9 Simple Steps to a Healthier Heart
The modern diet and lifestyle is drastically affecting heart health in a negative way. Heart disease is constantly on the rise, as is the number of deaths caused by cardiovascular disorders. It's vital that you take care of your heart! Thankfully, it's not as difficult as you might think. Here are a few simple steps to a healthier heart:
As if you needed to be told that sex was important! Sex can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. The more you have sex, the lower your risk. Sex dilates your blood vessels, gets your heart pumping, and improves circulation. Two or three times per week is the magic number to keep your heart healthy.
Breathe Clean Air
In most cases, this is easier said than done. Between the pollution of big cities, the chemicals in cleaning supplies, and the aerosol in your deodorant and beauty products, there is A LOT to affect your lungs negatively. Pollutants can thicken the walls of your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attacks. It may be a good idea to get an air filter to use at home and in your car.
Eat More Nuts
Walnuts are one of the best plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, a nutrient that will seriously reduce triglycerides (fat in your blood stream), improve the health of your heart, prevent cholesterol from turning into plaque, and reduce swelling in your body. Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are also a healthy source of this important fatty acid.
Eat More Beans
Legumes are AMAZING for your health. People who eat a single cup of legumes per day have much lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It's all thanks to the fiber--both soluble and insoluble--from the beans, as well as the flavonoids (in dark-colored beans). If you want to be healthy, have a few more bean, lentil, pea, and chickpea meals every week.
Feeling stressed because of work? Welcome to the club! Stress can be one of the primary risk factors in heart disease, but you don't have to let it get you down. Unleash your stress on the gym equipment, and get in a weight training or cardio session during your lunch hour. You'll return to the office far less stressed, and you'll have an easier time dealing with the pressure of the job.
We used to think that eggs were bad for your heart--specifically your cholesterol--but now science has busted that myth. Eggs can actually help to clear out your arteries of all the cholesterol and plaque, and the high vitamin content of the eggs will do wonders for your circulation and your heart.
Sounds too easy, right? It's not! Slow, controlled breathing can help to lower your blood pressure in just a few minutes. If you feel your heart racing as a result of stress, anxiety, or exertion, take a few deep breaths to calm your body and mind down.
Or, sleep better! Insomniacs have a much higher risk of heart disease, so it's in your best interest to improve the quality of your sleep. Avoid light, sound, and smells in the evening, and wind down from a stressful day with a good book. Cut the TV from your evening activities, and you'll have a much easier time getting to sleep once the day is done.
Cut Trans Fats
Did you know that this one simple act can seriously reduce your risk of heart disease? Trans fats raise your bad cholesterol levels AND lower your good cholesterol levels. By cutting trans fats, you can give your heart a break.