How to Improve Heart Health: Complete Guide 2023
We often talk about our physical health without even thinking about the role our hearts play in keeping us healthy.
We may be too concerned about muscles because they enhance our looks. However, the most important of all muscles is your heart which you may not be giving proper attention to.
Your heart health depends, to a large extent, on your lifestyle. People do not take their diet seriously, which damages their hearts slowly and in the long run, affects their blood pressure.
The good news is that even if it’s too late for you to avoid heart diseases, you can still improve your heart health. According to the American Heart Association, every year, heart patients in thousands defeat heart diseases.
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How to Improve Heart Health
Heart health refers to how the muscles and valves of your heart work. It’s basically about how well and efficiently your body circulates blood. If blood pressure and circulation are normal, each and every cell in your body, ranging from cells in your toes to cells in your brain, receives the oxygen and nutrients they need on time.
According to the American Heart Association, if there is a problem in circulation, i.e., for some reason, your heart can’t pump the blood effectively, the cells and tissues of your body become deprived of the nutrients they need.
Sometimes you may face a condition called hypertension or high blood pressure, which can literally rupture your veins and your cells. In short, heart health is about how effectively your heart supplies blood and nutrients all over your body.
Why do you need to Improve Heart Health?
Everything in your body, either directly or indirectly, depends on your heart. That’s why heart disease can affect more than just your heart.
Heart problems are linked to all of your body and literally affect the performance of your whole body. You need your heart to work properly, not just to live but to live effectively.
Common Types of Heart Disease
Our hearts are very delicate, and anything can go wrong at any time. For example, if you have high systolic blood pressure, not only is your risk of heart disease high, but you are also more likely to suffer from strokes and kidney problems.
Why do you need to understand Heart Disease?
In order for you to fully appreciate the worth of your heart and the true importance of taking care of it, you first need to understand what can happen if you don’t take care of your heart.
We frequently underestimate the importance of heart disease and our heart health.
Another reason for understanding the basic types of heart disease is to be able to recognize a heart problem in case you are your loved ones face one.
Here are some of the major types of heart disease:
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
Your arteries may be the best system of circulation in the entire universe, but they are vulnerable to blockage. When they block, your heart is no longer able to receive blood from the body.
That creates an extremely alarming situation. In such conditions, your heart is not able to receive proper oxygen in order to function properly.
Mostly, a condition known as atherosclerosis increases your risk of heart disease. In atherosclerosis, the arteries become so hard that they restrict or stop the flow of blood to the heart.
Also, it is one of the major risk factors for developing higher blood pressure. This leads to angina (pain in the chest), heart attack, and uncontrollable blood pressure. In other cases, the arteries may get blocked due to the accumulation of excessive plaque (high cholesterol) in them.
There is a healthy pattern to the way your heart beats. If your heart rate deviates from that pattern or rhythm, such as beating too fast or slow or beating earlier than it is supposed to, it can lead to various problems. Abnormal heart rate can also lead to high blood pressure or low blood pressure as well.
Heart Valve Disease
Sometimes heart issues can arise from physiological abnormalities inside the heart. For example, if one of the valves in your heart gets stuck or stops working, that can lead to serious problems and even early death.
The valves in your heart keep oxygenated and deoxygenated blood from mixing up with each other. They also maintain optimum blood pressure. Abnormal functioning of the valves can lead to blood leaking out as well.
The muscles of your heart are strong but also very flexible. In some cases, the heart muscles get stretched and become thinner than they normally are.
This means that your heart now has more volume than before; hence it is dilated. This dilation of the chambers make your heart weaker, which disrupts the normal blood pressure and blood flow.
The weaker your heart becomes, the more vulnerable you are to other heart conditions, such as angina, arrhythmias, high blood pressure, and lower blood pressure.
Heart Disease Risk Factors
Now, let’s talk about some of the things that may make you more vulnerable to having heart problems so that you can avoid them.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease mostly stems from or worsens due to the following risk factors:
- Having metabolic problems
- Family history of heart disease
- Bad cholesterol
- Excessive consumption of saturated fats
- Physical or emotional stress
How to Improve Heart Health?
When we think about heart problems, we often envision them as completely incurable. It’s true that many heart problems are incredibly hard to get rid of.
It is also true that most heart conditions are lethal to some extent. However, that doesn’t justify giving up.
Research suggests that if people modify their lives in the right manner, they can lower the risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, the right lifestyle changes cannot only help you improve your heart health but also get rid of your existing heart problems.
Here we will discuss some of the most effective natural remedies as well as supplements that can help you battle heart attack, become heart healthy, and improve overall health as well.
When it comes to improving heart health, natural remedies for heart disease control can basically be categorized into three categories:
- Engaging in physical activities
- Quitting bad habits
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle
Let’s take a look at some of the most helpful natural remedies for preventing heart attacks and improving overall heart health.
Quitting smoking is among the most profoundly effective ways of defeating heart disease. It is among the extremely big risk factors for developing all sorts of heart problems, and that’s true about secondhand smoke as well.
Smoking can disrupt your blood pressure as well. Apart from that, it also reduces the level of oxygen in your blood. So, you have to quit smoking.
