Heathy Heart

Cardiovascular diseases cause the highest number of deaths all over the world. The health of our hearts depends upon a lot of lifestyle factors. Poor nutrition choices, bad lifestyle decisions, and improper mental health care can result in strokes, heart attacks, embolisms, and coronary heart disease. Here are 20 ways to keep your heart healthy:

  1. Watch your diet: A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, and can also help increase the chances of survival after a heart attack. You should try to have a balanced diet, containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, oily fish, starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice. Avoid foods like biscuits, cakes, pastries and dairy products that are high in saturated fats and sugar.

Eat healthy fresh produce and eliminating processed foods from your diet will reduce trans- fats, the number one cause of heart disease in men and women.

 

  1. Anti-Oxidants Intake: By increasing your intake of antioxidants found in berries, artichokes, nuts, leafy greens, and citrus fruits you can ensure good heart rate.

 

  1. Cut down on salt. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Avoid foods like crisps, salted nuts, canned and packet soups and sauces, baked beans and canned vegetables, pork pies, pizzas and ready meals. Many breakfast cereals and breads that appear healthy also contain high levels of salt, so keep your eye on these too.

 

  1. Quit Smoking: Quit smoking is the single most important thing a person can do to live longer. If you are a smoker, you are twice likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker. But from the moment you stop smoking, the risk of heart attack starts to reduce. With public smoking bans recently introduced, there has never been a better time to give up.

 

  1. Regular Exercise: Aerobics, Zumba, yoga, swimming, brisk walking, jogging, and taekwondo will increase heart rate which keeps the system functioning well.

 

  1. Monitor your alcohol: Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure and also lead to weight gain. Binge drinking will increase your risk of having a heart attack, so you should aim to limit your intake to one to two units a day.

 

  1. Get active: The heart is a muscle and it needs exercise to keep fit so that it can pump blood efficiently round your body with each heartbeat. You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day. If this seems too daunting, start off gently and build up gradually. Keeping fit not only benefits your physical health – it improves your mental health and wellbeing too.

 

  1. Bust the Stress: Learn to manage your stress levels. If you find things are getting on top of you, you may fail to eat properly; this may increase your risk of a heart attack. Stress makes us indulge in unhealthy activities like drinking, eating junk and smoking. Find ways to de-stress and learn to practice deep.

 

  1. Manage your weight: The number of people who are overweight in Britain is rising fast – already more than half of the adult population is overweight or obese. Carrying lots of extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health increases the risk of life-threatening conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, start by making small, but healthy changes to what you eat, and try to become more active.

 

  1. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked by your GP. The higher your blood pressure, the shorter your life expectancy. People with high blood pressure run a higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. High levels of cholesterol in the blood – produced by the liver from saturated fats – can lead to fatty deposits in your coronary arteries that increase your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and diseases that affect the circulation. You can help lower your cholesterol level by exercising and eating high-fibre foods such as porridge, beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

 

  1. Sleep Enough: Restful, seven hours of sleep every night is a must for a healthy heart.

 

  1. Socialize: Having an active social life can reduce the risk of suffering from heart diseases. Meet friends and family often.

 

  1. Pet Therapy: Having a pet reduces stress. If pets are not your thing, indulge in some gardening, or volunteer for some charity work.

 

  1. Cooking Oil Matters: Eliminate refined oils from your cooking. Switch to olive oil, peanut, sesame or mustard oil.

 

  1. Reduce Salt: Salt is known to increase blood pressure. Reduce its amount from your diet and use herbs and spices to add more flavors to your food.

 

  1. Eat Your Oats: Oats are the friendliest cereal when it comes to your heart. Rich in fiber, high in protein, oats are the best breakfast option.

 

  1. Make sure you can recognize the early signs of coronary heart disease. Tightness or discomfort in the chest, neck, arm or stomach which comes on when you exert yourself but goes away with rest may be the first sign of angina, which can lead to a heart attack if left untreated..

 

  1. Walnuts: They are richest in anti-oxidants, which are responsible for avoiding heart issues. Eat a handful to stay healthy.

 

  1. Check your family history. If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes, then you could be at risk too.

 

  1. Eat Chocolate: Chow down some dark chocolate but only in moderation. The darker it is, more anti-oxidants it will have proving beneficial for your heart.

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