The heart is one of the most essential organs in your body because it pumps blood and oxygen to all of your organs. It is important to understand how to keep your heart healthy because nowadays heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women. When your heart doesn’t get the proper care it needs, severe problems arise in the lining of the arteries, which then leads to plaque formation.
Angina or Angina Pectoris is caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart muscles, which produces pain in the chest. While physical exertion and stress or any kind of emotional tension increase, the hearts’ need for oxygen and can cause angina. Cold weather and eating heavy oily meals can also trigger the pain.
Atherosclerosis is a condition when fats deposit your arteries. As fats build-up, the wall of the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart thickens thereby reducing blood flow. That, in turn, reduces the amount of oxygen and other nutrients reaching the body. The risk of atherosclerosis gets accelerated with age, smoking, high levels of blood cholesterol, and obesity.
The treatment includes drugs and nutritional interventions that affect the supply of blood to the heart muscle by increasing the size of the vascular opening. This, in turn, improves blood flow allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the heart.
If you are eating a lot of processed and refined foods, whole milk, and red meat and your blood tests show high cholesterol levels, then you should seriously think about your dietary habits. However, if your body is well-nourished and has a good amount of antioxidants, getting adequate exercise, you need not worry about your body’s ability to handle cholesterol. Your arteries get damaged depending on:
- The amount of soluble fiber in your diet.
- The usage of cooking oils
- The number of free radicals in the body
What to eat for a healthy heart?
- Consume foods that can save arteries and prevent heart diseases such as fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, sprouted legumes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and mainly foods that are rich in Vitamin C, E and beta carotene lower your risk of heart disease.
- Consume well balanced and fiber-rich foods at least 30g a day. A diet rich in soluble fiber can help lower your low-density lipoprotein LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels. Other rich sources of soluble fiber include oats, bran, wholegrain cereals, barley, apples, pears, and avocados.
- Include raw nuts like almonds and walnuts, olive oil, and fatty fish such as pink salmon, tuna, Atlantic herring, and mackerel in your diet at least twice a week. Fish such as pilchards, sardines, and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which may help protect against heart disease.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you cut back on higher-calorie foods, such as meat, cheese, and snack foods, and may help to prevent cardiovascular disease. Avocados protect the arteries against oxidative damage.
- Reduce the sodium content in your food. Eating a lot of salty foods may lead to high Blood pressure which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total (about a teaspoon of salt).
- Cut down unhealthy fats. Eating too many foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat can increase the level of cholesterol in your blood. This increases your risk of heart disease. You can choose lean meats with less than 10 percent fat and lower fat dairy products like 1% fat milk over full-fat (or whole) milk.
- Eat some of your foods raw as they contain a whole lot of biologically active components called enzymes, which has artery cleansing properties.
Tips for a better healthy heart
- Staying active can reduce the risk of developing cardiac diseases. Do some moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day. Walk briskly for 30 minutes a day. Choose activities that combine exercises like water aerobics, dancing, cycling, or yoga. It can also be a stress reliever and mood booster. You can also check out the article for the best morning routine to stay fit and healthy.
- Manage your weight. If you are overweight and obese, it may increase your risk of developing heart disease. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular physical activity. To know more about health and fitness, check GoFitnessPRO.in
- Stop smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke. If you quit smoking or other tobacco products, it will decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke almost straight away. Smoking damages blood vessels in the brain, heart, and other parts of your body. This makes you four times more likely to die of heart attack or stroke and three times more likely to die of a sudden heart attack.
- Avoid stimulants such as coffee and black tea that contain caffeine. Coffee increases stress hormones in the body leading to a greater risk of heart disease.
- Have a diabetes test. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your artery walls and leads to heart disease.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to prevent the risk of heart disease.
- Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to boost your metabolism and digestive functions.
- Flaxseed oil is unsaturated and unstable and gets oxidized easily which is good for your heart. Flaxseeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids may help lower cholesterol. You can grind the seeds into a fine meal and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce, or hot cereal.
- Check the food labels. It is always good to check the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt, and sugar the product contains. Don’t go for trans fats or partially hydrogenated products.
Incorporate all these tips into your life, and you’ll enjoy the rest of your life with a strong healthy heart with your loved ones.
Disclaimer: Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. We by no means will be held responsible for any bad effects that can come out of using these medicines.