The human heart is the single most important organ in our bodies. But most of us aren't taking care of our hearts as we should.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally. More than 17.3 million deaths per year attributed to the disease. This fist-sized powerhouse pumps blood to every part of our body allowing us to function and go about our day-to-day lives. Many people don't do enough to protect this vital organ, or they’re confused about what makes a strong heart.Here we’ve compiled our biggest do’s and don’ts for a happy, healthy heart for years to come.
Do’s for a Healthy Heart
Dofit magnesium into your diet. This is a superhero supplement, as studies show that low magnesium levels correlate with high blood pressure. Magnesium is endothelial-cell friendly, which means your arteries stay smooth and keep elasticity. It can also reduce damage to your blood vessels.
Do what makes you happy. A positive outlook on life can decrease the risk of heart disease, especially those with a family history of it. Stress increases your blood pressure, so keep the stress low and the happiness high.
Do trade high-fat foods for healthy fats. Foods with high levels of saturated and trans fats like fried chicken, butter, and cream increase levels of bad cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats. They appear in foods like avocados, nuts, and fish. These contain high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Keep the healthy fats in your diet to reduce bad cholesterol levels, and increase heart health.
Do cardiovascular exercises. Any type of exercise that increases your heart rate is great for your heart. Exercises such as walking, swimming, dancing, and hiking are options for any fitness level. Aim for 30 minutes or more at least 4 times a week.
Don’ts for a Healthy Heart
Don’t smoke. It seems like an obvious no-no for many health reasons, but smoking is one of the worst habits for your heart. Not only does smoking limit the amount of oxygen that gets to your heart, it also speeds up the plaque build up in your blood vessels. If you’re a smoker, you may need to seek help from your doctor on how to quit.
Don’t stress. As we mentioned above, stress can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. Find ways to manage the stresses in your life. Minimize their impact and divert stress toward something beneficial like yoga or meditation.
Don’t binge drink. Research is a little inconclusive on whether alcohol is actually good or bad for you. But, one this is for sure, drinking too much is definitely bad for you. Alcohol can increase blood pressure, strokes, and irregular heart beats. Drinking more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women can have overall negative effects. So drink in moderation for a healthy heart.
Your heart is like the engine of a car. To keep it running smoothly over the years, it requires a lot of upkeep and maintenance. But, making these small fixes over time can result in a longer, healthier life.
Live long by loving your heart! Share with us the ways you take care of your heart.