5 Tips for Heart Health Month

5 Tips for Heart Health Month
Next Health Staff
|
February 13, 2024

Medically reviewed by Next Health Clinical Director, Jessica Brewer

Are you ready to embark on a journey toward better heart health? As we celebrate Heart Health Month, it’s the perfect time to focus on proactive steps that support a healthier heart. In this guide, we present an array of tips designed to elevate your cardiovascular well-being. From embracing heart-healthy foods to understanding the role of glucose monitors and incorporating essential supplements and exercises, we've curated expert advice to help you make informed choices for your heart's health:

1. Best Food for Heart Health

A low-saturated fat, high-fiber diet rich in leafy green vegetables can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart problems. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates can result in systemic inflammation, which puts strains on all bodily functions including the cardiovascular system. It is important to note that processed and commercialized foods labeled "low" or "reduced fat" have a high sugar content, which can also negatively impact the heart. Instead of choosing “low fat” option, look at the ingredients and choose monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 options.

Examples of healthy fats include: 

  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel

Ensuring optimal heart health involves more than just avoiding certain foods; it's about actively incorporating nourishing choices into your diet. A diet centered around low-saturated fats and high-fiber foods plays a pivotal role in minimizing the risk of heart-related issues.

The Role of Leafy Green Vegetables: Incorporating leafy greens into your daily meals offers a plethora of benefits for heart health. These vegetables, including kale, spinach, and Swiss chard, are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Their high fiber content aids in reducing cholesterol levels, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and enhancing overall cardiovascular function.

The Impact of Processed Foods and Refined Carbohydrates: On the flip side, processed foods and refined carbohydrates can pose significant risks to heart health. These items often contain high levels of added sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial additives that can lead to systemic inflammation. This inflammation can strain various bodily functions, putting additional stress on the cardiovascular system. Regular consumption of such foods is linked to an increased risk of heart diseases, making it crucial to limit their intake.

Recommendations for a Heart-Healthy Diet: Opt for a diet abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, and avocados. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel) can further bolster heart health. Striving for a colorful plate filled with diverse nutrients ensures a balanced diet that supports cardiovascular well-being.

By making informed dietary choices and focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods while reducing processed and refined options, you can significantly reduce the risk of heart-related complications and promote a healthy heart for years to come.

2. Use a Glucose (Blood Sugar) Monitor

Understanding the intricate relationship between diet, blood sugar levels, and heart health is essential for maintaining overall well-being. However, the impact of specific foods on individual blood sugar levels can vary significantly due to factors like gut bacteria and metabolic responses. For instance, while a banana might cause a rapid spike in one person's blood sugar, it might not have the same effect on another individual.

Incorporating a wearable glucose monitor into your daily routine can offer invaluable insights into how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. These innovative devices provide real-time data, allowing you to monitor your body's response to various foods. By tracking your glucose levels over time, you gain a deeper understanding of how your diet influences your blood sugar, enabling you to make informed choices that benefit both your blood sugar management and heart health.

This personalized approach to understanding how different foods impact your blood sugar enables you to make smarter dietary choices. Managing blood sugar levels effectively can have far-reaching benefits for heart health, reducing the risk of heart-related complications and contributing to an overall healthier lifestyle.

3. Best Supplements for Heart Health

Here are our top vitamins and minerals for heart health:

CoQ10: As a powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 is shown to reduce causes of heart conditions such as inflammation, blood clot formation, and more.

Nitric Oxide Support: This supplement supports healthy circulation, improves delivery of oxygen to working muscles, and promotes energy production, especially during exercise. ‍

Amla: This Indian superfruit in supplement form provides rejuvenation, supports overall health, and promotes healthy functioning of the heart, liver, brain, and lungs.  ‍

Resveratrol: This compound improves antioxidant levels, supports cardiovascular health, and promotes healthy metabolic function.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a vital mineral involved in over 300 enzymatic processes within the body, including those responsible for maintaining heart health. Its fundamental role in regulating blood pressure, heart rhythm, and muscle function makes it an indispensable nutrient for cardiovascular wellness. (Magnesium is included in the multivitamin base of all Next Health IV Drips).

4. Best Exercise for Heart Health

Regular exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure, aid in weight control, lower stress levels, and combat inflammation, all of which improve the overall health of your heart. Here are the top exercises for heart health:

  1. Aerobic Exercises (Cardiovascular Exercise): These activities increase heart rate and involve continuous movement of large muscle groups, helping to improve circulation and overall cardiovascular function. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, dancing, and jumping rope.
  2. Interval Training: Alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and low-intensity recovery periods is an effective way to boost cardiovascular fitness. It involves short bursts of intense activity followed by brief rest or low-intensity exercises.
  3. Strength Training: While primarily focused on building muscle strength and endurance, strength training also benefits heart health indirectly. Strengthening muscles can help improve metabolism, control weight, and assist in better heart function. It involves exercises using resistance bands, weights, or body weight (like push-ups, squats, or lunges).
  4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This exercise involves short bursts of intense activity followed by short recovery periods. HIIT workouts can significantly improve cardiovascular health, increase endurance, and burn calories efficiently.

5. Proactively Test Your Heart Health

It’s always easier to prevent a problem than solve one, especially with your health.

By prioritizing regular heart health assessments with our Baseline Test, you empower yourself with crucial data insights, enabling informed decisions that can positively impact your well-being and ensure a healthier, longer life.

  • Includes comprehensive lipid evaluation
  • Assesses your risk for heart disease
  • Measures cardiac inflammation and hormonal markers

Use Code HEART20 at checkout to receive 20% off your Baseline Test

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