We all want to protect our hearts. And if heart issues run in your family as they do in mine, you have even more motivation to want to support your ticker.
But let’s face it, heart advice can often be complicated or hard to follow. You’re told to give up so many things that you love that you can start to wonder if it’s even worth it. And while we all need to focus on moving more, turning into a gym rat at this age is not in the cards.
That’s why I love the tip I have for you today. Because it not only couldn’t be easier to do. It has the potential to dramatically reduce your heart risk.
Because what makes this change so remarkable isn’t just how simple it is. It’s how EFFECTIVE it can be against some of the deadliest heart problems that exist.
It’s not a fad diet or a trendy ingredient that’ll spark conversations on Facebook or at coffee hour after church next Sunday. In fact, in some ways, it’s almost boring.
But this remarkable remedy could still help with the one thing that matters most. And that’s protecting your heart and potentially saving your life.
Common mineral linked to lower heart risks
When’s the last time you thought about how much iron is in your diet? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably never.
Because unless you’ve been diagnosed with a specific deficiency or have anemia, there’s a good chance iron has never been on your radar. After all, the mineral seldom gets mentioned when folks are talking about nutrition.
But that’s actually a bit bizarre. Because iron is the MOST common nutritional deficiency in America, according to the Pauling Institute.
Most folks who are running low aren’t severely deficient. So a mild case of low iron can easily fly under the radar going unnoticed and undiagnosed. (Check out these 6 weird warning signs you’re not getting enough iron.)
But your body knows it’s missing. Because even if you don’t have a dramatic deficiency, low iron can trigger everything from fatigue to cognitive struggles.
And in the new study, iron levels made a significant difference in cardiovascular health, with low levels increasing the risk of:
- cardiovascular linked death by 26 percent
- coronary heart disease by 24 percent
- death from any cause by 12 percent
This doesn’t mean you should rush out and gobble up iron supplements. In fact, that would be a terrible idea.
Cut heart risk with one more iron at mealtimes
With iron, it’s easy to leap from low to having far too much of a good thing. So unless you’ve been diagnosed with a specific deficiency and told to take iron pills, the solution is even simpler than a supplement.
All you have to do is make sure there are some iron-rich foods on your plate during at least two of your three meals a day. That’s literally all it takes.
A single cup of cooked spinach, for example, will give you a third of your daily iron needs. I often sauté mine with a bit of olive oil and have it with my breakfast.
Make it two cups of spinach, and you’ll be two-thirds of the way there. Sprinkle an ounce of sesame seeds on top, and you’ll be at close to 100 percent of your daily needs with a single side dish.
Other options are just as easy and delicious. Six ounces of steak will give you about half of your daily iron. A cup of prunes has enough to meet 25 percent of your everyday needs. And a one-ounce square of dark chocolate has about 20 percent of your recommended amount.
Meats (including organ meats), beans, seeds, and mushrooms all have decent iron levels. A quick Google search can tell you how much iron is in all of your own favorite foods. Men and postmenopausal women are generally advised to get 8 milligrams of iron daily.
Make sure to include some vitamin C in your diet too. Foods rich in C such as bell peppers, broccoli, and citrus help enhance the absorption of iron. And when possible, eat calcium-rich foods separately as some research suggests calcium may interfere with iron absorption.
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