Life Hacks for the Heart

Heart disease is a condition that involves narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke.

Heart health is something that people take for granted every day. It is not something that we continuously have on our mind, even though heart disease is the number one killer amongst men and women in the United States. Many do not know that African American men in the Southeastern United States have the highest risk for heart disease. There are lifestyle and health changes that can be implemented to decrease our chances of getting this disease. Here are a few lifestyle hacks that can help you give heart disease the boot.

1. Manage stress:
It is necessary that you manage your stress levels. Studies have found that it will put strains on the heart, which increases your risk of heart disease, when stress is not managed on a healthy enough level.
2. Get Active:
It is important that you’re active every day. Just thirty minutes a day can make a difference on your heart’s health. Getting advice helps to also fight against obesity which has a tendency to add stress to the heart because of the weight.
3. Consume a Healthy Diet:
What you put inside your body on a day to day basis plays a key role in your heart health. By feeding your body all the wrong things, you put your body at risk for high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and more, which can all lead to heart disease. So, processed foods and snacks are not your friend.

Here are 6 heart healthy ingredients you should be adding to your diet:

1. Avocado
2. Flaxseeds
3. Spinach
4. Low-Fat Milk
5. Kale
6. Chia Seeds

Smoothies are a great meal replacer. They’re easy, fast, and perfect for on the go. One of my favorite smoothie recipes is the Banana Pineapple Mango Smoothie. This smoothie is delicious and it also contains some of those heart healthy ingredients that I listed above that adds a boost to every smoothie.

healthy yellow smoothie with mango pineapple banana in mason jar
Banana Pineapple Mango Smoothie:

6 oz water
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp agave nectar (or your preferred choice of sweeter)
1 banana
1 1/2 cups kale
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
3/4 cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup ice cubes

Add all your ingredients into your blender and place the lid on tight. Blend on the smoothie cycle or on a medium low speed for 10 seconds until you have your desired consistency. Pour your smoothie into your favorite glass and your heart healthy alternative is ready to drink.

Written By: Hillary D. Griffin

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