Did you know that researchers in the 1970s discovered that despite a diet rich in fat, Greenland’s Inuit populations had nearly zero instance of cardiovascular disease? Scientists later understood that the fats being consumed by these cultures were high in omega-3 fatty acids, heart healthy fats that may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Unlike the Greenland Inuits, our contemporary lives are filled with stress, a lack of regular exercise, and foods loaded with unhealthy fats and preservatives. So what steps can we take to reduce heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.?


Omega-3s for Heart Health

Foods like fish, algae, and flax are high in healthy omega-3 fats and have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in at-risk populations. While recommended intake levels vary depending on the source (generally ranging from 500-1000mg of EPA & DHA per day), it’s possible that even small amounts can improve overall cardiovascular function.


Magnesium

This essential mineral was once prevalent in our water and soil, but industrialized farming and food-processing methods have stripped our food of this necessary nutrient. Foods including organic, leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate are a rich source of magnesium, and this important mineral may reduce blood pressure. Studies also reveal that those with higher blood sugar and insulin levels have lowered magnesium levels, so it’s possible that supplementation may be linked to improved insulin resistance.


Reduce Your Risk Factors

Smoking, high amounts of unhealthy fats, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress can contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries of the heart, which often leads to high blood pressure and diabetes. If you haven’t already quit smoking, make a concentrated effort to kick those cigarettes to the curb. Stress reduction is another important component of maintaining a healthy heart, and we recommend reducing your stress levels with deep breathing, regular exercise, and a proper sleep hygiene routine. Try to reduce your intake of processed foods that can rob your body of the necessary nutrients needed to maintain optimum health.


Heart disease is quickly becoming one of the world’s top health concerns. But a proper diet that includes healthy fats and key minerals combined with regular exercise can significantly reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Be smart and take care of your heart!