Our heart is one of the most important organs that needs a lot of extreme care. Unfortunately, more and more people suffer from heart disease. The causes of a heart disease are common and include high blood cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and obesity.
Heart disease, like any other medical condition, is best to be identified early and treated earlier. So how can we keep our heart healthy? We compiled the top 10 tips for a healthy heart.
Consume enough fibre
Fiber helps to lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and aid weight management. Being overweight raises the risk of heart failure.
Top sources include oats, beans, raspberries, blackberries, oranges and green peas.
99 percent of women and 90 percent of men do not get enough potassium in their diet. Potassium is 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 increasing potassium intake with bananas, potatoes, broccoli or kiwi.
Say “no” to that extra mug of brew
Four or more cups of daily brew could elevate blood levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid associated with higher risk of heart disease. Drinking more than two cups of coffee a day can harden the arteries. It can contribute to arteriosclerosis. Switch to tea whose 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. This root vegetable is also a good source of folic acid which helps to break down that heart-hurting’ homocysteine.
Top sources of folic acid include spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce 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. Learn to listen more and interrupt less.
The “L” word your heart truly longs for: Lycopene
This heart-healthy phytonutrient found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit lowers cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. Researchers found that eating seven or more servings of tomatoes a week reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%. Thus, be sure to get a good dose of these fruits and vegetables in your diet!
Choose healthy fats
Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado and nuts 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
Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism but going overboard is no better. Big fatty breakfasts trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals associated with clogged arteries. Hence, be mindful not to overeat.
Ode to soy
Twenty-five grams of soy protein per day can help lower cholesterol. Its heart-healthy nutrients include folic acid and magnesium, both of which helps maintain normal blood pressure. Soy milk, edamame and tofu are some of ways to enjoy soy.
Go for a raise in HDL
Go for a raise in HDL cholesterol. Higher levels of this “good” cholesterol can be important at keeping heart disease at bay. In addition to exercise, quitting smoking and limiting trans fats can help boost HDL levels.
Healthier food, happier heart.
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