Three Tips for a Healthy Heart

February is Heart Health Month. In celebration, take up these three new research-based habits.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. A healthy heart is central to good overall health, as your heart is what pumps blood throughout your body, supplies oxygen, and removes toxins and waste. If you need a little help in the heart health department, try these research-backed tips.

  1. Fill Up On Magnesium-Rich Foods: Magnesium may help lower your risk of stroke, found a review study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Every additional one hundred milligrams of magnesium taken daily in addition to average intake (roughly two hundred milligrams), led to an eight-percent decrease in the risk of experiencing any type of stroke. Magnesium-rich foods include leafy greens, beans, lentils, nuts and whole grains.
  2. Omega-3 Supplements: A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that taking omega-3 supplements may not provide the protective effect previously believed; however, the American Heart Association still recommends eating fatty fish high in omega-3s (like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna) at least twice a week. Ask your doctor whether omega-3 supplements are right for you.
  3. Go Mediterranean: Research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine has found that adolescents and young adults who adhered to a Mediterranean diet had a lower chance of having arterial stiffness (a risk factor for heart disease) by the age of 36. Similar to clean eating, Mediterranean diets are high in fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and omega-3 fats like those in olive oil.