Tips for a Healthier Heart

You may not know it, but February is American Heart Month, a time when health agencies nationwide advocate for better heart health among American citizens. What you probably do know is that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., so achieving some level of heart health is critical to maintaining a long and full life. Before you start feeling guilty about your habits, it’s not always easy to adhere to a lifestyle or a diet that keeps your heart in tip-top shape. Like with most health initiates, the key to heart health is being proactive about it. So in the spirit of American Heart Month, here are a few tips below meant to encourage pro-heart habits.

Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

People know that they must eat healthy foods to maintain proper heart health, but they often don’t know exactly which foods provide the most benefits for the organ. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids offer the most immediate nutrition for heart health, as omega-3 fatty acids play a large role in metabolizing food and energy in your body. You can find omega-3 fatty acids across a wide range of foods and drinks. For instance, fattier fish like salmon have extremely high concentrations of the fatty acid that can be readily consumed while the fish is cooked or raw. Almonds have some of the highest omega-3 fatty acid counts of any plant, either in raw form or in almond milk. For a grainy alternative, you can rely on good old-fashioned oatmeal for another omega-3 fatty acid source.

Do Some Physical Activity Every Day

It’s no secret that Americans on average are getting much less exercise than they need to foster meaningful cardiovascular health. People might cringe at the thought of performing some taxing exercise every day, but running a few miles a day isn’t the only way to start the heart pumping. You can take your kids for a walk to the local park or a hike if you live nearby some trails, or you can just play with your kids in the yard. The point is that you go to lengths to exert yourself to work up a sweat as often as you can, since we spend the majority of our days (and the entirety of our nights) in a sedentary position. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: your heart is a muscle, and the more you work it, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.

A Single Glass of Red Wine a Day

If you’re a fan of red wine, you probably know of the benefits a glass a day can do for your heart. However, people who believe in the healthiness of red wine often take things to excess and end up doing more damage to their heart by overdrinking than if they hadn’t had anything to drink at all. An article by the American Heart Association addressed this very issue, reemphasizing their claim that a single glass of red wine per day may help heart health. Yes, the flavonoids in red wine can increase the beneficial cholesterol for your heart, but drinking to excess erases any possible health benefits. So if you want to mix wine into your heart-healthy diet, do it once a day or not at all.

About the Author

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.