Heart health is important for overall wellbeing and unfortunately cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in Australia, proving that not many of us take care of our hearts.
In accordance with heart week 2018, I have decided to share some easy tips below you can include daily to improve heart health and your overall wellbeing*.
Eat your vegetables
Did you know, research suggests those suffering with cardiovascular disease are required to eat 10 serves of vegetables per day, yet on average Australians only eat 2 servings!!!!
To prevent cardiovascular disease and promote a healthy heart, eat a variety of different vegetables daily which make up a total of 3 cups (or more if your #healthobsessed).
This should include vegetables of all different shapes and colours to maximise the vitamin and nutrient content in your food.
NATUROPATHIC TIP: make sure at least 3 different coloured vegetables are ingested from your 5 servings daily. The more vibrant the colour the more phytonutrients and antioxidants that are present (YAAASSSS PLEASE).
Reduce salt intake
Instead of using salt to season your food replace it with herbs and spices. This will boost your nutrient intake while also reducing salt intake to improve heart health!
NATUROPATHIC TIP: Adding cayenne pepper to foods will boost circulation and increase the metabolism, rosemary is a potent antioxidant and has been shown to improve memory, oregano will detoxify and help to protect the body against parasites and bacteria (plus they are delicious)!
Reduce your meat intake
Replace animal protein with plant protein at least 2 days a week. Evidence suggests there is a strong link between healthier hearts and plant based diets so cut back on high consumption of meat (check out #meatlessmonday for delicious ideas).
NATUROPATHIC TIP: Replace meat with legumes, vegetables, brown rice or healthy noodles and on meat days add beans to meat dishes to reduce the amount of meat consumed.
Drink more water
I'm sure your thinking, 'we've heard it all before Riannon!', BUT come on, water is the essence of LIFE and with most Australians only drinking water once thirsty (meaning your already dehydrated!!) we all need to practice this simple step.
NATUROPATHIC TIP: Add some lemon, mint, berries, cucumber, orange or fruit of your choice to your water and you will be guzzling it by the gallon!
Eat healthy fats
Healthy fats are important for cardiovascular health and should be consumed daily to ensure the body is functioning at an optimal level, to reduce inflammation and for the production of necessary hormones. This is as easy as eating fish weekly, eating nuts and seeds, adding avocado to you diet and including organic coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil into your daily lifestyle.
NATUROPATHIC TIP: Add 1/2 an avocado to your smoothies! It creates a delicious, creamy consistency and you can now purchase it frozen from the supermarkets which will save you time (and money!!) waiting for the perfect, ripe avo.
Exercise is good for so many things and heart health is one of them! Exercising at least 30 minutes per day will provide you with unlimited health benefits. This might be as simple as taking a 1/2 hour walk in nature or take it up a notch and do a 1/2 hour strength training session (check out my last blog post for health benefits), whatever it may be, ensure you get your body moving daily.
NATUROPATHIC TIP: Mix up your exercise daily to avoid getting bored and try to do it in nature (beach, bush, parks, rainforest etc)- this is also the perfect opportunity to drink more water, believe me- your heart will thank you!!
If new to exercising, always start off slowly and gently- walking is PERFECT!
For more naturopathic tips and fun pics, follow my Instagram @mungbean_health (or click the icon at the bottom of this page)
*PLEASE NOTE: This is in no way meant to treat or heal cardiovascular disease so please check with your health care professional before starting anything new.