From an irregular diet to sitting behind a desk at your 9 to 5 job, there are multiple issues in an average Indian’s lifestyle which have led to the current predicament.
Here are 8 things to incorporate in your lifestyle to keep heart problems at bay to lead a healthy life:
A no-brainer! And yet, we don’t pay enough attention to be more physically active in our day to day lives. Make small habitual changes. Take a walk when on a phone call; travel on foot to cover small distances; accompany your child to outdoor activities. Cut-down on the hours you spend watching television & in front of computer screens.
There is no ‘magic’ food to instantly decrease the risk of developing heart diseases. But there are things that one can avoid consuming. For example, we consume ten times more salt than what we actually need to meet the body sodium requirements. Some food items to help prevent heart problems are: Fruits and vegetables, oily fish, nuts & seeds, and garlic.
Smoking affects your heart health in many ways. The nicotine in smoke reduces how much oxygen your heart gets. It also speeds up your heart, makes blood clots more likely, and harms the inside of blood vessels. A very small number of people who smoke quit smoking altogether. It is an uphill task, but once you quit smoking, odds are you’ll live longer and feel better.
High cholesterol increases the chances of succumbing to a heart attack. In order to reduce cholesterol, one should reduce saturated fat intake which is found in red meat & full fat dairy products. You should eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, flax-seeds). Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. You should also add whey protein in your diet which is found in dairy products.
Blood Pressure Control
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your heart in a number of ways, such as: coronary artery disease. There are certain natural ways to control blood pressure. One should consume less alcohol as it raises blood pressure. In fact, alcohol is linked to 16% of high blood pressure cases around the world. You should eat more potassium rich foods, such as: sweet potatoes, avocados, beans, tuna, etc.
Even though oral health isn’t a key to heart disease prevention, studies have shown: Gum disease is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease; Poor dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which can affect the heart valves. Oral health may be particularly important if you have artificial heart valves. So, brush twice, floss daily and have regular dental checkups.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Getting good quality sleep is important if you want to lower your risk of these conditions. Patients with sleep apnea (which causes them to wake–up frequently throughout the night) often have compromised heart health. No matter how workaholic one is, sleep should never be compromised with.
Keep BMI in Check
Increased body weight is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. It is not only important to stay in shape to look good but also to treat your heart well. BMI is an estimate of body fat and a good gauge of your risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases including heart disease.
A vigorous heart results in a healthy body and a peaceful mind. Pay your heart proper attention and live longer to get the most out of your life.