This Heart Health Month, Know How to Keep Your Heart Strong & Healthy
Over the average human lifetime, the heart beats about 2.5 billion times, delivering blood to each body part. The blood flow carries oxygen, hormones, other compounds, and many essential cells with it. It also removes waste products of metabolism. But essential body functions fail as soon as the heart stops functioning. This might happen due to a poor diet, lack of physical exercise, smoking habits, infection, and to name a few.
Some Common Signs of an Unhealthy Heart
- Aching in the shoulder and chest
- Snoring and sleeping problems
- Difficulty with sexual function
- Irregular heartbeat
- Sore gums and jaw, mouth problems
- Puffy legs and feet
- Shortness of breath and fatigue
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?
Anyone can be at risk for heart disease; however, you are at higher risk in case you;
- Are a regular smoker
- Have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Are overweight
- Don't exercise
- Don't eat
Besides these, your family history and age also affect your risk for heart disease. You’re at higher risk if:
- You are a man aged 45 or above
- You are a woman aged 55 or above
- Your father or brother had heart problems before the age of 55
- Your mother
Some Common Types of Heart Disease
Whether you are at risk or not, the good news is you can do a lot to prevent heart problems. But before that, let’s read about some heart diseases in brief.
1. Coronary Artery and Vascular Disease
Coronary diseases develop in the body due to arteries getting narrowed or blocked. It is the most common heart disease type, which can also cause chest pain and heart attacks.
Vascular disease is related to blood vessel problems, reducing blood flow and affecting the heart’s functions.
Arrhythmias, also called heart rhythm disorder, can make your heart beat slower or faster than usual or in a disorganized manner. Many people across the globe experience heart rhythm disorders, causing blood flow disruptions.
3. Structural Heart Disease
As the name indicates, it refers to abnormalities of the structure of the heart, which includes walls, valves, muscles, and even blood vessels near the heart. It can be congenital or acquired after birth due to infection, accident, etc.
4. Heart Failure
It is a severe condition, which can be developed when the heart becomes weakened or damaged. Two of the most common heart failure causes are high blood pressure and heart attack.
Some other heart diseases include infection, inherited disorders, enlarged heart muscle.
How Can You Improve Your Heart Health and Avoid Heart Problems?
1. Quit Smoking
One of the top risk factors for heart disease is smoking. The CDC, NHLBI, and AHA encourage smokers to quit smoking for a healthier heart. If you quit smoking, it will make a big difference to your heart and your overall health.
2. Eat Fish
Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent heart disease risks. Many fishes, including sardines, tuna, herring, and salmon, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, AHA suggests eating fish at least two times a week.
3. Laugh As Much As You Can
While you just send ‘LOL’ in response to a funny conversation across messaging apps, did you realize you might not laugh out loud in actuality? According to the AHA, laughing can help raise high-density lipoprotein levels (HLD), also called ‘good cholesterol’ in your body. Crack jokes with your friends or watch comedy movies; know that laughter is good for your heart.
4. Alcohol May Help
Another way to raise your HDL levels is alcohol consumption, but moderately and occasionally. It can help prevent artery damage and the formation of a blood clot. According to one study, red wine (mainly) offers benefits for your heart.
5. Walk for a While Everyday
Take a walk to clear your head and lower your stress; this is good for improving heart health. So the next time you feel stressed, exhausted, or angry, you know what to do – stroll for some time.
6. Breakfast is Important
Your very first meal of the day plays a vital role in helping you have a healthy heart and body. Prepare and maintain a healthy breakfast diet by adding nutritious, heart-healthy foods.
Yes, it matters what you eat, especially when it is about your heart. This National Heart Month, you want to focus on improving your and your heart’s health. Read the tips below and prepare a list for your next food shopping.
7. Prepare a Diet That Includes Heart-Healthy Foods
- Fresh vegetables – cabbage, tomatoes, carrots
- Fresh fruits – pears, apples, bananas, oranges, and peaches, berries
- Frozen vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli (without added butter or sauces)
- Leafy greens – spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce to make salads
The best place to buy these is seasonal farmers’ markets.
Consider adding these dairy products to your diet; milk, plain yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, etc., and before buying, ensure that all these are fat-free or low-fat.
You may also take soymilk with added vitamin A, Vitamin D, and calcium.
9. Whole Grain Products
- Bread, muffins, bagels, and tortillas
- Oats, quinoa, and brown or wild rice
- Pasta and couscous
Similarly, before purchasing, you need to make sure these are 100% whole grain products.
10. Add a Variety of Protein-Rich Foods
- At least 93% lean ground chicken or turkey
- Fish and Shellfish
- Beans – black, pinto, lima, kidney
- Peas – black-eyed, split, garbanzo (chickpeas), and lentils
Foods You Should Avoid
- High-fat dairy products and fatty meats
- Edibles that contain saturated fat and trans fats such as palm oils, palm kernel, and coconut
- Burger, pizza, creamy sauces, and gravy
Think about your heart health as it beats, works for your well-being. Doing a little exercise every day and improving your diet can really help improve your heart and overall health.
However, if you or any of your loved ones experience any heart problem symptoms, it is highly recommended to see a trusted doctor. Meet the best and reliable medical professionals at CVMedPro and start a consultation today. Feel free to call us at (877) 216-4215 or local: 559.450.6334 or visit our website – www.cvmedpro.com.
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