Healthy Heart Tips
A strong heart is a result of healthy lifestyle choices. Be active and stress-free. Today's fast-paced life and workplace pressures escalate stress levels, taking a toll on one's heart. We must realize that the healing power of the body decreases when under stress, leading to many complications like hypertension and poor immunity. Today, even youngsters are prone to heart ailments. So, it's very important to stay healthy and manage your stress levels by understanding the risk factors - high cholesterol levels, stressful lifestyle, smoking, and lack of exercise - following simple changes in lifestyle.
Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn't mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors - such as family history, sex or age - there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.
You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today and take these steps to prevent heart disease.
Eat More Eat Less
Healthy fats: raw nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados Deep-fried foods; saturated fats from whole-fat dairy or red meat
Nutrients: colorful fruits and vegetables fresh or frozen, prepared without butter Packaged foods of any kind, especially those high in sodium
Fiber: cereals, breads, and pasta made from whole grains or legumes White or egg breads, granola-type cereals, refined pastas or rice
Omega 3 and protein: fish and shellfish, poultry Red meat, bacon, sausage, fried chicken
Calcium and protein: Egg whites, egg substitutes, skim or 1% milk, low-fat or nonfat cheeses or yogurt Egg yolks, whole or 2 percent milk, whole milk products like cheese or yogurt
Eat chocolate: No guilt required. Rich, dark chocolate not only tastes delicious, the flavonoids it contains can help stave off heart disease and also suggests that chocolate can positively affect blood clotting.
Go nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts deliver a powerful punch for lowering your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease. The Nuts helps to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Consider pet therapy: Our pets give us more than unconditional love; they offer numerous health benefits. Owning pets can lower the rate of dying from heart disease and possibly improve heart and lung function.
Make time for breakfast: The first meal of the day is one you shouldn't skip. There is an abundance of good-for-you benefits to eating a healthy breakfast. What's a healthy breakfast exactly? Whole grains (ex. Rolls, cereals, etc.), low-fat protein (ex. Hard-boiled egg, turkey bacon), low-fat dairy (ex. Skim milk, low-fat yogurt, or cheese), and fruits and vegetables.
Maintain a healthy weight: As you put on weight in adulthood, your weight gain is mostly fat rather than muscle. This excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Get regular health screenings: High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won't know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action. Eat foods rich in beta-carotenes: they can cut your risk of a stroke by 40 percent. Foods rich in beta-carotenes include carrots, cabbage, winter squash, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, apricots, and seaweed.
Eat garlic: Study after study has confirmed garlic's abilities to lower blood pressure, reduce phospholipids and cholesterol, strengthen heart action, increase immune response, reduce platelet clumping and clotting (thus reducing strokes) and stabilize blood sugar levels. Eat garlic raw or lightly cooked, several cloves a day.
Drink lemon balm tea: It is so strengthening to the heart that there's an old saying about it: "Those who drink lemon balm tea daily will live forever!" You can also steep a handful of fresh leaves in a glass of white wine for an hour or so and drink it with dinner. Or make lemon balm vinegar to use on your salads.
Drop the salt: To maintain a healthy blood pressure, stop using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking, or cut it out completely. You'll soon get used to it. Also, watch out for high salt levels in processed foods. Check the food labels: a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g.
Drink less: Alcohol can be fattening. If you added three or four gin and tonics to your usual daily diet, you could put on nearly 2kg over four weeks.
Check your family history: If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from smoking, high BP, high Cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes, then you could be at risk too.
Laughter is the best therapy: Laughter anytime will work wonders for you. It is an instant way to unleash the pressure and it makes you feel light.
Incorporate Physical Exercise in your daily routine
Watermelon plays a significant role in lowering heart disease risk and aiding weight management: Watermelon is the next food to ascend to nutritional stardom, as it fights the accumulation of arterial plaque to help prevent a heart attack and is proving to be an important ally in weight management.
Poor sleep increases insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease risk in teens:
   
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