Take better care of your heart by learning how

The American Heart Association (AHA), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, and similar groups have established several recommendations for maintaining heart health.

Take better care of your heart by learning how
Raising awareness about the vital role of the heart in our lives. Photo by Robina Weermeijer / Unsplash

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in Mexico. It is important to take care of our cardiovascular health, which is closely related to our habits and lifestyles. To that end, we've included some recommendations from the DASH Diet, the American Heart Association (AHA), and similar groups.

Learn how to take care of your heart

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Each has its vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which will help improve your cardiovascular health.

Consume whole grains and seeds that are rich in fiber and minerals. Some examples are oatmeal and brown rice. Examples of seeds are almonds, walnuts, pistachios, chia, and flaxseed.

Decrease the consumption of saturated fats and foods rich in cholesterol. These are mainly found in foods of animal origin, such as pork, beef, sausages, whole dairy products, and butter, among others. It is important that you only eat red meat a maximum of 2 times a week and complement the other days with chicken and fish. You can also look for lean cuts of meat and, in the case of dairy products, those that are skimmed or semi-skimmed.

Eat fish at least 2 to 3 times a week, such as salmon, cod, tuna (in medallion), sardines, as well as flaxseed, walnuts, and olive oil, among others, as these contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which in turn contain two fatty acids, EPA and DHA, essential for our brain health, and also contain omega 3, which helps our cardiovascular health.

It is important to watch the percentage of fat mass, especially visceral fat, which is found between the organs since a significant increase in it is closely related to an increase in cardiovascular diseases.

Sodium intake should be limited; the AHA establishes a maximum sodium intake of 2300 mg/day for patients with cardiovascular disease or who require greater restriction. It is important to check food labels to take care of sodium intake, and it is also necessary to control the salt added to food.

Try to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, 75 minutes of intense physical activity, or a combination of both each week.

Reduce processed and ultra-processed foods, which contain dyes, additives, flavorings, and other compounds harmful to health.

To decrease the consumption of sugary foods and beverages,

Managing stress is of vital importance. Exercising, painting, playing an instrument, having a pet, traveling, or doing any other recreational activity can help control and reduce stress, which is closely related to some cardiovascular diseases.