The heart is an important organ that pumps blood throughout your body. Blood carries oxygen and very important nutrients to the whole body. It is very important to have a healthy heart that runs smoothly. Having a healthy heart is the best way to live healthy and live happy.
In some cases, you can make healthier, preventative choices to improve and extend your heart health. Modifiable risk factors include tobacco smoke, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and overweight and diabetes mellitus.
Heart Healthy Diet
- Limit Saturated Fats and Bad Cholesterol: These cause buildup of plaque in your arteries which increase your risk of heart attack.
- Reduce Sodium: A diet high in sodium increases blood pressure and can lead to high blood pressure which increases your risk of heart attack.
- Eat More Fruits and Vegetables: These are low in calories and high in dietary fiber. This means feed your hunger without all the calories. Fruits and Veggies also contain many heart healthy nutrients only found in plants that may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Eat More Whole Grains: These are high in dietary fiber and contain nutrients that regulate blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease.
- Eat Low-Fat Protein: Lean meats, poultry and fish contain protein without all the fat and bad cholestorol. Fish such as salmon and tuna contain high levels of Omega-3 that may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Heart Healthy Lifestyle
- Do Not Smoke: The most important thing you can do for your overall health is to not smoke. Smoking increases blood pressure and blood clot formation, while decreasing oxygen intake and good cholesterol. Not Smoking or Quitting are will greatly reduce your risk for heart disease.
- Increase Physical Activity: Having an active lifestyle has many benefits, especially for your heart. Physical activity helps control weight, increase flexibilty, decrease cholesterol, increase heart output, build muscle, burn fat, and much more. Just 30 minutes a day decreases risk of heart disease.
- Manage Stress: The demands that we put on ourselves also affect our heart. Stress can raise blood pressure and our resting heart rate, which put can wear down the heart over time. Using effective stress relieving techniques can reduce your risk of heart attack and high blood pressure.
- Be Positive: Having a positive outlook on life is important to your overall wellness and has an impact on heart health. A positive, calm and collected attitude decreases blood pressure, decreases resting heart rate, and decreases stress on the heart in stressful situations. Being positive is a great way to insure a healthy heart.
Although these risk factors can be addressed it is important to talk to your doctor. Some heart problems cannot be controlled because of age and famliy history, but early detection can give you a wide range effective of treatment options. It is important to realize that when it comes to your heart health it is never too early or too late to start decreasing your risk.
To learn more about how to avoid preventable risks and decrease your chance of developing coronary heart disease, follow the link to the American Heart Association.