When we speak of heart, we cannot miss out on the importance and benefits of plant foods. Vegetables are an excellent source of glutamic acid. It is a class of amino acid which helps keeping blood pressure at lower levels; safe levels, so to say. Not to mention, the amount of vitamins and minerals that vegetables provide to the body do the most for health.
Without the aid of daily exercise, maintaining a good overall health is just more than a daunting task. Exercises not only improve heart function, but also help in bringing down blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in the body. A mere 30 minutes stroll daily does good for the heart, if not much. It is recommended that sprinting is more beneficial for the heart, than jogging.
Eat high quality oils
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which not only help in preventing cardiovascular diseases, but also reduce instances of heart attack. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a group of patients with cardiovascular disease had 30% less likelihood of heart attack because of omega-3 fatty acids. Best sources include salmon, mackerel and herring. Flaxseed, walnuts, and soybeans are also good sources.
Cut the Smoke
If you think you cannot shun the habit of smoking, then you might as well know that you cannot do anything good for your heart. One of the most severe risks of smoking relates to heart diseases in almost every smoker. Quit smoking, and you have done half the job in keeping your heart healthy!
Being overweight puts extra load on the heart thus, increases the risk of heart conditions. So, consume less sugary foods and more of fiber and complex carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the basic necessities for a healthy heart today.
Add More Fiber
Fiber exists in two major groups; soluble (dissolves in water) and insoluble (does not dissolve in water). Although both the types are beneficial to health, it is the former type that does way better to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Due to its soluble nature, it binds with the cholesterol in the intestines thus, keep it from being absorbed. This keeps the level of LDL and total cholesterol down, while not affecting the HDL cholesterol level in any way. All a healthy person requires is a serving of 5 to 10 grams or more of soluble fiber in a day to avail this benefit of low cholesterol. Foods rich in this fiber include apples, peas, kidney beans, prunes, etc.
Beware of Trans Fats
To avoid trans fats, eat less of fast foods, bakery products, unhealthy snacks, crackers, and margarines. Go for foods rich in healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Eat Less Salt
Sodium is good for the body, but in petty amounts. High salt intake means high blood pressure, which eventually points out to heart conditions. When sodium starts accumulating in the blood, it attracts water which in turn, increases the blood volume. Now to keep this blood circulating through the blood vessels, the heart has to work harder thus, causing high blood pressure. The recommended amount of sodium in the food per day must be less than 2300 milligrams.
Take the Right Medication
In most cases, heart diseases are also related to the use of drugs. So, it is important that you take medicines as prescribed by the doctors, or get them altered if necessary.
Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts does not harm the body. In fact, some studies show that moderate consumption provides some benefits for the heart. However, the habit of drinking is analogous to walking on thin ice. It is not difficult for any one to step out of his limit, and become a heavy drinker. So, ensure that either you stick to moderate drinking or you don’t drink at all.
Stress has also been known to be one of the common culprits of heart problems. Any stressful situation elevates blood pressure and this response takes its toll on the heart. So, keep yourself relaxed by practicing meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.