Imagine a bullet hurtling towards your heart. How will you escape? You could be wearing a Kevlar vest or doing those impossible Matrix moves or watch the hand of God reaching down and miraculously plucking the bullet out of the air.
Sounding like we are talking about a movie?? But in real life, there are chances that something worrisome could be moving towards your heart, quite slowly compared to the bullet. It is called heart disease.
Needless to say heart health is of paramount importance. EHC bring out some simple, effective strategies for safeguarding your heart health. You don’t have to adopt all of these lifesavers, but give each one a try to see if you can stick with it. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Wash your hands often. People with the highest levels of antibodies—substances produced when the body is fighting off infections—also had more clogging of their arteries. The same goes for brushing your teeth; studies have shown a correlation between gum disease, cavities, and increased risk of heart disease.
Go for Indian food
It is rich in heart-healthy ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Turmeric contains curcuminoids that can reduce inflammation and prevent atherosclerosis, and may lower total cholesterol. For those who do not take Indian food, you may try turmeric capsules; dosages range from 600—1,200 mg per day standardized to 90 percent or more curcuminoids.
Inadequate sleep can increase risk of heart disease by 40 percent. It may be that sleep disturbances elevate blood pressure and reduce insulin sensitivity, which can impact heart health.
Spinach is high in magnesium, which reduces platelet clumping, lowers blood pressure, and regulates heart rhythms. Pumpkin seeds, Swiss chard, beans, and fish are other good sources. Or take magnesium supplements to ensure you’re getting enough. Dosage recommendations range from 400—1,000 mg per day.
Make intimate sessions
Men who have sex once a month or less have a risk of developing heart disease that is 45 percent greater than that of guys who do it two or three times a week, a study in the American Journal of Cardiology reveals. Sex may protect your cardiovascular system.
Almonds and walnuts are often touted for their heart-health benefits, but peanuts may be even better. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, which regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure. In one study, people who ate peanuts lowered their LDL and total cholesterol levels and increased their HDL without making any other dietary changes.
Grilling and other high-heat cooking methods form compounds in meat that cause inflammation and oxidative damage, and increase heart disease risk. For safer grilling, use lean meat and marinate it in lemon juice and olive oil. Or wrap foods in foil pouches and place them on the grill to avoid direct contact with heat and lessen the formation of dangerous compounds.
Drink filtered coffee
Unfiltered varieties (such as espresso and French-pressed) contain diterpenes and other compounds that can increase the risk of heart disease. And drink it in moderation: coffee can increase blood pressure and arterial stiffness, and drinking more than six cups per day increases cholesterol and boosts blood levels of heart-damaging homocysteine by as much as 10 percent. Green tea makes a great alternative. Its antioxidant flavonoids—the protective compounds also found in cranberries—relax blood vessels and thin blood.
They are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids that help prevent clotting, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Wild (not farmed) salmon and tuna are also good sources of omega-3s. Sardines tend to have fewer toxins than these larger fish.
Choose an exercise to do weekly — say, a 2-mile run — and just afterward, log your time and your heart rate. Call your doctor if you notice major changes — for instance, a heart rate of 185 bpm after a workout that typically takes you to 165 in the same time. That can signal an issue, like clogged arteries or a weakened heart.
Hop on a stationary bike. Warm up for five minutes, and then alternate 15 to 30 seconds of fast pedaling with equal amounts of slow recovery. Do this for 10 minutes, rest four minutes, and repeat. This routine can help improve your lipid ratio.
Get optimum sun exposure
Scientists in Scotland found that 20 minutes of UV exposure can increase your body’s production of nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure. You can soak up some sun for 10 minutes twice a week, but check with your dermatologist first if you’re fair-skinned or have had skin cancer.
Do not skip breakfast
In a recent Harvard study, men who typically skipped breakfast had a 27 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease, possibly because of greater fluctuations in their blood sugar and higher levels of blood triglycerides.