Healthy adult hearts aren’t much bigger than your clenched fist. In the same way your car’s engine makes it go, your heart pumps to keep your body up and working. That’s why it’s essential to make some heart-healthy lifestyle changes.
How Does Your Heart Work?
The importance of keeping a healthy heart has a lot to do with the idea that your heart works like a car’s engine. It has two distinct sides. At the top of each side, you have an atrium (a top chamber). Underneath each atrium, there is a ventricle (a bottom compartment).1
Your heart’s right side pumps blood and sends it to your lungs so they can grab oxygen. Your heart’s left side collects blood rich with oxygen from your lungs. The oxygen-rich blood gets pump to the rest of your body by way of your arteries.2
Finally, your heart contains something similar to a car’s electrical network, which is responsible for helping to control your heartbeat and the contraction of your heart’s atriums and ventricles.3
How To Help Have A Healthy Heart? Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure As You Age
High blood pressure may increase the risk of plaque building up in the arterial walls. Eventually, it can narrow your arteries and limit how much oxygen-rich blood can flow to your organs. Any damage to the artery or risk of heart failure can become more significant when plaque builds up in your coronary arteries. This may weaken your heart muscle. Furthermore, heart damage may be linked to high blood pressure and poor blood sugar levels. For both of these reasons, it’s important to follow a heart-healthy diet and monitor your alcohol consumption.4,5,6,7
What Is A Heart-Healthy Diet? (And How To Help Maintain It)
In recent years, researchers have developed a relatively good understanding of what can cause your heart to age more rapidly than it should. There are noted risk factors that could up the odds when it comes to heart concerns. It’s essential to remain physically active, eat a heart-healthy diet, and adjust your lifestyle to help slow the rate at which your heart and arteries age.8
Here are a few tips on how to help maintain a healthy heart diet:
- Select foods low in trans fats and saturated fats.
- Eliminate any food item with added sugar.
- Stay away from foods high in salt.
- Eat as many vegetables as you can get your hands on.
- Stick to high fiber foods.9
If you feel like you need some additional nutritional support, you can try looking at the natural compounds in supplements such as Gundry MD Heart Defense or Gundry MD Enhanced Circulation.† Ask your doctor if either of these supplements may be right for you.
Plan Ahead: Creating Daily Menus May Help
One great way to stick to a heart-healthy eating plan is to plan your meals in advance. Focus on fresh or frozen vegetables. Avoid foods that raise your blood cholesterol levels. Steer clear of high-calorie sauces or dressings with added salts and added sugar.
You can opt for wild-caught fish or pasture-raised poultry. You’ll also want to make sure you’re consuming a healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids that you can get from foods such as wild-caught salmon.10
Tip: Make a thorough grocery list, and shop on a day where you have time to prep your meals for the rest of the week.
Quit Smoking And Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Here’s a biggie when it comes to protecting your heart health: if you’re a smoker, quit smoking.
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death.11 And smoking can expedite the damage you do to your artery walls as you grow older. Quitting, no matter your age, may help reduce the risk of heart health issues. Stopping could limit potential brain damage, often linked to interruptions in the brain’s blood supply.12
As a reminder, smoking can cause up to 480,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. And 41,000 of those deaths result from inhalation of secondhand smoke.13 To help protect yourself and those you love, steer clear of smoking.
How Sleep Deprivation Can Alter Your Heart Health
The right amount of sleep isn’t just essential to ensure you ‘wake on the right side of the bed.’ Good sleep habits are crucial for your heart health as well. Most healthy adults require at least 7 hours of sound sleep every single night.14 Why?
Well, as you sleep, your body has a chance to decrease its blood pressure. If you don’t get adequate sleep, your blood pressure never gets the opportunity to take a break. It stays higher, longer. Again, having high blood pressure may lead to significant heart concerns. Given that 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, sleep deprivation may be more common than you think.15
Want to help yourself sleep deeper, longer? You can start by setting a regular sleep schedule. Try to get into bed at the same time every night. Set your alarm and wake at the same time every morning — yes, even on Saturday and Sunday. For a boost of energy in the morning, you may wish to take a second to explore the potential benefits of a supplement like Energy Renew.†
However, if you have concerns about your energy levels or amount of sleep, talk to your doctor right away.
While heart health concerns may grow more serious as you age, there are a heap of precautions you can take now to support a heart-healthy lifestyle. Try taking the following steps:
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stop smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Set up a sleep schedule to help support healthy blood pressure levels.16
And don’t forget, there are supplements like Heart Defense, Enhanced Circulation, and Energy Renew that may assist your heart health efforts.† Just make sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any new supplement regimen.
Now that you know how to help have a healthy heart, here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions.
Importance Of Keeping A Healthy Heart (FAQs)
Q: What is a heart attack?
When you hear the terms “heart attack” or “myocardial infarction,” you’re hearing about what can happen if part of your heart muscle isn’t getting the proper amount of blood. If blood flow isn’t restored promptly, significant damage may occur within the heart. Sometimes, heart attacks are caused by severe spasming or the sudden contraction of a coronary artery, resulting in a pause in blood flow to the heart.17
Q: Which foods do NOT support heart health?
- Avoid all soft drinks and sugary beverages. If you must have soda or sugary drinks, limit yourself to one 8-ounce serving each day. But again, it’s better to cut these drinks out of your diet entirely.
- Don’t go near refined or processed carbohydrates.
- Stay away from processed meat. That means ditching any meat that’s preserved with nitrites or salt (e.g., hot dogs, bacon, and deli meat). The high salt or preservatives content in processed meat isn’t good for heart health.18
Q: How often should I have my blood pressure checked?
Your doctor will have the best recommendation as to how often you should check your blood pressure. However, you can check your blood pressure at-home using monitors which are easy to find online and in stores.19
Your healthcare professional can provide assistance calibrating your home blood pressure monitor and can better train you how to best use it.