A diet full of refined foods, not exercising, and smoking leads to a buildup of fatty plaques in your arteries. This build-up can lead to heart disease. You can do a plethora of things to reduce your chances of getting heart disease from exercise to your diet. Take control of your health now to avoid heart disease! Here are 4 different ways to decrease the risk of heart disease.
Speed walking just thirty minutes a day has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Walking can increase cardiovascular fitness, reduce excess body fat, and strengthen your bones. Set reminders on your phone telling you to get active as a form of motivation! Most forms of exercise are beneficial for your heart as long as it gets your heart pumping. Aim to exercise for 150 minutes per week and you should see positive results soon. A few easy ways to implement exercise in your day-to-day life is to walk as much as possible. If you can walk to your destination rather than driving to it, always walk! Park further away from your destination so you can get some walking in.
2. Eat more… Chocolate?
Due to dark chocolate’s high levels of stearic acid and antioxidant flavonoids, dark chocolate has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease. The heart-protective antioxidants in dark chocolate make it the best guilt-free treat! Make sure you are consuming dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate because milk chocolate tends to be loaded with sugar and saturated fat which are bad for the heart. But please remember, everything in moderation!
Mental health and heart disease are closely related. Stress can increase adrenaline and cortisol which can impact blood pressure and heart rate. Do not ignore the way you feel. If you feel depressed, stressed, or anxious, speak to your healthcare provider. Changing your diet and adding specific supplements can also help manage stress.
Processed foods can literally kill you! Eating processed foods like packaged snacks, sugary cereals and drinks, chicken nuggets, and instant soup causes people to be more prone to heart disease. There have been many studies showing the link between ultra-processed foods and heart disease and one study done by BMJ and highlighted in a Harvard medical school article proves that just one extra serving of processed food is detrimental to your health. The study done by BMJ tracked nearly 20,000 people over an average of 10 years and the “people who ate more than four servings of ultra-processed foods daily had a 62% higher risk of dying from all causes compared with those who ate only two servings per day.” These numbers are alarming, avoid processed foods at all costs!