A healthy heart requires a balance between plenty of exercise, a good diet, and weight management – so the benefits of each should not be underestimated.
In addition to affecting your weight and your hormones, the foods you choose to eat have a significant effect on your organs, including your heart. Meanwhile, frequent exercise delivers more oxygen to your body and can raise your HDL (good cholesterol) level.
Together, a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Monitoring your weight also goes a long way in reducing heart disease risk. If you’re tipping the scales, it can put additional stress on your heart, while shedding those extra pounds by just 10 percent will reduce your risk.
Heart-Healthy Diet Options
What constitutes a heart-healthy diet? It includes:
- Healthy fats, such as those monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados; polyunsaturated fats in nuts and seeds; and omega-3 fatty acids in tuna and salmon. Steer clear of saturated fats and trans fats, which are typically found in processed foods and snacks.
- Whole-grain breads and pastas, which are much higher in fiber and complex carbohydrates than white bread or regular pasta.
- Fruits and vegetables, which contain plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Beans, peas, and lentils provide protein and fiber.
- Lean meat and skinless poultry that is baked, pan-broiled, roasted, or stir-fried.
- Protein-rich foods such as fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and beans, and no more than four egg yolks per week.
- Low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Foods that are free of sodium, sugar, and alcohol can also help prevent problems with your heart.
Exercise Your Way to a Stronger Heart
As for exercise, there’s no question it can make your heart stronger. That’s because it helps pump more blood with each beat of your heart, thus delivering more oxygen to your body for more efficient function.
At the same time, exercise can lower your blood pressure. It reduces your risk of heart disease by reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) levels that can clog your arteries and lead to a heart attack. Since exercise can boost HDL cholesterol, it helps prevent a heart attack with HDL carrying fatty deposits away from the arteries.
Any type of exercise can be beneficial to your heart health. However, aerobic exercise – walking, running, jogging, dancing, biking, or swimming – causes you to breathe more deeply, which raises your heart rate to pump more blood. This helps you burn more calories and maintain a normal weight. Depending on your age and medical history, your doctor can instruct you on the appropriate amount of exercise you need.
Ultimate Vein Care in Tampa
When it comes to keeping your vascular system strong and healthy, look no further than the vein care specialists at Premier Vein & Vascular in Tampa and Largo, Florida. Our medical professionals are experts in diagnosing, treating, and helping you prevent stroke, chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and poor circulation.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy heart, contact us at 1-888-VEINCARE today to arrange a consultation with our cardiology specialists, or request an appointment online.