Our heart literally never takes a break. It is one of the hardest working organs in our bodies… so it only seems fair that we look after it as best as we possibly can.
With cardiovascular disease being one of Australia’s highest and fastest growing health problems, affecting 4.2million Australians, or when put into perspective, 1 in 6 people—it is important to adopt healthy habits that promote cardiovascular health.
We’ve all been told how important it is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly – but what many people don’t know is that some foods can actually considerably diminish your risk of heart disease. To ensure that your heart is as healthy as possible, aim to incorporate these 5 natural habits into your lifestyle
1.Add blueberries to your shopping list
High blood pressure or hypertension often leads to arterial stiffness, which in turn may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Aim to add some blueberries to your morning oats or as a snack mid-way through the day. A recent study has shown that daily consumption of blueberries may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
2. Aim to increase your intake to oily fish
We all know how important it is to include fish into our diets, however, many people are not aware of which types of fish are most beneficial. Oily fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to increase HDL- cholesterol levels and decrease triglycerides which will help to improve blood vessel elasticity and this out the blood. This means it is less likely for the blood to clot.
3. Try to start your morning with a bowl of breakfast oats
One of the easiest ways to keep your heart healthy is to start your day with a cup of oats. As well as containing essential dietary fibre, studies show that oats have unique anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may reduce coronary heart disease.
4. Reduce your salt intake
A high salt intake has been shown to have a negative effect on gut health and can also increase the risk of inflammatory diseases. As well as this, too much salt can also affect high blood pressure. Instead of loading up your meal with salt, why not opt for some more gut and heart friendly options such as basil or parsley? Have a look through your Herb garden and see what you can come up with.
5. Go for Garlic!
Everybody loves using Garlic to load up any meal with fabulous flavour, however, what most people don’t know is that garlic, in particular aged garlic, is a must for good heart and gut health. Studies show that 600-1,500 mg of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract was just as effective as prescribed medication at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period.
The Carousel would like to thank Cardiologist, Dr Ross Walker for his article.
Dr Ross Walker is an eminent practising cardiologist with a passion for people and health. Considered one of the world’s best keynote speakers and life coaches, he is the author of seven best-selling books, an Health presenter in the Australian Media, including regular appearances on the Nine Network’s ‘Today Show’ and ‘A Current Affair’, and Sky News, Switzer Business. He also has a weekly radio show on Sydney’s 2UE/ 4BC &2CC with other regular segments on 2UE, 6PR, 4BC and 3AW.