Heart disease still causes more than a quarter (26 percent) of all deaths in the UK with nearly one heart attack every three minutes.
As a Doctor, I’ve seen firsthand how lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
A heart-healthy lifestyle includes a good diet, (low in salt and saturated fats), maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, avoiding excess alcohol and smoking.
You can calculate your own heart age compared to your real age with this NHS online calculator.
Reduce your heart age: Eat these 5 foods to protect your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease:
Eating one to two servings of fish a week could reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack.
Omega -3 fatty acids may lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of plaque in the arteries.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore the most benefit.
Choose grilled salmon as a great healthy option when eating out.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School suggest that we should be eating strawberries or blueberries 3 times a week as a tasty way to protect your heart. These berries are particularly rich in chemical compounds called anthocyanins.
Research suggests that anthocyanins have several effects on the body including lowering blood pressure.
Try out Honestly Healthy’s blueberry super smoothie or add berries to yoghurt and porridge to increase your intake.
Nuts & Seeds
Many studies have found that regular nut consumption reduces the risk of death from heart disease. Almonds, brazil nut, cashew, walnuts, and pecans are all good.
Nuts contain heart-healthy fats, protein, and fibre. Snack on unsalted raw nuts and nut butter to improve your heart health.
Beans and legumes
High in soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol and heart-healthy flavonoids shown to lower your risk of heart attack and strokes. Eating just one serving of beans or legumes per day has been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Use chickpeas and lentils in soups, stew, salads or have a snack of hummus and veggies.
The countless health benefits of porridge oats are undisputed. Low in saturated fats, high in fibre and proven to lower bad cholesterol, they also provide a slow steady release of energy.
For an added nutritional boost, top your porridge with berries and a handful of nuts.