Help Thy Heart — Part 2

healthy-heart-image

Continuing from yesterday, few more points to ensure a healthy heart…

  1. Brush it up! :

Clean teeth lead to a healthy heart??! We cannot relate oral hygiene with the health of our heart, yet recent studies have found a consistent link between gum diseases and cardiovascular diseases. The best way to fight these is by brushing twice a day, flossing each day and regular visits to the dentist for professional check-ups and clean-ups.

  1. Kick the Butt:

Smoking is mostly associated to lung cancer and breathing problems. Not all know that it also leads to ‘Coronary Artery Disease’. Smoking is a major cause of heart related problems and increases the risk of heart attacks. Second-hand smoke or ‘passive smoking’ also causes the same harm. We all wish for a healthy heart and many wish to quit smoking, yet find it difficult to do so. Whenever the urge to smoke takes over, chewing on a fruit loaded with vitamin ‘C’, is the best way to keep away from a cigarette. Meditation, yoga, hypnosis, acupuncture and nicotine replacement therapy are available for those who want to give up the habit. We can always consult our doc on what could be the best option for us.

  1. Eat Smarter, Live Better! :

Most of the heart related problems are directly linked to unhealthy food habits. The best way to consume a balanced diet is to follow a few principles. Firstly, we need to replace saturated fats, trans-fats and cholesterol with healthy mono-unsaturated fats. Our daily intake must include plenty of Omega3 fatty acids, fruits and veggies, beans and whole grains. Nuts, milk and dairy products are just as essential. We should opt for healthier cooking techniques, such as trimming the fat off meats and the skin off poultry. Methods like baking, steaming, boiling, poaching and roasting are healthier ways of cooking we must stick to rather than frying and sautéing. Cutting back on salt and using more of herbs instead is healthier and so is the use of non-stick cookware and sprays. Smaller servings made using colour and creativity are not only appealing to our taste-buds but also to the eyes helps build up an appetite while helping digestion. If followed, these few principles lead us to a fit and happy heart!

  1. Believe in numbers:

Consulting a doctor and getting a check-up done is the right way to proceed with keeping our heart fit. Find out the levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and haemoglobin. Under the doc’s advice eliminate any risk factors through diet and/or medicine. A healthy start to a healthy heart!

  1. Sleep over it! :

Insufficient sleep causes increased levels of the stress hormone, ’Cortisol’, which can damage blood vessels, raise blood-pressure and increase the accumulation of belly fat. Cultivating a habit of sleeping early is very much beneficial for the overall well-being. Late night chores need to be avoided or postponed for the next day, making sleep a priority. If one consistently faces trouble sleeping or staying asleep, consult a doctor. Sleep is ‘therapy’ to get those stressed hearts beating right, once again!

 

Image Courtesy – http://www.greenlifeorganics.com.au 

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