Cardiovascular disease refers to a number of conditions that affect not only the heart but also the blood vessels that run through your body. In addition to heart disease, cardiovascular disease includes things like high blood pressure, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, high cholesterol, and a number of other conditions.
Cardiovascular diseases claim the lives of millions of people every year but there are many things we can do to improve our cardiovascular health. On this page, we are going to give you 5 tips to improve your cardiovascular health naturally.
Some Foods for Better Cardiovascular Health
There are many nutrients in the foods we eat that can greatly improve cardiovascular health. Things like omega-3 fatty acids that are found in salmon, tuna, and other fish help bolster your immune system and reduce the chance of developing blood clots. Omega-3 fatty acids also help increase your levels of good cholesterol while lowering triglyceride levels and protecting your arteries from plaque buildup.
B vitamins that are found in many fruits and vegetables also help increase HDL (good cholesterol) and protect against blood clots and hardening arteries. Vitamins C and E are also found in many fruits and vegetables and these vitamins are antioxidants that will help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in fiber which will help lower cholesterol levels and keep your digestive system working properly.
Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant that will help protect your heart and many colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in this particular nutrient. Another type of antioxidant that will help protect blood vessels and lower your blood pressure are polyphenols. All types of berries are rich in polyphenols.
The types of nutrients that are beneficial to cardiovascular health are commonly found in fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods that are high in fiber, and lean sources of protein like fish. Eating a healthy diet is an extremely important part of maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
We just went over some of the most important nutrients your body needs to maintain good cardiovascular health. If you’re having trouble getting all of these nutrients with diet alone, there are many supplements on the market that you might want to consider.
It’s always a good idea to consult your physician before starting any type of diet or exercise program or taking new supplements but supplementation can help you get the nutrients you need when diet alone is not enough.
Some Good Exercises for Better Cardiovascular Health
Even a little bit of exercise can make a big difference in your heart health. Something as simple as a brisk walk will help get your heart pumping and improve your overall fitness. Other exercises that are great for cardiovascular health include running, cycling, and swimming. If you have a gym membership you can do some circuit training where you move quickly from one exercise to the next. This will help keep your heart rate up, giving you the benefits of both weight training and an aerobic workout.
Changing Your Bad Habits
We talked about some of the nutrients your body needs and some of the exercises you can do to improve your cardiovascular health. Improving your diet and exercising is very important so if you are a couch potato that likes to eat junk food, you will need to make some lifestyle changes. Proper diet and exercise can also help you lose weight and there is a direct correlation between obesity and many cardiovascular diseases.
High blood pressure is a very common cardiovascular problem so avoiding too much sodium intake is also important. You also want to avoid eating processed foods as much as possible. Processed and prepackaged foods are often high in sodium and sugar. Things like sodium, sugar, and saturated fats are your enemy and you will need to stay away from those as much as possible.
If you are a smoker, quitting can be one of the most important things you do for cardiovascular health. Most people only think about breathing problems when they think about smoking. Things like lung cancer and emphysema for example. However, smoking is also responsible for a lot of cardiovascular diseases. Smoking can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and arteriosclerosis to name a few.
Breathe Cleaner Air
Believe it or not, the air you breathe can have a significant impact on your cardiovascular health. A study conducted by researchers in Denmark back in 2008 found that using HEPA filters improves cardiovascular health significantly in healthy, non-smoking elderly people.
HEPA filters greatly reduce the level of particulates in the air and this study found that the reduction of indoor air particles allowed for a significant improvement in the functioning of small blood vessels. So in addition to helping people who suffer from allergies find some relief, a good air purifier may also help people improve their cardiovascular health.