Strengthen your Heart to avoid Heart disease

Strengthen your Heart to avoid Heart disease

Cooking with nutrient-rich foods is one of several easy ways to improve your heart health.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide, and it's mostly preventable by changing your lifestyle and managing risk factors. In honor of American Heart Month, here are seven ways you can prevent becoming a statistic.

1. Get moving Daily

Your heart is a muscle and, as with any muscle, exercise is what strengthens it.

The first step is to determine your target heart rate, then find an activity you enjoy and can stick with for the long run.

2. Quit smoking

Quitting smoking is tough. But you know that it's important to quit, and one of the biggest reasons is that it's linked to heart disease.

3. Lose weight

Losing weight is more than just diet and exercise. It's a personal journey that involves finding what you like and what works for you, says Dr. Bavani Nadeswaran.

4. Eat heart-healthy foods

Nuts & vegetables are loaded with healthy fats that are good for the heart. 

  • Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens are well-known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Whole Grains.
  • Berries.
  • Avocados.
  • Fatty Fish and Fish Oil.
  • Walnuts.
  • Beans


5. Don't forget the chocolate

The good news: chocolate and wine contribute to heart health.

The bad news: only in moderation.

Alcohol and cocoa (a key ingredient in chocolate) have antioxidants that have been shown to increase good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol, and improve blood clotting function.

6. Don't overeat

Although this advice primarily applies during the holidays, when deaths from heart attacks spike thanks to copious amounts of food and temptation, it's valid year-round. 

Eating a lot of food at once leads to:

  • Blood shifting from the heart to the digestive system
  • Faster and irregular heart rhythms, which can lead to a heart attack or heart failure

7. Don't stress

There are more than 1,400 biochemical responses to stress, including a rise in blood pressure and a faster heart rate. If you don't manage your stress, it can create more stress and trap you in a stress cycle.