People are always interested in improving their health, especially their hearts. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans of all races and genders. Heart disease is now an epidemic around the world.
Diet For Better Heart Health
- Avoid excess carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, and white flour. These carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body. This process causes the pancreas to secrete more insulin. We know insulin is the fat-storage hormone.
- Avoid process food such as food in a box or prepared foods
- Do eat plenty of green leafy vegetables.
- Eat real butter instead of margarine
- Eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, and tuna.
- Eat nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts. Almonds have a high amount of magnesium, and Brazil nuts have a high amount of selenium. Our hearts need magnesium and selenium.
- Eat an avocado once a week. Avocados contain the entire B complex vitamins. B vitamins are essential for the heart especially thiamine.
- Eat healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil.
- Avoid vegetable oils because they contain a high amount of omega-6
- Check out intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is where you only for a certain time, and you fast the rest of the day.
- Eat eggs! Contrary to popular belief eggs do not cause high cholesterol. Inflammation causes high cholesterol.
- Prepare your meals in advance! Often times, people make bad choices in food, because they don’t have any healthier options.
- Check out the low carb or keto diet. These diets have had a plethora of research and these diets have been proven to reduce cardiac risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Watch your sodium intake. This tip may vary depending on if you have high blood pressure.
- If you eat bread, go with whole grain bread because this type of bread contains the most fiber.
- Prepare meat by broiling, baking, or grilling. Avoid frying food.
- Beans are a wonderful source of protein. The dry beans are healthier.
- Limit alcohol to twice a week. Not only does alcohol pack on the pounds, but it also depletes magnesium, thiamine and other nutrients.
Lifestyle Tips For Better Heart Health
20. Stop smoking. Smoking is directly related to coronary artery disease because of nicotine clogs up the arteries.
21. Exercise- People should exercise at least 3 times a week. It only takes 30 minutes of brisk walking to have positive effects on your heart.
22. Know your family history. However, just because you have a family history of heart disease does not mean that you will definitely have heart disease. If you practice heart-healthy tips, the genes will most likely not be expressed.
23. Maintain healthy blood pressure. Adequate blood pressure control is the number one preventive factor to prevent heart disease. It is imperative that you get blood pressure checks at least monthly if you have risk factors.
24. Limit your use of alcohol. Alcohol depletes magnesium and thiamine from your body. Your heart needs these two minerals to function.
24. Gut health is important. If you have the wrong type of bacteria in your gut, it can produce toxins that contribute to plaque in the blood vessels.
25. Get plenty of sunshine.
Vitamins and Minerals For the Heart
26. Magnesium is extremely important for the heart. The recommended daily allowance is 350 mg of magnesium. However, it is hard to get enough magnesium in the diet because of the way our food is harvested.
27. Make sure you have adequate Vitamin D levels.
28. Eat food high in potassium as long as you have good kidney function. Potassium is needed by the heart in order to have a normal rhythm.
29. Take 200 mg of Vitamin E.
30. Incorporate green tea into your diet regimen.
31. In lieu of statins, you can supplement with red yeast rice. However, if you take red yeast rice make sure you get your liver enzymes checked regularly.
32. Niacin or B3 2-3 grams a day has been shown to decrease cholesterol.
33. Green tea extracts 500 mg twice a day has been shown to decrease cholesterol.
34. Berberine 500 mg twice a day has been shown to decrease blood sugar and cholesterol.
35. Omega -3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease cholesterol and help brain health.
36. Get a physical yearly.
37. Women get a mammogram yearly. Cancer can indirectly cause heart disease because of the toxic chemotherapy drugs.
38. Men should get PSA or prostate exams yearly. Again, the chemotherapy drugs are toxic to the heart.
39. Take your medication as directed. You should never stop taking your medications cold turkey.
40. Get your total cholesterol level checked.
41. Pay attention to your LDL and triglycerides levels.
42. If your blood pressure is high at the doctor’s office, you might have “white coat syndrome”. You should take your blood pressure at home daily when you are relaxed to get an adequate reading.
43. After the age of 40, get your thyroid gland checked yearly. Thyroid dysfunction is a cause of heart disease.
44. Men get your testosterone levels checked.
45. Women get your estrogen levels checked. Decreased estrogen levels are a precursor to heart disease.
46. If you take a Statin drug for high cholesterol, it is imperative that you supplement Coq10. Statins deplete the body of Coq10. The mitochondria in the heart cells need Coq10.
47. Ask your doctor for a Coronary Artery Calcium Score. This test determines the flexibility of your arteries. The calcium test determines how much calcium is deposited in your arteries.
48. Ask our doctor about a Carotid Intimal Medial Thickness. This test detects silent artery disease. the ultrasound shows the thickness of the inner two linings of the wall of the artery. If these walls are getting too thick, it is a sign of early atherosclerosis.
49. Advanced cholesterol panels let you know the LDL particle number and size.
50. Inflammation is the root cause of many disorders. Getting a C-Reactive Protein level will show if there is any inflammation in the body or organs. A homocysteine level will detect vascular damage. People with high levels of homocysteine can be treated with B Complex.
50 Tips to Help Keep the Heart Doctor Away
If you have consistently high blood pressure readings in the doctor’s office, you might have white coat syndrome. It is best to get a home blood pressure monitor and take your blood pressure first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything.
Heart disease is at an all-time high in this country. Heart disease is often related to lifestyle choices.
The above-mentioned healthy tips are great for any lifestyle. Not only will these tips help your heart health, but they will also improve your overall quality of life.
Health disease is the leading cause of death among all ethnic groups. These are tips you can use to maintain a healthy heart.
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My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high cholesterol.
I received my Nursing degree from Baltimore Community College.
I went on to receive my Masters in Nursing from Walden University
I have worked for almost 30 years in Critical Care with a focus on heart health. I am an advocate of preventive healthcare.