If you were told that there was a secret to a longer life, there’s no question that you’d want to hear about it. Well, as it turns out, the secret is not so secret. Taking steps to boost your heart health is one of the keys to longevity. Reduce your risk of this No. 1 cause of death among American adults, and you’re off to a good start.
One of the most significant steps you can take is changing up your daily diet. Diet, along with exercise, tackles many of the issues that can cause heart disease and stroke, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Here are five ways that you can start eating your way to a healthier heart:
1. Skip the simple sugars.
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures. Just make it dark chocolate. It’s a lot better for you than the types of sugars found in cakes, cookies, candy and sodas. And it’s a lot better for your heart. Sugar increases your risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
2. Exchange burgers for fish.
Avoid eating red meat. It’s ok to have it occasionally; however, it’s much more beneficial to add salmon to your diet. This fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower your levels of triglycerides (a fat that increases your risk for heart disease). Omega-3 also is known to help keep your blood flowing. According to the American Heart Association, it’s a good idea to have at least two servings of oily fish like salmon each week.
3. Eat your veggies.
Mom was right. Plenty of leafy green vegetables is great for keeping your body heart-healthy. The fiber is essential for managing your cholesterol — a risk factor for heart disease when the levels of bad cholesterol get too high.
4. Add berries to your diet.
Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries – all kinds of berries — have antioxidants that can clear damage-causing free radicals in the body. An added bonus? They add fiber to your diet which helps lower your risk of stroke.
5. Get your beans.
You’ve heard it before; you need fiber for heart health. Another great source is legumes, lentils, and beans. That’s why it’s important to regularly add black beans, legumes and a variety of beans to your diet. They provide fiber that also can lower your bad cholesterol.
You have so many foods that can be beneficial for your heart, including avocados, walnuts, and olive oil. Explore the many varieties. If your diet is regularly lacking, consider supplements such as Omega-3. Wonder Labs has a variety of Omega-3 supplements that provide health benefits in your efforts to reduce the risk of heart disease.