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Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Keep Your Heart Healthy

The Basics: Overview

Take steps today to lower your risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

To help prevent heart disease, you can:                      Man exercising for a healthy heart.

  • Eat healthy.
  • Get active.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Manage stress.

Am I at risk for heart disease? Keep Your Heart Healthy!

Everyone is at risk for heart disease. But you are at higher risk for heart disease if you:

  • Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Don’t get enough physical activity
  • Don’t eat a healthy diet

Your age and family history also affect your risk for heart disease. Your risk is higher if:

  • You are a woman over age 55
  • You are a man over age 45
  • Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55
  • Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65

But the good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent heart disease.

healthy heart

 Heart Healthy Video

Tips to Have a Healthy Heart

1. Ride your bike 20 minutes a day.

When German researchers had 100 men with mild chest pain, or angina, either exercise 20 minutes a day on a stationary bike or undergo an angioplasty, they found that a year after the angioplasty, 21 men suffered a heart attack, stroke, or other problem compared to only 6 of the bikers. Just remember that if you already have angina, you should only begin an exercise program under medical supervision.

2. Eat fish at least once a week.

Have it grilled, sautéed, baked, or roasted-just have it. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2002 found that women who ate fish at least once a week was one-third less likely to have a heart attack or die of heart disease than those who ate fish only once a month. Other studies show similar benefits for men.

3. Eat a high-fiber breakfast cereal at least four times a week.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in September 1999, Harvard University scientists found that women who ate 23 grams of fiber a day-mostly from cereal-were 23 percent less likely to have heart attacks than those who consumed only 11 grams of fiber. In men, a high-fiber diet slashed the chances of a heart attack by 36 percent.

4. Drink at least two cups of tea a day.

Black tea or green tea, it doesn’t seem to matter. At least, that’s the result of a Dutch study that found only 2.4 percent of 5,000 healthy Rotterdam residents who drank two or more cups of tea a day had a heart attack within six years, compared with 4.1 percent of those who never drank tea. Another major analysis of 17 studies on tea drinkers found three cups a day could slash the risk of a heart attack by 11 percent.

5. Eat 15 cherries a day.

Studies find the anthocyanins (plant chemicals) that give cherries their scarlet color also work to lower levels of uric acid in the blood, a marker for heart attacks and stroke. Try sprinkling dried cherries on your salad or substituting a cup of cherry juice for orange juice in the morning.

6. Cook with ginger or turmeric twice a week.

Ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory benefits, and inflammation is a major contributor to heart disease.

Compiled from https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/conditions/30-ways-boost-your-heart-health/view-all/

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Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN

My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high choleterol.