Engage in Healthy Physical Activities
Inactivity increases the risk of heart disease significantly. The American Heart Association says that you can keep heart disease and diabetes type 2 at bay if you engage in healthy exercise regularly.
So, get going because adopting heart healthy lifestyle changes is the only way of dealing with heart disease.
Watch Your Diet
Tons of healthy conditions basically stem from bad diet habits. If your diet is too rich in bad cholesterol and you regularly consume it, you are inviting a heart attack!
A major part of a heart healthy lifestyle is a heart healthy diet. It can help you keep cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes away.
According to the American Heart Association, some of the food items that are proven heart healthy include:
- Red Yeast Rice
- Healthy fats
- Green leafy vegetables
- Low density lipoprotein
- Lean meats
- Fat-free dairy
- Olive oils
- Whole grains
Food Items to Avoid
Consuming the following can put you at risk of heart disease.
- Sugary foods
- Fatty dairy products
- Baked goods
- Processed carbohydrates
- High cholesterol diets
- Saturated fat
Keep Your Weight in Check
You already know that fat can get stuck in your arteries and lead to a severe heart attack. That’s why you need to be excited and passionate about keeping a healthy weight.
Research is very clear about the fact that obesity is the major risk factor behind most heart disease, especially if there is a family history. Healthy eating, such as eating whole grains, can help you battle obesity.
Try to stick to a diet that’s heart healthy to make sure your Body Mass Index (BMI) doesn’t cross 25. When it comes to body weight, body fat is really bad for your heart. So, try to engage in physical activities and exercises that can help you with weight loss.
Engaging in rigorous exercise can be a super-challenge if you are already overweight. However, you have to engage in it for the miraculous results it can give you. Research indicates healthy weight loss can also help you lower blood sugar if you are diabetic.
If you think sleep has nothing to do with your heart, you are wrong. Lack of sleep can lead to obesity which is among the risk factors for developing cardiac problems.
Lack of proper sleep can also put you at risk of developing high blood pressure and other severe conditions. It is crucial for heart disease control to focus on the quality and quantity of your sleep.
Yes, having a heart condition is stressful, but if you stress too much about it, you are worsening it. Stress itself is not that problematic for heart conditions; it’s how you manage the stress that can create problems.
Most adults manage stress by overeating, smoking, drinking, or eating foods that are not heart healthy can worsen coronary heart disease. Learn and practice how to manage stress.
You can consult a psychologist or engage in relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation, that will not only relax you but also improve your heart health.
Regular Health Checkups
Most people come to know about their heart conditions when they are already in the chronic phase. That’s because they don’t get regular health checkups.
People often experience high blood pressure and never go for a heart checkup. If you experience high blood pressure frequently, that is a warning sign that you might have an underlying cardiac issue.
Always get regular health screening for:
- Blood pressure test
- Cholesterol levels
- Type 2 diabetes
Engage in Healthy Sex
Sex may be a luxury and entertainment for most people, but for people with heart disease, it can be a cure. Research indicates that sexual activity can significantly lower blood pressure and cardiac problems.
Switch to Tea
You will surely need a hot beverage to relax. Try to have black or green tea as your hot beverage.
Research shows that if you consume about 1 to 3 cups of black or green tea a day, you will significantly reduce your chances of getting a heart attack or angina.
The same is true about coffee. Research also shows that coffee is not only part of healthy living but can also help you live longer.
Among the fascinating nutrients, you can get from fish are the Omega-3 fatty acids in them. If you look at heart healthy supplements (that we will discuss in the next section), you will clearly notice that all of them are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids can effectively help you control high blood pressure and treat other coronary conditions.
>> Related Article: How Is Omega-3 Advantageous for All Ages?
Apart from making necessary lifestyle changes, you can also include some really effective heart healthy supplements in your diet. As we already discussed, fish is really good for your heart health. According to the American Heart Association, the key to absolutely remarkable heart health is a heart healthy diet.
Here we are going to introduce you to some of the most effective supplements for heart health that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and free from all side effects.
7 Best Omega-3 Supplements for a Healthy Heart
|Top Consumer's Choice|
|Krill Oil Supplement|
|Canned Tuna Replacement|
|Best Practical Choice|
|Best Supplement for Pregnant Women|
|Ethyl Ester Supplement|
|Best Fish Oil Supplement For Rheumatoid Arthritis|
1. Top Consumer’s Choice: Nature Made Fish Oil
If you are in search of a product that is super rich in essential fatty acids, Nature Made Fish Oil is the best product you will ever find. This product is extremely effective for preventing all sorts of cardiovascular conditions. Apart from improving heart health, Nature Made Fish Oil is also very helpful in improving brain health. With this product, you get to have both a healthy brain and a healthy heart!
This oil contains omega 3, omega-6, and omega-9. These nutrients are essential for your body, but unluckily your body can’t generate them on its own. The omega-9 in this product is essential for making sure your body has the right amounts of all three fatty acids.
