It is never too late to start caring for your heart.
In fact as you grow old, it becomes even more important for you to maintain a healthy heart. Your heart is one of the hardest working organs in your body. It works continuously, day and night, without a rest to keep you alive.
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Foods play a large role in determining your heart health. It would be apt to say that heart healthy foods can significantly reduce heart disease or stroke by almost 80 percent.
In the U.S. alone, more than 610,000 people die of heart diseases every year. Some of the leading factors that cause heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and smoking. You should also be more careful about taking care of your heart if you have diabetes or stand a chance to develop diabetes, you are overweight or obese, follow a poor diet, neglect exercise or drink excess alcohol.
Here are top five things that you can do to considerably cut down your heart risk.
- Eat healthy fats
Not all fats are bad. In fact your body needs fats to strive. But certain fats such as trans fats are not just bad but are downright harmful for your heart health. Your diet should include saturated and polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats, but not tran fats. Trans fats is known to increase your risk of developing heart disease or causing stroke. Trans fats raises the level of bad cholesterol in your blood and this in turn clogs your arteries. If you are not sure about the oil in your food, stick to homemade food. But if you know what is healthy to eat and what’s not, you can manage to get healthy food at restaurant.
- Practice good dental hygiene
This point may surprise many, but a good dental health is an indication of overall good health, including your heart health. Teethes that have periodontal (gum) disease have same risk factor as heart disease. The bacteria in your mouth that leads to development of periodontal (gum) disease, is the one that also causes C-reactive protein, which is considered as a marker for inflammation in blood vessels. Brush your teeth and flush them every day to ward off gum disease and thereby keep heart disease at bay.
- Good sleep
Finding good sleep is not just important to become more productive but to also avert heart disease. When you are not well rested, your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases increases many fold, regardless of your age or the eating habits. Sleeping partially disrupts underlying health conditions and biological processes such as blood pressure and inflammation. You should aim at getting at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you have sleep trouble, you should get yourself treated since this condition is linked to heart disease.
- Don’t spend too long sitting at your desk
Studies have found that sitting for prolonged hours is linked to bad health no matter how much exercise you get. This is really a bad news for those who have sedentary jobs. Studies have found that people who sit most of the time have increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease and associated death. Health experts suggest that you should move throughout the day. You should take 5 minutes break every hour.
- Smoking and passive smoking
Studies have found that people, who are exposed to secondhand smoking at home or at their work place, are at 25 percent higher risk of developing heart disease. Smoking tobacco causes 34,000 heart disease cases and 7,300 lung cancer diseases. Non smokers with high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol are at even greater risk of developing heart disease when they are exposed to secondhand smoking.