamy and saucy vegetables
● Fried or bread-coated vegetables
● Canned fruits with heavy syrups in the packing
● Frozen fruit with added sugars
Now that we’ve covered the major portions of dietary preferences to maintain a healthy heart let’s move to the exercising part.
Exercise: Significance and tips for a healthy heart
Exercising isn’t just for maintaining ideal body weight. It also promotes healthy heart functioning by eliminating toxins from the body. Your blood pressure reduces through exercising, while the bad cholesterol also decreases. Further, exercising encourages healthy cholesterol levels in the body, which carries fatty deposits out of the arteries.
So, when you combine a healthy diet with adequate exercise, you can lose weight and maintain a healthy heart. The kind of exercise you should do depends on various factors. However, for a healthy heart, the following have been found effective:
Cardio or aerobic exercises raise the heart rate and leads to intense sweating through high physical movements. A minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic or cardio exercises per week can be fruitful in improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
2. Strength training
Combining aerobic training with resistance training can double the effect of reducing cardiovascular diseases. Strength training boosts the person’s capacity to exercise and lead a quality life.
3. Flexibility exercises
The regulatory effect of the nervous system on the heart can be strengthened through flexibility exercises like stretching.
Heart diseases are claiming several lives in current times. Ensure to keep these problems far away by following a proper diet, regular exercising, and making a few lifestyle tweaks here and there.