Tips For Maintaining Heart Health

Our hearts is our most important organ next to the brain, and is responsible for pumping vital blood around our bodies. But in today’s world, where unhealthy food, cigarettes, and alcohol are readily available, our hearts tend to be the organ that suffers the most. These are some simple tips for improving long-term heart health.

  1. Healthy Fats

We want saturated, polyunsaturated, unsaturated fats in our diet. One fat we don’t need is trans fat, known to increase your risk of developing heart disease or lifetime stroke. This is because trans fat clogs the arteries by increasing your bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing your good cholesterol (HDL). Through taking them off your diet, you boost your body’s blood flow. So what are trans fats? These are often used in frozen baked goods, snack foods, margarines and fried fast foods to add flavour and texture. Try and read all food labels. Trans fat occurs as partially hydrogenated oils on the ingredients list. Check for 0% trans fat. Make a point of avoiding trans-fat foods.

  1. Dental Hygiene

Dental health is a good indication of overall health, because those with gum disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Studies continue on this issue, but many have shown that gum disease bacteria in the mouth can move into the bloodstream and cause an elevation of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Brush your teeth daily to prevent gum disease. It’s more than cavities you might have to contend with when battling gum disease.

  1. Sitting For Too Long

Recent years have shown that being seated for long periods of time is bad for your health, no matter how much exercise you do. That’s bad news for many people sitting all day at sedentary work or playing tote betting online for too long. Looking at the cumulative findings of several observational studies affecting nearly 800,000 participants, researchers found that a 147 per cent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 per cent increase in death caused by these events occurred in those who sat the most. Additionally, sitting for long periods (especially when travelling) increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot). Experts say it’s important to walk all day. Park away from the office, take a few shorter day long walks and/or use a standing workstation to move up and down.

  1. Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is vital to keeping your heart healthy. If you don’t rest enough, you may be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of age or other health habits. One survey of 3,000 adults over the age of 45 showed that those who slept less than six hours a night were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack than those who slept six to eight hours a night. Researchers believe that sleeping too little disrupts underlying health problems and biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation. TIP: maximize sleep. Many nights get 7-8 hours of sleep. If you have sleep apnoea, the condition is linked to heart disease and arrhythmias.

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