We all know that we should look after our heart better; after all, we won’t get very far without a healthy heart. Moreover, since heart disease kills more people each year than anything else, it is important to consider how to keep those tickers healthy.
Is this easier said than done?
We’re continually reminded that we should eat better, exercise more, and make changes to our lifestyles in the hope we are either preventing or reducing our risk of serious health issues. One of the most serious, and unfortunately, often fatal, consequences of poor lifestyle is a heart attack.
Heart attacks are serious events and require a change in lifestyle fairly swiftly to prevent any repeats. However, by this point there is already permanent damage to the heart. Therefore, it is in our own best interest to look after our hearts the best we can.
Stress contributes to heart problems, but it can be hard to make significant changes to our stress levels that stem from work, changing jobs or moving to a new house. Exercise can be hard to fit in to our busy lives and many just don’t take the time to be physically active.
What is easier to control, however, is our diet. We can ensure we eat a diet that is friendly to our heart and keeps it in the best condition possible.
Plant Based Diet
A diet that is rich in plant food has been shown to be beneficial to heart health, and in some cases, has even reduced existing damage to the heart. For many years now research has consistently shown that a vegetarian diet that is low in fat is the best option for looking after our hearts.
By cutting out all processed foods, meat, dairy and other such foods, we reduce the amount of cholesterol in our arteries. One of the main causes of heart attacks across the world is clogged arteries; quite simply, these tube like structures are so filled with fat and other gunk that blood is unable to pass through.
For those who are serious about a plant-based diet, it might be worth going all out and becoming a vegan. Again, scientific evidence supports the idea that a vegan diet is highly beneficial in many ways, including for the heart.
The Mediterranean Diet: A Perfect Eating Plan For Heart Health
One diet that continually tops the lists of heart-attack preventing tips is the Mediterranean diet. Research has found this diet can reduce the chance of having a heart attack by as much as 70% - surely, this is enough of a reason to follow this way of eating. This style of eating focuses on oily fish (which has many other health benefits, not just for the heart); poultry; beans; olive oil etc.
Only small amounts of dairy such as butter and cheese are included. The Mediterranean style diet cuts out all processed food; refined carbohydrates such as bread and pasta; caffeine and artificial sugar added to so many foods.
While this might seem drastic, this might be a much more feasible option for many people as a strict plant food only, or vegan diet can be quite a change for many. This Mediterranean diet allows many foods we regularly enjoy, but cuts out many of the usual culprits that have been linked to heart attacks.
Alongside a healthier heart and therefore a longer life, there are so many other benefits that are linked to this type of diet. Refined carbohydrates and processed are regularly linked to weight gain and obesity; caffeine is linked to a lack of sleep and artificial sugars with long chemical names contain nothing good for us.
By cutting out these foods, we are likely to lose weight – this puts much less stress on our hearts and reduces the chance of having a heart attack even further. If we follow such a diet, or even a full vegan diet, especially if combined with regular exercise, it is quite likely that we will be able to reduce our chance of getting a heart attack to the very minimum.
Take your heart health seriously before it is too late!