Did you know that heart disease is the leading killer in the United States for both men and women? There are many contributors to the development of heart disease, and diet is at the top of this list.
When I worked on the cardiac floor at a local hospital, I was so discouraged because few physicians addressed the impact of their patients lifestyle on their heart disease, particularly their diet. This is because many physicians don’t learn about nutrition during medical school, leading to a less than ideal medical approach to preventing and treating heart disease.
From all of my years studying nutrition and realizing that food is medicine, coupled with my holistic and preventative approach to wellness, here are three solutions that you’ll find helpful if you want to help your heart.
1. Lifestyle changes are key
There are some basic things that are within your control—including smoking cessation, increasing physical activity, and a healthy diet— that can reduce heart disease risk by 92 percent. Lifestyle changes can prevent many diseases. Four foods that are particularly good at reversing artery disease—garlic, pomegranates, bergamot (a citrus fruit), and green tea, as each offers unique, heart-protecting properties.
2. Get your daily greens
Leafy greens are especially good for your heart because they’re packed with heart-healthy nutrients including nitrates that are linked to lower blood pressure and the prevention and reversal of heart disease. One of my favorite ways to sneak my veggies in: adding in spinach or kale to my morning smoothie
3. Eat foods that are cardioprotective
Foods like oily fish, such as salmon, lake trout, tuna, and herring. Also soluble fiber, including pectins from apples and citrus fruits, β-glucan from oats and barley, and fiber from flaxseed and psyllium.