Every February is National Heart Month and is dedicated to showing you just how important it is that you look after your heart, so that it can look after you. This article highlights the best things to do, to look after your heart and show you some incredible Heart Facts!
What is NHM?
National Heart Month is set up by the British Heart Foundation who help encourage everyone to make small changes to their diet and routine in order to live a healthier lifestyle. The British Heart Foundation aim to not only raise awareness of illness' related to your heart such as heart disease, but spread tips and ways that we can help prevent it from happening to us. There are a number of genetic factors that need to be taken into account that could potentially heighten a persons risk of getting heart disease. The good news is that by making some simple changes to your lifestyle and diet, you can dramatically reduce these chances.
How To Prevent Heart Disease:
There are a number of very simple changed you can make. These changes include:
✔ Stop smoking! Ensuring that you stop smoking is the single most important step that you can take to ensure the health of your heart,
✔ Keep physically active.
✔ Maintain a healthy cholesterol level and keep your blood pressure down by eating a healthy balanced diet.
✔ Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum
In order to keep your heart in check, you first need to keep your diet in check. There are plenty of different foods that can help you maintain that healthy heart and help keep diseases at bay. These include:
Fish - There are certain fish which are brilliant for your heart; Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines are packed with heart-healthy fats. These fish contain huge amounts of fatty acids known as Omega-3 which has been proven to contribute towards lowering the risk of arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) and atherosclerosis (this is the build up of plaque within your arteries). The benefits of fish for your heart are endless but if you're not into your fish and still want to do all you can to prevent those nasty illness', you can supplement your diet with Omega 3 Fish Oils Capsules.
Dark Chocolate - Yes, you read it right! Believe it or not there have been several studies that have proven the positive link between eating Dark Chocolate and decreased risk of heart disease. As much as we would love to tell you that they do, other chocolates such as milk chocolate don't quite cut the mustard when it comes to protecting your heart, the chocolate being consumed needs to be between 60-70% cocoa. The reason being for this is because cocoa is rich is a naturally occurring antioxidant also known as flavonoids which can help blood pressure and clotting.
Soy Products - Soy products can be a great alternative for anyone looking to increase their protein intake without increasing their intake of certain unhealthier fats and cholesterol with example like tofu and soy milk becoming increasingly popular. Not only can Soy products help you to lower your blood pressure (looking after that heart of yours!) but it's also packed with other goodness like fiber, vitamins and minerals. A quick and easy way to supplement with Soy is using Soy Protein Isolate.
Nuts - Nuts can be the perfect snack as long as you're choosing to eat the right ones! If you're looking to help prevent your risk of heart illness' in the future then adding these nuts into your diet would be beneficial:
All of these nuts are packed with hearty-goodness including fiber and Vitamin E helping you keep that cholesterol to a minimum.
Green Tea - Green Tea is a beverage that has been popular is Asia for many years, and has grown hugely in popularity in Western society and bring with it brilliant health benefits. A recent study has shown that those who drink Green Tea had a 26% lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke! As well as being proven to help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, Green Tea has also been proven to help you burn stubborn fat.
Greens - We all know that increasing your intake of vegetables, especially your Greens, can help improve your health but there are certain Greens which are so good for you that they're known as Superfoods. This is because they're high carotenoids, which act as antioxidants and help to free your body of potentially harmful compounds. There are 3 main Greens that you should seriously consider packing your meals with and these are:
This is because as well as being jam packed with minerals and vitamins, they're also packing tons of fiber which is an important part of everyone's diet. This is because fiber helps promote the movement of material throughout your body, and not enough fiber can increase your chances of diseases and weight gain!
All of these foods can have a huge impact on your health and they're so easy to add into your diet! Making breakfast? Add some spinach! Having a coffee? Grab a Green Tea instead or supplement with Green Tea tablets if you aren't a fan of the tea.
National Heart Month is all about promoting a healthier lifestyle! If you're not quite convinced about just how important it is to look after your heart check our these facts, it will show you just how hard it works for you to keep you going!
*Infographic can be used on the condition that Bodybuilding Warehouse is credited.