Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States with more than 17 million deaths each year. This number is projected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030. This is especially concerning when the fact of the matter is that heart disease is mostly preventable, and not just due to genetics! Lifestyle factors have a profound effect on your heart health and can contribute to, or help prevent heart disease altogether. The most important factors you have control over are the quality of the foods that you eat and your physical activity levels. Some other important factors include how well you manage stress and your exposure to environmental toxins. It really all comes down to your choices! How bad do you want to live a life that is on point? How bad do you want to live a long, healthy and thriving life where you don’t have to question the things you can do and places you can go because of your health? Rather than tackling the root cause of heart disease, modern medicine chases the symptoms with a drug for this symptom or that. Research has shown that no pill is as powerful of an intervention for heart disease than changing your lifestyle. In some cases, medication is absolutely necessary, especially if somebody has advanced heart disease, but for most of us, we can achieve the benefits that medication provides through changing our lifestyle. The absolute best thing that you can do is take a proactive, preventative approach to your lifestyle. Do not wait for symptoms to arise before you start thinking about your health. You have one body, take care of it!
Here are 8 simple ways to actually help prevent or even reverse heart disease!
1. Eat a healthy diet: based on whole foods and veggies. The more colorful the better, as phytonutrients found in plants act as antioxidants and help combat free-radicals, decreased inflammation, lower LDL, and prevent heart disease!
2. Move more: cardiovascular exercise is absolutely essential to health aging. Just 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise, whether walking, running or weight training can have profound effects on our cardiovascular systems, improving such things from cognitive function to sexual performance!
3. Increase healthy fat consumption: omega 3 fatty acids found in sources such as salmon, krill, and flaxseed help fight off inflammation and lower levels of the bad LDL particles, which contribute to heart disease.
4. Decrease or eliminate processed food consumption: “food” or beverage sources that are highly processed and contain large amounts of sugar are a huge factor in developing health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s.
5. Take high-quality supplements: not found at your local retail chain. Many supplements out there these days are mislabeled and can actually do more harm than good. The problem is that our bodies cannot receive the proper nutrition from whole food sources alone, which is why supplementation is an absolute must. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, a good multivitamin and fish oil combination goes a long way in fighting heart disease and other diseases.
6. Manage stress: It’s no secret that stress can bear a heavy burden on somebody’s health. Stress promotes inflammation, raises blood pressure and can even be fatal! Breathing techniques, mindful-based stress reduction, chiropractic, exercise, socializing, acupuncture, hiking, and floating are great ways to combat stress!
7. Avoid toxins, cigarettes, and alcohol: I hope this one is self-explainable!
8. Avoid hydrogenated oils at all costs: vegetable oils, margarine, and processed foods contain trans-fats which cause oxidative stress and inflammation along with promoting cancer and heart disease!