There is no doubt that the human heart is the centre of the human cardiovascular system, and it is vital as it is the organ responsible for just about everything that gives life to the body.
It is the heart that transports oxygen to the entire body system which is a key to the success of the human immune system. Thus, the foods you consume in addition to the amount of activity you to take part in can affect the overall health of your heart and of course the various other tissues which make up your cardiovascular system.
Keeping a healthy heart is one of the essential ways of having and maintaining a healthy living, thus, here are some of the ways to keep a healthy heart and to make your heart work efficiently.
Eating Healthy Foods
Eating healthy foods is one of the ways of keeping a healthy heart. You should eat heart-healthy diets, rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to help protect your heart. You must minimize consumption of dairy products, meats, too much salt and sugar in your diet. This is because fats can have a negative impact on your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, and you are to avoid saturated fats and Trans fats. Trans fat increases your risk of developing heart disease or stroke as it blocks your arteries, raising your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering your good cholesterol levels high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Cutting them from your diet helps to improve the blood flow throughout your body and reduces your risk for heart disease.
Make Exercise a Habit.
Getting some regular exercises can help keep your heart healthy thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that exercise does more than burn calories; it helps to activate genes that are beneficial to health in many other ways. Exercise is one of the best treatments for depression and anxiety; it also helps in weight loss which reduces your chances of developing other conditions that may likely put a strain in your heart, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. For a healthy heart, you should engage in moderate exercises that may not necessarily be strenuous, like, walking, and domestic activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and you can see more significant benefits by also engaging in frequent workouts.
Manage Your Stress
While no one can eliminate stress entirely, one can learn to manage it. And apart from the fact that stress causes headaches, insomnia, and digestive problems; it also contributes to heart disease. Stress can raise blood pressure level and cholesterol levels which can cause a heart attack or sudden death. Options like regular exercises and adequate sleep can help to reduce stress.
Avoid Smoking or Use of Tobacco
Smoking and or use of tobacco has become one of the most common risk factors for developing various heart diseases. The chemical component in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, which will lead to the narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) which can lead to a heart attack. And in the case of cigarette, the carbon monoxide replaces some of the oxygen in your blood which can increase your blood pressure and heart rate as it forces your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Nonsmokers have even a higher risk of developing heart disease when they are exposed to secondhand smoke.
Looking After Your Mental Health
Recent studies have also shown that there is a higher risk of heart disease for people who have depression, who are socially isolated or who do not have good social support. Depression is beyond feeling sad or low, if you feel depressed for more than two weeks, try talking to your doctor, a family member or a friend. And also, having a good social life with family and friends can help maintain your mental health.
Regular checkups for blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as physical examinations, are crucial to keeping your heart healthy. It is important to note that the two conditions that can hurt your heart are “high blood pressure” and “high cholesterol”. Unfortunately, these conditions are silent, and you won’t know you have them unless you get tested.
Apart from these above-listed ways, you can also keep your heart healthy by; picking your pills wisely, limiting your calories, taking responsibility for your health, staying informed etc.
Understanding the risk factors and ailments that are associated with the heart when not properly taken care of should be the first step to consider in preventing yourself, and your loved ones, from becoming a victim of various heart diseases. It is important always to remember that a healthy lifestyle, especially when started at a young age, is proven to go a long way in preventing heart diseases. And knowing that the heart is one of the most vital organs keeping us alive, it becomes necessary to treat it like the precious organ it is.