improve heart health naturally

Improve Heart Health Naturally

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial groups in the world. One person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is an umbrella term which addresses conditions that affect the structuring and functioning of the heart. Prevention is key to keeping this organ in good shape and pumping the way that it should. Embracing heart healthy habits can make a huge difference. In fact, heart disease risk falls significantly when people embrace heart healthy habits. Therefore, let us list down best habits to improve heart health naturally.

Digital Detox

Dependence on technology is inevitable in this day and age. Smartphones, computers, television and other technological advancements are helping us with professional responsibilities and social commitments. However, they are making us sedentary, increasing the level of stress hormones and raising blood pressure, thus contributing to heart disease. So take frequent breaks from electronic devices/gadgets.

Keep a Calm Mind

To keep a healthy heart, maintaining a calm mind and inculcating patience is one of the best ways to alleviate anxiety and be stress free. Meditating is an age old practice to keep the heart healthy. Many studies have shown that people who meditate regularly are less likely to suffer a painful and life threatening heart attack or stroke.

Physical Activity

A healthy heart needs activity. Adults who engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five times a week reduce their risk of a cardiac event. Research suggests that regular exercise benefits us in a number of ways. Some of the benefits are reduction in body weight, blood pressure and bad cholesterol. It also leads to and increase in good cholesterol and insulin sensitivity.

Quit Smoking

You may already be thinking about quitting smoking. Some of the health benefits of quitting smoking are immediate. Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop, and after 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal. Therefore quitting smoking is an important step to improve heart health naturally.

Cut down on Fat Intake

To prevent or reduce heart ailments, you need to choose the right types of fats and eat less fat in general. Our diet comprises a large amount of fat in general, regardless of the source. So cutting down on the fat and oil intake can be a good step to improve heart health naturally. Avoid saturated fats and foods containing trans fatty acids as they elevate cholesterol levels. Use healthier oils like olive oil, canola or rice bran oil.

Eat less Salt

Excess salt in your diet can cause blood pressure elevation, which increases the development of heart problems. Reduce your daily salt intake to not more than 6 grams a day. You can cut off your excess salt intake by using less salt for cooking, avoiding table salt while eating. You can also cut down on processed and canned foods. Also avoid crackers and snacks that are high in salt.

Limit Packaged and Processed Foods

Simply prepared fresh food is always the way to go, and the convenience of packaged and processed foods is appealing. But read the labels to make the better choice when you use them. More than 75 percent of salt you eat is from boxed, bagged and processed foods. The only solution to making smart choices when it comes to packaged and processed foods is to read nutrition labels carefully. Also remember that packaged and processed foods are also the major source of trans fats which you need to avoid.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

It might surprise some to know that your dental health is an indication of your overall health. Individuals who have gum disease are at an increased risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, bacteria in the mouth can travel into the bloodstream and affect the heart valves. Brushing twice and flossing daily can dramatically reduce these risks.

Adequate Sleep

Everyone knows they should be getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep. Your sleeping habits can directly impact your heart health. People who sleep less than six hours per night are at double the risk for a stroke or heart attack. Studies indicate that a lack of sleep impacts underlying health conditions such as inflammation, blood pressure and glucose metabolism.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Alcohol can affect your heart by causing high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and damage to the heart muscle. It is important to stick to just two to three units a day for women and three to four for men. Limiting alcohol intake is an essential step to improve heart health naturally.

Eat less Sugar

Too much sugar in your diet could lead to weight gain, which can raise your blood pressure and lead to diabetes and heart disease. If you have a sweet tooth and cannot give up sugar altogether, simply have fresh fruit with yogurt instead of sweetened pudding and cakes. It is very important to recognize the signs of eating too much sugar and cut back on it. Eating less sugar goes a long way to improve heart health naturally.

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