Heart disease is the main cause of death in the USA, and is climbing on the list of top death causes worldwide as well. We rarely pay much attention to the health of our cardiovascular system until the damage has been done. We lead a fast-paced and unhealthy lifestyle and we eat a poor diet which lacks nutrients that support our heart and blood vessels, and all of this can have detrimental and even fatal consequences on our health. This is why we should pay more attention to the health of our heart and keep the cardiovascular system in shape.
People nowadays are not that interested switching to a healthy diet, as everyone thinks healthy foods just isn’t that tasty as junk and processed foods. However, there are many delicious healthy foods you can eat which will protect your heart and overall health.
How to keep your cardiovascular system healthy
Of all the muscles in the human body, the heart is the most important one. The heart pumps blood throughout the body and is crucial for our health, so paying more attention to its health is needed. However, we have seriously harmful habits that are not doing it any favors. For starters, we eat a lot of unhealthy junk food that raises our cholesterol and obstructs proper blood flow to the heart. Smoking is detrimental for our heart as well, and is one of the leading causes of heart disease.
If you want your heart to work properly, you need to pay more attention to your cholesterol levels. The blood sugar levels are important as well, so make sure they’re not too high for a prolonged period. Preventing diabetes will certainly reduce the risk of heart attack, so pay more attention to your glucose levels. Furthermore, it’s very important to keep your weight in check as well. Overweight and obese people have a higher risk of heart attack, so make sure to shed a few pounds in order to prevent this from occurring.
Things that harm your heart
Obesity, diabetes, chronic high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weakened immune system, stress and nicotine are all factors which can significantly harm your heart health. Consuming too much salt, sugar and fat can also harm your heart health by raising your cholesterol levels and the risk of atherosclerosis. This condition is incredibly harmful and can even be fatal, so preventing it is of utmost importance. Due to the high cholesterol, the heart won’t be able to function as it should, leading to a variety of cardiovascular problems.
A weakened immune system can also harm your heart health and increase the risk of infections. As the system isn’t able to protect the body from infections, they can get to the heart and wreak havoc inside.
20 great foods for your heart
Luckily, all of it can be prevented by simply changing your lifestyle and diet. Incorporating healthy foods in your diet will keep your blood vessels and heart in great shape, effectively preventing dangerous diseases. Here are the 20 best foods for your heart:
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate
- Black beans
- Green tea
- Red wine
- Sweet potato
- Red bell peppers
How you cook your food is important as well. Instead of vegetable oil or butter, it’s better to prepare your food with olive or coconut oil. Sugar may be detrimental for your heart health, but you can still eat dark chocolate every now and then. Finally, fat is important for our overall health, but you shouldn’t go overboard with it. The heart needs saturated fats in order to survive, with recommended amounts being as high as 14 gr. per day.