Protect Your Heart

Protect Your Heart

More tips for keeping you heart-healthy.

Research shows that women tend to develop heart disease later in life than men do. That means women have more time to incorporate preventative health habits into their lives to avoid cardiac disease.
Here’s a list of things anyone can do starting today!

  1. Eat almonds. They make a great snack or add them to your morning cereal.  Almonds can reduce harmful LDL cholesterol; the antioxidants and vitamin E in their skins fights plaque formation on artery walls.
  2. Time your tooth brushing. Keep up with your dental care!  There is a correlation between heart disease and unhealthy gums that can cause a systemic inflammation in your body.  The American Dental Association wants us to brush for at least two minutes to clean teeth and gums.
  3. Take the long way home.  If you take at least 5,000 steps per day you are 40% less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a precursor to heart disease.  So park farther away from your destination.  Walk!
  4. Leave your chair.  New study shows that sitting for long periods of time increases chances of having higher levels of cholesterol.  Standing and stretching is good for the back and the brain too.
  5. Make good food choices all day long. Though we may be good about eating salads and vegetables at meals, the purpose of adding good fiber, vitamins and protein to our meals is defeated if we eat JUNK for snacks.
  6. De-stress, that’s best.  As your day starts to move to a close and there are errands, traffic, emails, dinner, and things are coming undone—give yourself a ten minute stress break.  If you breathe, take a walk, listen to music you will lower your rising blood pressure.
  7. Watch what you drink. Women should have only one alcoholic drink per day, men two advises the American Heart Association, and red wine will provide antioxidants associated with stronger hearts for both men and women.
  8. Nix the net. Cardiologists advise restful sleep to fight plaque buildup in blood vessels.  So before sleep power down iPhones, computers etc that stimulate the brain and keep the body from restful sleep.
  9. Stay in touch. Physical touch releases oxytocin that can bring down blood pressure and keep blood vessels flexible.  So snuggle with someone–your child, grandchild, spouse or pet, or give and get frequent bear hugs.  We all need that physical touch.

Information from cardiologist, Nieca Goldberg, MD.