Life Hacks, Foods, and Habits for A Healthy Heart!

We know heart disease is not the most pleasant thing to think about, especially because it is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S., but there is a silver lining. Heart disease is up to 80% preventable, so why not learn some important information and ways to take action?

Nearly 82 million Americans suffer from some form of a cardiovascular disease. Ischaemic heart disease is the deadliest form, causing over 12% of all deaths worldwide. This condition arises when fat deposits cause the narrowing of arteries, resulting in a reduction of blood supply to the heart. This is usually characterized by chest pains and it puts patients at risk for stroke and heart attack. 

Did you know?

Every 34 seconds someone in the United States has a heart attack, and every minute someone dies from a heart disease related event?

Luckily your risk can be seriously lowered with dietary and lifestyle changes.

Prevention includes quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising. Furthermore, certain foods work to prevent plaque formation and eventual blockage!

Preventing Heart Disease: Life Hacks

Sleep

Snooze within the “sleep sweet spot”

Too little sleep can place you at a 48% higher risk of developing heart disease, while sleeping too much gives you a 38% higher chance. The perfect sleep balance is found between 7-8 hours.

 Snuggle

Make time for that extra lovin’ 

Snuggling actually reduces stress because touch induces the release of oxytocin, a natural de-stressor that also works to reduce blood pressure.

Laugh

There is a reason it is called a “Hearty laugh”

Laughing really is the best medicine! It causes blood vessels to dilate by 22%, increasing blood flow and reducing heart pressure.

Get Moving

Today is your day!

Exercise Regularly

  • At least 30 minutes of exercise a day significantly reduces chances of developing heart disease.

Maintain Your Ideal Weight

  • Obesity increases risks of developing heart disease.

Step Away from That Remote!

  • Those who sit in front of the television for 4 or more hours a day are 80% more likely to die from heart disease.

Hydrate

"Pure water is the world's first and foremost medicine." -Slovakian Proverb

Water

  • Aim to drink 7-8 cups of water per day. 

Coffee

  • Drinking 1-3 cups of coffee a day can lead to a 20% decrease in hospitalizations for abnormal heart rhythms.

Green Tea

  • Green tea contains the antioxidant catechin that stops the body from absorbing cholesterol and also helps to ward off obesity.
  • Enjoy 1-2 cups per day for maximum benefits.

De-stress

Don't forget to close your eyes and .... breathe!

Yoga

  • Yoga is a great way to focus and relax. Not only is it a natural way to reduce stress, yoga has been shown to be an effective non-cardio workout that significantly reduces risk of heart disease

Mediation

To kick-start your mediation practice or to take it to the next level, check out the albums recorded by Inner Splendor Media 

Minimize Traffic Time

  • Beyond the emotional stress that is usually caused by traffic, the noise can be harmful for your heart's well-being as well. For every 10 decibels of added roadway traffic noise, the risk of heart attack increases by 12%.

Dogs

Better known as man's best friend

Dog owners  have reported lower blood pressure numbers, less stress and weight loss benefits!

Don’t Smoke

  • If you smoke, please quit! Smoking is the most significant risk factor in heart disease development. 

Heredity

  • It is important to know if you have genetic risk factors for heart disease.  If it is in your family history, a preventative lifestyle is even more imperative.

Get Screenings Done

  • Going in for regular health checks and screening is highly recommended by cardiologists, regardless if you are at a high or a low risk. 

DIET

Beyond our lifestyle tips, managing your diet is extremely important in preventing heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Avocado consumption reduces bad cholesterol levels up to 17% and increases your good cholesterol.

Olive oil reduces bad cholesterol and provides the body with healthy fats.

Nuts promote optimal heart health as they contain the healthy fats needed to lower bad cholesterol levels in the body.

o   Walnuts and almonds are great! Just half a handful a day provides you with adequate nutrition.

Fish

The healthy fats found in certain fish help to increase good cholesterol, reduce triglyceride levels and decrease inflammation.

o   Salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring are all great for reaping optimal benefits. Aim to replace red meat with 12 ounces of one of these fish on a weekly basis!

Whole grain

The soluble fiber in whole grains helps to lower bad cholesterol because it sticks to the cholesterol, removes it and prevents it from building up in the arteries.

o   Oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat breads and cereals are great whole grain sources.

Vegetables

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Asparagus works hard to unclog the arteries by removing clots and decreasing inflammation.

Broccoli prevents calcium from damaging the arteries due to its high vitamin K content. It helps to lower cholesterol and aids in healthy blood pressure regulation.

Spirulina algae is rich in minerals, vitamin, carotenoids, powerful antioxidants and proteins. Regular consumption helps to regulate healthy blood pressure and relax the walls of the arteries.

Spinach is rich in both potassium and folate. It unclogs the arteries and decreases blood pressure. Consumed regularly, fresh spinach can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 11 %.

Fruit

Persimmons are rich in both polyphenols and fiber. Fiber helps to prevent cholesterol buildup and polyphenols are a compound that works to reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Furthermore, this fruit is very high in antioxidants, which offers an extra overall protective effect!

Pomegranates are rich in phytochemicals that encourage nitric oxide production, which then prevents artery clogging and regulates blood flow.

Cranberries are excellent for the heart because they contain a rich source of potassium. Drinking pure cranberry juice regularly can result in a 40 % reduction in heart disease risk.

Watermelon is not only refreshing! It also helps to widen blood vessels by stimulating nitric oxide production. This is aided by L-Citrulline, a type of antioxidant. Just a cup of fresh watermelon each day offers these amazing benefits.

Orange Juice in it's pure form is full of antioxidants that work to improve blood vessel function and help prevent high blood pressure.

Berries are more than a great low sugar and low calorie snack! Eating 3 or more servings of berries per week cut the risk of heart attack among women by 32%. Both blueberries and raspberries are a great choice. 

Spices