It can keep you safe from all the risks of heart disease. Apart from that, it also contains proteins and other essential polyunsaturated fats. This product is available as a soft gel, which makes it incredibly easier to use.
2. Krill Oil Supplement: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
If you want to have a good heart (health-wise), you need to have an optimum amount of EPA and DHA fatty acids in your body. These fatty acids are abundantly found in sea fish. Luckily for you, you don’t need to fish to get these ingredients into your system. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega has got you covered.
This product is not only good for your cardiovascular health, but it’s also great for your brain, eyes, and general immunity as well. It contains omega-3 fatty acids in the right amount recommended by the American Heart Association.
This supplement is free from all sorts of fishy burps. It has a great lemon taste as well as fantastic absorption ability because the omega-3 oil used in it is in its triglyceride form.
All ingredients are carefully extracted from fresh and wild fish. Apart from that, it is 100% free from allergens, gluten, dairy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
3. Canned Tuna Replacement: Barlean’s Ideal Omega3 Softgels
If you don’t like fish, you don’t need to eat fish. That’s because Barlean’s Ideal Omega3 Softgels contains everything you need for a good heart.
It contains adequate amounts of both EPA and DHA in their triglyceride forms. This ideal omega-3 supplement will strengthen not only your cardiac muscles but also all other muscle tissue in your body. You just need to consume 2 to 6 of these soft gels daily.
4. Best Practical Choice: Life Extension Super Omega-3
This fresh and pure non-GMO and gluten-free natural oil fish comes from the South Pacific Ocean anchovy. The manufacturers harvest the anchovy in a fishery in Chile in a carefully controlled environment. Life Extension Super Omega-3 has earned a 5-star rating from the IFOS!
This Omega-3-rich supplement is the right product for you if you want to lower your cardiovascular disease risk and enhance your cognitive health at the same time using a single supplement.
This product is backed by rigorous research supporting its role in the enhancement of cardiovascular health, mood, and cognition. Additionally, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from EPA and DHA, it also contains olive extracts, gelatin, glycerin, silica, and some natural flavors.
5. Best Supplement for Pregnant Women: Thorne Omega-3 w/CoQ10
The Thorne omega-3 supplement is unique from other such supplements available on the market because it contains the Coenzyme Q10. That means it is not only good for your heart, but it also comes with excellent antioxidant and cellular energy production abilities.
With the help of this supplement, all your blood vessels will remain healthy. It will also keep you safe from high cholesterol levels, which is highly essential for maintaining good heart health.
The ingredients in this amazing supplement will ensure great cognitive and emotional health as well. Some of its excellent ingredients include EPA, DHA, Coenzyme Q10, gelatin, glycerin, gel cap, and tocopherols.
6. Ethyl Ester Supplement: Innovix Labs Triple Strength
Innovix Labs Triple Strength Omega-3 is rich in EPA and DHA. It contains thrice as many Omega-3s as regular fish oil.
It is manufactured strictly according to the standards of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED). Innovix Labs Triple Strength Omega-3s are manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility. It is totally burp-free because it comes in a plant-based enteric coating.
7. Best Fish Oil Supplement For Rheumatoid Arthritis: Carlson Labs
This liquid fish oil, manufactured by Carlson Labs, is International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS), International GMO Evaluation and Notification Program (IGEN) certified. Apart from its excellent effects on the brain, joints, vision, heart, and immune system, this liquid fish oil has also won many awards for its excellent taste.
The International Taste and Quality Institute have awarded it with Superior Taste Award. This oil is extracted from deep sea cold-water fish.
The fish used in the manufacturing of this product are wild-caught in a sustainable and cruelty-free way. The ingredients of this supplement include Norwegian fish oil, EPA, DHA, natural lemon flavor, and tocopherols.
There are many supplements and products available that promise a healthy heart within no time. However, most of those products come with dozens of side effects.
Along with proper diet and exercise, the best product for improving heart and brain health, according to our research, is Nature Made Fish Oil.
Why Nature Made Fish Oil?
Here is why we recommend it as the best:
- Verified by the United States Pharmacopeia
- Improves both heart and brain health
- Good for your muscles and bones as well
- All of its ingredients are extracted from deep sea fish and not farm-raised fish.
- Manufactured strictly according to international fish oil standards.
- You can use it as a dietary supplement without having to worry about any unwanted effects.
>> Related Article: 11 Best Omega 3 Supplement • Top Fish Oil Products Review of 2022
Heart Health FAQs
Can you reverse all heart disease?
You can only reverse heart conditions that are caused by external factors, such as obesity or too much smoking; however, if there is a physiological issue with your heart, that’s most likely not reversible.
Why is high blood pressure bad for your heart?
High blood pressure is bad for your heart because it can make your blood vessels less elastic and thereby leave you more vulnerable to developing heart disease.
What should you look for in a heart health supplement?
- Has ingredients that are scientifically proven effective for improving heart health.
- No side effects.
- Doesn’t contain anything you are allergic to.
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Author: Vanessa Richards
Vanessa is a mom of 3 lovely children and a software geek. Outside of her career as a health and wellness instructor. She enjoys writing and researching on topics such as finance, software, health and culinary.