Heart Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

Heart Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

It’s never too soon or too late to make your heart health a top priority. Despite living longer, heart disease is still the leading cause of death among men and women, but you aren’t doomed to die of heart disease. 

There are things you can do right now to boost your heart health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. No matter your age, adopting a plant-based diet and active lifestyle can help keep your heart healthy and strong. 

Board certified in internal medicine and functional medicine, Corey Howard, MD, FACP, FMNM, FAARFM, and the team at Howard Health and Wellness help you maintain wellness so you can thrive at any stage of life. Everyone should take steps to protect their heart health. A simple, yet powerful place to start in protecting your heart is with diet and physical activity. 

Plant-based diet protects your heart

A plant-based diet protects your heart at any age. Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating a plant-based diet lowered the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and a variety of other cardiovascular diseases. The goal is to choose unprocessed and minimally processed foods as close to natural as possible. 

Eat more fruits, vegetables, a fiber-rich foods

Adding more fruits and vegetables, as well as high-fiber foods to your diet is one of the best ways to promote heart health. Fruits and vegetables are packed with heart healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and foods that are rich in fiber play a role in reducing cholesterol to further keep your heart healthy. 

Reduce unhealthy oils and processed foods

There’s a major downside to highly processed foods, all the processing they undergo strips them of nutrients, and a nutrient-poor diet promotes a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease. 

Slashing your intake of processed foods and choosing more nutrient-dense foods helps to ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Nutritious food protects against chronic disease.

When it comes to heart health, unhealthy oils have the strongest influence of all dietary components. That’s because oils deemed “bad fats” accumulate on artery walls, harden, cause arteries to narrow, and can eventually lead to blockages, setting the stage for complications such as heart attack and stroke. 

Adopt an active lifestyle

You’re doing your body a disservice if you aren’t getting enough exercise. The body is meant to move, and exercise plays a vital role in keeping your body healthy and fit, and warding off certain chronic diseases, including heart disease. 

When you engage in physical activity you not only keep your heart and lungs strong, but exercise also turns off genes that promote inflammation and chronic disease, and has benefits that help you live longer

Additionally, exercise boosts levels of a beneficial form of cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein, and reduces stress hormones. Everyone should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least five days a week. 

Heart disease isn’t inevitable. Take action now to keep your heart healthy for years to come. With our comprehensive heart health check, you’ll know where you stand, and what risk factors need your attention. 

For a custom plan to keep your heart healthy, give us a call to schedule a visit with Dr. Howard at our Naples, Florida office, or book online today.

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