Simple steps for a healthy heart

Discover simple steps for a healthy heart – all in less than 30 minutes a day. Read on…

Think of the mundane things you do in 30 minutes every day. Watching TV? Lazing around? It’s time to make changes in these four areas, for a healthy heart boost.

Eat smart

A healthy diet’ does not necessarily mean boring and bland. Just make sure you have enough of each food group, and you’re good to go. Heart patients may need some special changes to their diet; however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that restrictive.

  • Stick to the proteins – fishes and eggs are a rich source of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids that improve heart function and discourage blood clotting. Make sure you have at least 2 servings a week. Vegetarians can opt for walnuts, lentils and flaxseeds for their requirement of these heart-healthy oils.
  • Include more whole grains and veggies – Fresh fruits and veggies are packed with cholesterol lowering phytosterols, antioxidants and substances that aid the reduction of arterial inflammation. Swapping your refined flour for whole-grain products can cut down your risk of a heart attack by at least 30%.
  • Be smart while eating out – This is where most of us give in. Just a single lunch out with your colleagues can pile up on the cholesterol and sodium. Make sure you stay away from the bread basket and the cheesy dressings and dipping sauce. Choose dishes that are grilled, wholegrain and have loads of veggies. Choose from different lean meats if you’re into non-vegetarian stuff. Soups and starters are a great way to avoid the oil laden mains; they make you feel full instantly.
  • Avoid processed foods – For heart patients, processed foods are a strict no-no. Processed foods are the end products of healthy foods that have their heart healthy content stripped down. They are loaded with sugar and bad fats that instantly impact your heart health.

Exercise

Regular exercise works wonders in lowering blood pressure and maintaining heart health. It also makes the heart pumping more efficient and reduces insulin resistance. Twenty minutes of light aerobic exercises and a few stretches and pulls throughout the day is bound to keep your heart happy.

Laugh out loud

There’s a reason why laughter therapy is so popular. A fake laughter can trick your brain into thinking you’re happy, thereby reducing stress, relaxing blood vessels and increasing the blood flow to the heart by a whopping 25%.

Purge the poisons

Tobacco consumption and dental plaque are among the two most dangerous risk factors of heart disease. Tobacco smoking literally damages your arteries and decreases the oxygen content of the blood, thereby causing arrhythmias. Thickening of arteries has been strongly linked to inflammation of the gums. Make sure you brush twice a day, and floss whenever necessary.

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