Good heart health is essential for the prevention of all types of heart disease, including cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, as well as stroke.
Many other health disorders are related to heart, arterial and circulatory health, including dysfunction in organs that are fed by our arteries and veins. These include conditions like impotence, brain diseases and dementia, macular degeneration and more.
Just a century ago, heart disease was so rare that it had only been just discovered, but today, it is the No. 1 killer, responsible for more than 40% of all deaths. Taking steps to improve and support good heart health is a must for longevity as well as for quality of life.
One of the most important things you can do for your heart is to be active. Aerobic exercise is essential for managing cardiovascular risk. It helps control your weight and also decreases the chances of developing other conditions that can put a strain on your heart, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It also helps to reduce stress and lower inflammation, both of which can contribute to heart disease.
Most health experts believe that getting 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity on most days of the week is optimal, but even lesser amounts can offer benefits to the heart.
Your exercise doesn’t have to be accomplished all at once, it can be broken up into 10-minute sessions at a time, for example. Remember that activities like doing household chores and gardening also count toward your total.
Avoid Processed Foods and All Trans Fats
Avoiding all processed foods is optimal for supporting good heart health, but staying away from any and all hydrogenated oils is essential. These oils are thought to be responsible for much of the increase in heart disease over the past four decades or so. Trans fats are harmful to the body, and particularly to the heart, even in small amounts.
If you see anything that says partially hydrogenated (oil) as an ingredient, stay away. Using organic, cold-pressed olive oil and coconut oil offers heart healthy benefits that can help lower bad cholesterol and reduce buildup on arterial walls.
Eating a heart healthy diet includes consuming plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, as well as foods that contain healthy fats like nuts and seeds, wild-caught salmon, coconut and olive oils.
Eating onions regularly can also help to keep the blood from forming clots, and even to dissolve those that exist in the circulatory system. Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol, preferably red wine, can also protect the heart. It’s suggested that men consume no more than two drinks per day, while women should stick to one.
Spice Up Your Meals
Using plenty of spices in your meals also supports a healthy heart. One of the best to use frequently is turmeric. Its yellow color is derived from curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory known to fight tumors and reduce excess platelet aggregation that may occur in your blood.
Garlic is a potent anti-inflammatory that can also help to lower blood pressure, which can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and heart disease-related death. It contains a compound known as ajoene, which has been shown to inhibit blood clot formation as effectively as aspirin.
Other outstanding spices that should be used generously include ginger and cayenne pepper.
Eliminating high sugar foods from your diet, especially those with refined sugars, may have more of an impact on plaque buildup than cholesterol. Consuming too much sugar has been linked to adverse conditions including type 2 diabetes and obesity, both of which negatively affect heart health.
Switch Out Sodas for Green and Black Teas
As part of the effort to reduce sugar in your diet, consider replacing sodas and other sugary drinks with green or black tea. These beverages have been proven to help battle free radicals, which are thought to be the culprits that start the damage in your heart and circulatory system. Drinking green tea can quickly improve the health of the delicate cells lining the blood vessels, lowering one’s risk of heart disease.
Incorporating any type of stress reduction technique can help support heart health; practicing meditation is one of the best methods. It’s been shown to reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients as well as to improve long-term heart health.
We are assuming you don’t smoke cigarettes – if you do, quitting may be the best decision you could ever make to avoid a wide range of diseases and early death.
Following all of these tips is your best bet for achieving and maintaining a healthy heart that can help you live a longer – and better – life!
-The Alternative Daily