Heart Health Hacks for People of All Ages

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Mar 07, 2024

We all want to better our hearts and keep our cardiovascular systems as healthy as can be. However, sometimes, it can feel that it’s easier said than done. 

In reality, it can be quite easy to slowly improve your overall heart health over time. While nothing happens overnight, making some adjustments to your lifestyle and diet can truly go a long way when it comes to your heart health.  

Eat More Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are incredibly important for your overall health, as your body naturally feels better when you consistently eat them. Because these types of greens are so beneficial, you should eat them daily.   

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A recent study even said that if you eat just one cup of leafy greens a day, you can lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies have also said that these greens have ample benefits for your cardiovascular system.

Use Healthy Oils When Cooking

When you’re cooking, it’s common to use different types of oils. However, some oils are better than others. For example, using margarine, butter, or coconut oil when you cook could harm your heart in the long run.

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Therefore, it’s a good choice to stick with healthy options. Canola, vegetable, peanut, and corn oil are some great examples. Olive oil is one of the best healthy oils you can cook with.

Cut Back on Sodium

While our bodies do need sodium to stay healthy, there is a thing as too much sodium. If you eat a lot of salted foods, such as salted meat, canned meats, salted nuts, canned foods, and even pizza, it’s best to cut back as much as you can.

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If you eat less sodium over a consistent period, you can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and a variety of other diseases.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Eating healthy fruits and vegetables on a daily basis can help give your entire body a boost. Specifically, eating foods that have plant sterols, a natural compound found in many plants, can help lower your risk of heart problems.

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So, try adding more fruits and vegetables to all your meals. You can also get plant sterols from nuts and whole grains. Some margarines may also have plant sterols naturally.  

Reduce Foods With Added Sugar

If the American Heart Association recommends that everybody should limit their intake of added sugars, then it’s probably smart to listen to their advice. Unfortunately, added sugar has been linked to heart disease.   

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So, to keep your entire cardiovascular system healthy, it’s best to eliminate or reduce the foods that you eat that have added sugar. Examples of these types of food include desserts, ice cream, cookies, cakes, pastries, and sweetened drinks. 


Do Not Drink Alcohol Excessively

For every benefit alcohol has, it also seems to have a negative. For example, many studies have been conducted that show that a glass of red wine a night can help reduce the risk of heart disease. However, many other studies have shown that drinking red wine can still be harmful to your health. 

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As a result of this conflicting data, many health experts believe that moderate alcohol intake may be okay. However, any excessive or binge drinking can greatly harm your heart.


Eat Dark Chocolate

While some sweets — such as those with added sugars — can be quite harmful to your heart, dark chocolate has been proven to be great, as it can lower your risk of heart disease.

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However, you should always make sure you’re only eating dark chocolate that has a high cocoa content of 70% or higher. This dark chocolate is better for you and has many natural antioxidants.


Drink Herbal Tea

Herbal tea has long been said to have ample health benefits attached to it. For example, ginger tea is often said to help with digestion. Hibiscus tea has been shown to be helpful to your heart, as it contains antioxidants.

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However, that’s not the only tea you can indulge in if you want to help your heart. Black tea and green tea have been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  


Eat Whole Grains

Steer clear of eating white bread. Instead, switch to only eating whole grains. Whole grains are much healthier options and have a ton of benefits attached to them. For example, eating whole grains can help you lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. 

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Some common examples of whole grains include whole wheat, barley, brown rice, oats, and quinoa. 


Manage Your Stress

Stress is never good for your body or your health if it’s constant. It’s definitely not good for your heart. If you’re stressed often, you could even get broken heart syndrome, which occurs when a person’s stress weakens their heart muscle.

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To keep your heart healthy, try to manage your stress accurately. Doing yoga can greatly help. Doing some form of meditation every day can also be highly beneficial. Deep breathing exercises can also help.


Exercise Often

We all know how important daily, consistent exercise is. So, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that exercising often can greatly help your heart.

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Some activities are better for your heart than others. For example, walking, swimming, cycling, running, and playing tennis are great activities that will help your heart over time. Of course, any type of physical activity will benefit you in the long run.


Always Take the Stairs

In your day-to-day life, you can also do little things that will help out your heart in the long run. For example, if you have the option to take the stairs, do so.

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While it might be easier to just take the elevator, consistently moving your body by walking up stairs daily is beneficial. In fact, a study has revealed that climbing stairs daily can lower your risk of heart disease! 


Sleep Seven to Eight Hours a Night

To keep your heart healthy, you should always try to sleep around seven to eight hours each night. Sleeping is incredibly beneficial for your overall health, and it can help prepare you for the day ahead.

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If you’re not getting enough sleep, your heart could suffer. One study has proven that insomnia or lack of consistent sleep can result in a higher chance of getting heart disease or high blood pressure.


Drink Water

Your body doesn’t work properly when you’re dehydrated. If you’ve ever been dehydrated, you know how terrible this can feel. Health experts have long said that we need to drink an accurate amount of water every single day to stay healthy.

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However, drinking enough water on a daily basis can also benefit your overall cardiovascular system. Staying hydrated is even linked to reducing the risk of heart failure.