How to Protect Your Heart
Since altering your lifestyle, diet and nutrition are the most important ways to achieve a good quality of life, here are some tips for how you can be proactive in boosting your heart-health without the use of medication.
- Reduce grains and sugars in your diet. Look out for upcoming articles on how to reduce your dependence on sugar without sacrificing the taste.
- Consume as much of your food in raw form as possible, especially fruit and vegetables.
- Make sure that you are getting plenty of high quality omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Research shows that as little as 500mg of omega 3 per day can help improve total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and will likely increase your 'good' HDL levels.
- Replace harmful vegetable oils and trans fats with healthy saturated fats, like olive oil, coconut oil, butter, avocado and eggs. Remember to only use olive oil cold and favour coconut oil for cooking and baking.
- Include fermented foods in your daily diet, such as yogurt, sauerkraut or pickles. This will help to optimise your intestinal flora as well as boost your overall immunity.
- Optimise vitamin D levels. Vitamin D helps prevent formation of arterial plaque. The best way to get your body's daily quota of vitamin D is from 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day, but you can also include foods such as oily fish, eggs and cheese, which are all rich in this vital nutrient.
- Exercise regularly. Current research shows that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the most effective form of cardiovascular exercise as a mere fifteen minutes will cause the heart to keep working on an elevated level for the rest of the day.
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Get plenty of high-quality restorative sleep.
- Practice regular stress-management techniques.