According to the Heart Research Institute, nine in ten Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke. It’s a sobering outlook, but a statistic is not necessarily a prophecy. There are things you can do right now to improve your health.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle are potent weapons in the battle against cardiovascular disease: additional research has shown that people who eat fish, fruits, and vegetables on a regular basis reduce their chance of dying from a heart attack or stroke 35%.
Making the switch is not difficult, but it does require commitment. Here are some tips to get you started.
Eat a Variety of Healthy Foods
Nutritious food choices provide your body with protein, minerals, and other nutrients. They are also significantly lower in calories than their unhealthy counterparts. Eating an overall healthy diet consisting of the following will help you reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and control your weight.
- Whole grains
- A variety of fruits and vegetables
- Fish with high omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon
- Low-fat dairy products
- Nuts and legumes
Disease-proofing your heart calls for elimination of unhealthy food choices: adding fibre-rich vegetables to a diet consisting mostly of bacon and ice cream won’t be enough to achieve positive results. Limit consumption of foods high in sugar, sodium, trans fat, and saturated fat. Alcohol intake should also be limited: no more than one drink per day for women and two for men.
Burn Up More Calories Than You Take In
There is a simple formula for losing weight: eat fewer calories than you know you can burn up in a day. The good news is that the most nutritious food choices also tend to be the lowest in calorie content. Then create a physical activity schedule that burns up more calories than you take in.
Regular exercise will help you keep off the weight you lose and reach an improved state of physical and cardiovascular fitness. If personal commitments such as family and work make it difficult to schedule regular workouts, aim to spread out plenty of 10-minute sessions throughout the week.
Enjoy More Heart-Healthy Superfoods
Certain foods are so full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that they have earned a fitting name- superfoods. The foods below contain heart-positive benefits that can improve your cardiovascular health.
- Kale:Your mom had it right: eating your greens is good for you. Kale is packed with heart-healthy antioxidants, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and lutein, which can decrease your risk of atherosclerosis.
- Dark Chocolate: Cocoa that has been minimally processed is high in flavanols, which make your blood vessels more flexible.
- Sardines:Cold-water fish like sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids that lower harmful triglycerides while raising beneficial HDL.
- Lentils: Legumes such as lentils contain lean vegetable protein, fibre, potassium, and magnesium, all of which can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
A healthy diet and regular exercise have proven efficacy against heart disease, but you can give yourself a nutritional advantage by taking a multivitamin.
Super Easymulti 45+ from Platinum Naturals contains a balanced combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as green tea, grape seed extract, and CoQ10. Men and women have unique nutritional needs, so Super Easymulti 45+ comes in two formulas that address gender-specific concerns such as hormonal imbalance and prostate health. All active ingredients are suspended in healthy oil using Platinum Naturals’ award-winning Superior Nutrient Absorption system.
Once you know which foods support a healthy lifestyle, develop an exercise plan that meets your scheduling needs, and bolster your efforts with a quality multivitamin, you -and your heart- will feel better than ever.