February is a sunny month with an assortment of Valentine’s Day celebrations. Is your heart feeling a little less than joyful and lively lately? We have some tips to help you get it pumping again..
Here is a list of in-depth tips that will keep you on top of all your ticker’s needs:
1. Fill up on fiber.
Fiber is what helps lower LDL, cholesterol and it also aids with weight management. Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for heart failure. The more weight or fat you have, the higher your risk is. Ample sources of dietary fiber include oats, beans, raspberries, blackberries, oranges and green peas. But only half of Americans are able to get their recommended amount each day.
2. Go bananas.
I did when I learned that 99% of women and 90% of men get less potassium than they need. Potassium plays an important role in regulating the difference in the amount of fluid in cells. It also helps to keep sodium at bay. Too much sodium and not enough potassium can lead to high blood pressure. Try to strike a healthier balance by cutting back on salt and increasing potassium intake with bananas, potatoes, broccoli & kiwi.
3. Say no to that extra cup of joe.
Drinking four or more cups of coffee a day can elevate your blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which has been linked to an increase in risk for cardiovascular disease. Drinking more than two cups of coffee a day can harden the arteries and contribute to arteriosclerosis. Switch to tea now to enjoy its heart-healthy benefits now, including lower blood pressure and reduced inflammation.
4. Beet heart disease.
Beetroots can help keep LDL cholesterol from blocking your arteries and other health benefits, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Furthermore, this vegetable is packed with folic acid, which helps to break down that heart-hurtin’ homocysteine. Folic acid is present in spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce and papaya.
5. Become a better listener.
University of Baltimore findings show that people with more dominant personalities are at a higher risk of heart disease than their more patient, passive peers. So how do you know if you’re dominant? A different study found some ways – including a tendency to interrupt!
6. The word your heart truly longs for: lycopene.
This heart-healthy phytonutrient -; found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit – may lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Harvard researchers found that eating seven or more servings of tomatoes a week might reduce the risk of cardiometabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk for stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
7. Choose healthy fats.
Monounsaturated fats, or MUFAs, can be helpful when used in place of saturated fats. One good example is olive oil because it contains oleic acid. The other healthy fat that’s good for inflammation is omega-3, which can be found in wild salmon and walnuts.
8. Don’t turn breakfast into break-feast.
While skipping breakfast is associated with lower levels of metabolic activity and a higher risk for heart problems, going overboard and eating too many greasy non-breakfast items can also lead to similar problems. Recent research has found that overdoing it on the food at the start of your day can cause inflammation in your arteries. It’s easy to go overboard at breakfast, so you might want to opt for a piece of fruit.
9. Ode to soy.
According to the American Heart Association, you can lower your LDL cholesterol intake by 25 grams of soy protein per day. Soy is a great source of heart-healthy nutrients. It’s rich in folic acid, magnesium and other good stuff that helps maintain normal blood pressure. It also comes in many delicious forms like milk, edamame, tofu, and nut butters.
10. Go for a raise.
HDL is a type of cholesterol that can significantly reduce the odds of cardiovascular disease. It’s important to keep this type of cholesterol as low as possible, and to aim for levels closer to 25 milligrams per deciliter at all times.In addition to exercise, quitting smoking and limiting trans fats, a University of Scranton study found that drinking cranberry juice could help boost HDL levels.