While it may seem obvious, the health of your heart is more integral to your overall well-being than you may think. It's easier to see physical changes in terms of our health than internal ones, which is why sometimes we neglect what’s on the inside.
Keeping your heart in check is essential – especially as we get older. The healthier your heart is, the better your body will be able to do its thing. Let's take a look at five tips for a healthier heart so that you can take care of your body from the inside out.
You may not be the biggest fan of fish, but its nutritional benefits are plentiful and can help with many different bodily functions. A balanced, healthy diet, according to the experts, includes at least two helpings of fish a week. One of these helpings should be oily fish, which include a high level of omega-3 fatty acids.
This is because omega-3 fats have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing issues with your heart, including heart disease. With this tip in mind, though, it's vital that if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you don't have more than two portions of oily fish per week.
Cut Out Saturated Fat
Speaking of fat, there is such a thing as good fat and bad fat. Omega-3 fatty acids are, of course, some of the good fats, while saturated fat is more on the bad side. Including too much food in your diet that is high in saturated fat can increase your cholesterol levels in the blood, which can eventually lead to heart disease.
It's easier than you think to cut down on saturated fat in your diet. Consider less processed food options, and when it comes to meat, make sure that you choose leaner cuts. Dairy that is lower in fat is also a good alternative to full-fat options out there, too.
Eat More Fiber
Don’t underestimate the power of fiber in your diet. Fiber is not only great for keeping us regular, but it can also reduce the risk of developing heart disease later on in life.
Make sure that you get your fiber from a variety of different sources. These can include foods like bran, oats, wholemeal bread, wholegrain oats, potatoes with the skins on, and of course, lots of vegetables and fruit. Fiber might be an intrinsic part of our diets one way or the other, but it’s all about the type of fiber you eat.
Give Up Smoking
It's no secret at this point in our society that smoking is bad for you. However, if you’re addicted to it and have been for a while, quitting is easier said than done. You will reap the rewards for years to come, though, as quitting smoking can be one of the best things you do for your heart.
This is because smoking is one of the biggest causes of heart disease. This means that if you do find the strength to quit, the rewards are monumental. In fact, just a year after you quit for good, your risk of having a heart attack falls to approximately half of someone who still smokes.
There are many resources in the community that can help you quit smoking. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone – getting the support you need is essential for quitting and staying smoke-free.
Getting active is important for our general health and well-being, but staying active has long-term benefits that can make a difference both inside and out. Becoming active and keeping up with it can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, it's also great for combating low mood levels and high stress levels.
The experts recommend that you do as much as 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. This can be divided into 30 minutes a day, five days a week.