Our heart is one of the most important organs in our body, and needs a lot of care. Unfortunately, over the years, more and more people are suffering from heart disease.
Heart disease, like any other medical condition has causes. Identifying the causes will greatly help in preventing the progression of any heart condition and in giving the right treatment. The causes of a heart disease may be very common. But the consequences and impact of the same are fearfully bad for your health. The causes may include high blood cholesterol, diabetes. It can be obesity and over weight. Smoking is a real enemy as you know. T also can be heredity, alcohol and more.
How can you make sure your heart will keep going pitter-patter, without going kerplunk? Let us count the ways.
Here are our top 10 tips for a healthy ticker.
Fill up on fibre
Not only does fibre help lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, it can aid weight management. Being overweight raises the risk of heart failure by a third while obesity doubles it.
Top sources include oats, beans and raspberries. The other sources are blackberries, oranges and green peas.
99 percent of women and 90 percent of men don’t get enough potassium in their diet. Responsible for regulating the fluid balance in our cells, potassium also blunts the effects of excess sodium. Too much sodium and too little potassium is a recipe for high blood pressure. Strike a healthier balance by cutting back on salt. And increase potassium intake with bananas, potatoes and broccoli as well as kiwi.
Say “no” to that extra cup of joe
Four or more cups of daily brew could elevate blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with increased risk of heart disease. Drinking more than two cups of coffee a day can harden the arteries and contribute to arteriosclerosis. Switch to tea; its heart-healthy benefits include lower blood pressure and reduced inflammation.
“Beet” heart disease
Beets contain the antioxidant betanin which can help keep LDL cholesterol from clogging your arteries. Moreover, this root vegetable is a good source of folic acid which helps to break down that heart-hurting homocysteine.
Top sources of folic acid include spinach, broccoli and papaya.
Become a better listener
University of Baltimore researchers found that people with “dominant personalities” had a 47 percent higher risk of heart disease when compared to their more patient and passive peers.
The “L” word your heart truly longs for: lycopene
This heart-healthy phytonutrient found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit. It may lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Harvard researchers found that eating seven or more servings of tomatoes a week might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent.
Choose healthy fats
Monounsaturated fats (think olive oil, avocado, nuts) when used in place of saturated fats (think butter and beef) help lower cholesterol. Another healthy fat omega-3 helps reduce inflammation. Omega-3 sources include wild salmon, walnuts and flaxseed.
Don’t turn breakfast into break-feast
While skipping breakfast actually lowers your metabolism, going overboard is no better. Big fatty breakfasts trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals associated with clogged arteries. So skip the stack of flapjacks and opt for a strawberry-banana smoothie instead.
Ode to soy
Twenty-five grams of soy protein per day can help lower cholesterol. Soy’s other heart-healthy nutrients include folic acid and magnesium (which helps maintain normal blood pressure). Soy milk, edamame and tofu are just some of the many ways to enjoy soy.
Go for a raise
Go for a raise in HDL cholesterol. Higher levels of this “good” cholesterol can be almost as important as low levels of LDL cholesterol at keeping heart disease at bay. In addition to exercise, quitting smoking and limiting trans fats is a must. Drinking cranberry juice could help boost HDL levels.
Healthier habits, happier heart!
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