Garlic for a healthy heart? According to a new study, it seems we could all benefit! More men and women die from heart disease than any other condition; it’s the nation’s number one killer. Since February is National Heart Month, why not start or reexamine simple life changes that can impact your heart health immediately?

 

Instead of: Eating low-fat bland food

Do this:  Eat the right kind of fats and spice it up

New research suggests eating healthy fats such as fat found in olive oil and fish could greatly reduce your risk of a heart attack. In fact, researchers found that a lack of these healthy fats puts you at greater risk for heart issues than excess saturated fat intake. Spicy foods also help your heart; curries, chili powders, and cloves decrease triglyceride levels in the blood and lower your heart disease risk.

 

Instead of:  Skipping supplements 

Do this: Take probiotics 

Good bacteria sit within your gastrointestinal tract and help with digestion, immunity, and inflammation. Unbalanced levels of these billions of bacteria can lead to inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowl syndrome, and even a heart attack or stroke.  Taking probiotics or eating foods rich in good bacteria helps rebalance the gut bacteria and can even lower blood pressure, according to one study.

 

Instead of:  Sitting through commercials

Do this:  Do jumping jacks, lunges, or jog in place during the break

New research shows moderate exercise, even standing, helps your heart. While there are numerous benefits to regular exercise, the simple act of moving during TV time may be just the tweak you need to incorporate more exercise into your everyday life.

 

Instead of: Going to bed late and dragging yourself out of bed in the morning

Do this: Break from your mobile phone after 8pm and go to bed one hour earlier

When you sleep your heart rate and blood pressure naturally lower, allowing the heart to rest. A lack of sleep can increases certain chemicals in the body such as C-reactive proteins that indicate inflammation, as well as stress hormones, which research shows, contribute to heart disease.   Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

 

Instead of: Complaining

Do this: Practice catching yourself in a rant, and turn it into a positive

Optimists are twice as likely to have healthier hearts than pessimists, according to researchers.

Opt for more optimism by incorporating gratitude and detox from the negativity in your life.

 

Try starting just one or two heart healthier habits each day and keep adding on to protect yourself against our country’s deadliest disease.